The Red Flag Diaries: How Do They Talk About Others?

The Red Flag Diaries: How Do They Talk About Others?

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


This is a new series on red flags to watch out for when meeting and dating and connecting with others in kink and elsewhere.

See more here.

How do they talk about others?

Usually, when I see people talking about this red flag, they ask, “How do they talk about their exes?”

Hell, I’ve shared a similar thought, and I believe it:

A person who has only mean things to say about their exes will probably eventually have only mean things to say about you.

I think a lot of people have caught on to that, though, and will be fairly nice speaking about their exes in front of new people.

But they have a more difficult time faking ALL of their talk about others.

It’s similar to the waiter rule.

A person who is nice to you but is not nice to the waiter is not a nice person.

But even more than that, how do they talk about all the people in their life?

  • Do they give the benefit of the doubt, or jump to judgment and blame immediately?
  • Do they tend to speak meanly about others behind their backs on a regular basis?
  • Do they gossip and search for the worst in people?
  • Do they constantly compare themselves favorably to others, to bolster themselves in their own (and presumably your) opinion?

I’m usually pretty good about shutting this sort of thing down around me. I mean, sure, my friends will kvetch and talk about things they are going through with others, and I’ll listen and support. That’s OK in my book.

However, those who are constantly gossiping and picking on others’ foibles on the regular set off alarms in my head.

And when I ignore those alarms, eventually I’m reminded why red flags exist, and I extricate myself with (another) lesson learned. I can be slow, sometimes, LOL!

Thing is, not only does how a person talk about others tell you a lot about how they will talk about you (in good times and bad), but it also informs how they will see you and interpret your actions and words.

Anything you say that is not glowingly positive could be translated in their mind as a negative, because they are overwhelmingly negative, and we humans tend to see the world through our own personal lenses.

Which, in the long run, could be a challenge.

Unless you are, of course, one of those people yourself.

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