Getting to know someone can be exciting. You learn about each other's interests, quirks, and what makes each of you tick. But if you're seeing red flags instead of sparks, it may be a bad sign. So how do you recognize when something is off? These people reveal the biggest warning signs to look out for when meeting new people.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 They Don't Pay Attention
They don't really listen to you or pay attention to what you're talking about, but expect you to be totally engaged with whatever they say and act put out if you aren't.
#2 They're Negative and Jealous
A lot of people will say something along the lines of, "When they say negative things about others," (which I agree with) but for me, a huge red flag is when someone can't let someone else receive praise or be the centre of attention. I've met people in the past who have shown small signs of jealousy when I've praised mutual friends, siblings, strangers, etc. and in each case, it was indicative of bigger jealousy and self-esteem issues.
When they try to one-up you in everything you say.
#4 How They Treat Employees
How they treat waiters, cashiers, janitors, bus drivers and everyone in the service industry. A coworker friend of mine left a bunch of trash at the cinema after we finished watching a movie. I angrily picked up his trash, chased him and told him to throw it away at the bin three meters outside of the cinema. I couldn't look at him the same way again.
#5 Critical of Others
When they're judgmental and critical of others, but never of themselves.
#6 They're Unaware
If they are unaware of people around them in a social sense. They don't thank service staff or they stand in the middle of crowded walkways and not move out of the way of others. Congratulations, you have made friends with a toddler! This is not the biggest of red flags. Just ones that have recently upset me.
#7 They Don't Listen
They don't listen to what you say and respond accordingly, they only wait for you to stop talking so they can talk about whatever they want to talk about.
#8 Problem Child
One of my bosses once told me that whenever you start a new job, the first person who tries really hard to be your friend is usually the problem child of the office. They'll start telling you about the people to avoid as well. I've found this very, very useful.
#9 Pyramid Scheme
When they start talking about the tons of money I am going to be making with their new business venture in selling whatever door to door.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.
#10 A Revolving Door
Usually, when people speak of having a lot of people in their life that somehow turned on them and now they don't speak anymore. I remember one old coworker would become super fast friends with someone, then within weeks they wouldn't take to them anymore. Once, I'll accept. Even twice. But when it's four or five times over... guess what? It's not everyone else.
#11 Asking to Borrow Money
When you barely know them and they act like your best friend...then later they ask to borrow money.
#12 Word Choice
Their word choice. People who refer to anyone by a derogatory term pertaining to them is likely a bad friend. If we're already friends and they use it jokingly, that's different. But people complaining about others using derogatory terms are almost always people I don't want to hang out with.
#13 Alligator Tears
When the first thing they tell you about themselves is all the hardship and unfairness in their lives.
#14 They Lie About Their Age
I have only ever met two men who lied to me about their ages (that I'm aware of) when we met. Both of these men turned out to be extremely unpleasant and abusive people. I think people who lie easily even over trivial things tend to have very complex psychological problems and are best steered clear of.
#15 Can't Take No
If they can't take no for an answer.
#16 They Pretend
They try to project their voice as loudly as possible to overplay their actual feebleness.
#17 Together Out of Obligation
Subtle signs that they aren’t remotely interested in you and the only way you two are together is because of an obligation or favor. People change their tune often when they have to conceal their feelings of disdain for someone.
#18 They Cancel Plans Last Minute
A few red flags for me are: They flake or cancel plans at the last minute constantly without reason; they rant about their personal problems and don't talk to you at all about common interests; they never have money on them but ask you to take them around to places; they start drama such as fights with you or others; when emergency situations happen, they're nowhere to be found or heard from.
#19 They're Too Blunt
"People think I'm annoying, but I'm really just blunt and tell the truth. They can't handle that." Nah, chances are you're just annoying.
#20 Monopolizing the Conversation
When they monopolize a conversation, when they steer the conversation so that you end up being shown a phone full of photos, when they engage in a whole monologue about their health or relationship issues, when they brag a lot if not about themselves then their family members.
#21 Too Much Information
Too much information too quickly. People who divulge too much about themselves from the offset generally have poor boundary issues. I speak from experience. I am a recovering poor boundary haver.
#22 They Complain
People who gossip or complain about mutual friends or coworkers. You may feel special that they want to share this with you, and curious about what they are talking about, but they are likely saying the same type of things about you to everyone else. It's a similar situation with people who complain about their exes to you when you're dating. You will probably become another person they complain about to the next person they are dating.
#23 They're the Victim
You immediately start hearing from them about all the time about how other people have hurt them, betrayed them, or otherwise been terrible to them. If everyone you encounter is a terrible person, chances are, you're the terrible person.
#24 Three-Strike Rule
When they have “rules” for their life that they expect others to abide to. “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” kind of thing. The first time I met one of my old roommates, she told me she had a “three-strike rule” with people and then she was done with them forever. Everyone has general rules of thumb in life, but to take the time to essentially announce this to people you’re meeting is more or less of a warning about you.
#25 Belittling Their People
Belittling their SO in front of people but insisting its a joke every time! Sadly in this situation, I used to be the belittled SO.
#26 Rambling On
If they keep talking, rambling or ummm-ing and don't let you get a word in (because conversations involve two or more people right?), making you "politely interject" more than once. If they start a monologue, you're no longer a participant in the conversation; you've become a hostage.
#27 No Filter
"Sorry, I have no filter!"
#28 Leading With Trauma
People who lead with their trauma. None of that makes that person unique nor will it excuse their bad behavior, which almost without fail, will follow. I’m specifically referring to people that tell you about all of the ways they’ve been traumatized within an hour of meeting them. In no way do I think people should never talk about their traumas. Please go find a therapist. It’s important. That said, it’s a bit much and assumes a lot about the person you’re trying to become acquainted with to think your trauma is unique when you’re having an opening conversation. No one gets through life without trauma.
#29 Not Interested in You
When they only talk about themselves.
#30 Wanting to Go Out
When they say, "We should go out and get tipsy tonight," even though you just met. Mate, we literally just met two minutes ago. I don't even know your name and I am not going to make myself vulnerable through alcohol with you at night in a dodgy town that I've never been too just because we have the same phone.
#31 Ignoring Red Flags
Let's be honest. We often see these red flags but deliberately push on to form a relationship. If the relationship goes bust, we critique ourselves for not heeding the warning signs. This is an unjust self-criticism.
#32 Treating People Badly
Making disparaging remarks about other people or treating service people like they are beneath contempt. Sometimes I will call them out and say, "Why do you want to talk that way about her/him?" or, "Why would you treat a server like that?" This can start a whole conversation about negative behavior. Sometimes they just get upset and sometimes they make fun of ME but I like to hope that every once in a great while, someone gives it a second thought.
#33 Specific Tattoos
More than two tattoo teardrops.
#34 Instant Best Friends
If they tell that you're their best friends within the first week of meeting them... run. This is one of the first red flags to recognize an individual with a narcissistic personality disorder. It's counter-intuitive if you're not familiar with the disorder, but basically it's an indicator that the "love phase" has begun. Run. Clinical narcissists are dangerous people.
#35 Putting Your Opinions Down
When they constantly put down other people's opinions even in a "nice" way and they believe that only their way of thinking is right. They always say, "Yeah but..." or "Actually, I think..."
#36 How They Treat Retail Staff
I feel like this is a basic one but, as someone who works in food service and has worked in retail as well, gaging how people treat customer service employees is a good judge of character for me. Showing patience and understanding when an employee messes up or something out of their control happens is a good character trait in my eyes.
#37 Hard Handshakes
When they shake your hand way too hard. Like what the heck! I still remember you, Ben, you whackjob.
#38 Can't Remember Names
If they don’t even attempt to remember my easy name. I understand that some people are bad with names but I hate when I meet someone new and all night they are calling me something different, then they laugh and say, “I’m so bad with names, I’m just going to call you Suzy from now on.”Like, no, I’m not Suzy.
#39 Obnoxious About Names
I have an unusual name. I don’t mind when people ask me to repeat it, or even when they awkwardly ask about its origin (my dad is an immigrant), but when they’re obnoxious about it, that’s usually a good indication that they wouldn't make a good friend.
The biggest thing when meeting new people, for me, is to go with my gut. If it looks like there's nothing behind their eyes, there probably isn't. If they seem like they're faking being a nice person, they probably are. Most people can't keep up a fake facade totally. The clues will be there. Your gut is probably right when it comes to meeting someone new.
#41 Bringing Up Topics Out of Nowhere
When they bring up topics out of nowhere just so they can spout their opinions and not actually have a conversation. It's very telling about their personality.
#42 Has No Friends
If you meet someone who has absolutely no friends from more than a year ago and high-drama relationships with family members, that person is going to turn out to be an absolute drama llama. They don't need to have had the same bestie since kindergarten, but if they have NO cordial friends from growing up, high school, college, work, the last place they lived? That's because they're cutting a swathe of disaster through other people's lives and alienating everyone who gets close to them.
#43 Rude to Waiters
When they're instantly rude to waiters or strangers.
Lying. Lying about big things or small things. We just met and you're lying to me?
#45 Constantly Late
People that are not considerate with your time. Being five minutes late every so often isn't a big deal but when people are consistently 20 minutes late and make people wait, that's an issue.