5. Recognize and mentally take note of ALL the red flags you see.
I’ll be honest; I tend to ignore red flags and make excuses for my friends because I just don’t want to assume the worst. I’m not great at spotting indicators of questionable behaviour, and it’s hard for me to look at my friends’ actions from a distance without giving biased justifications.
This particular friendship fallout was definitely warranted. There were several instances in which their views contradicted mine in harmful ways, their loyalty seemed shaky, and their words hurt me. But I swept these instances under the rug, because I thought the good outweighed the bad.
Remember that noting the red flags does not equal pessimism. You can still have a happy, problem-free friendship — you just shouldn’t ignore the warning signs. Try to be as objective as possible when evaluating a situation, and think about what each red flag means for your friendship. Is it not a big enough deal to change anything about the friendship? Does it mean that you should keep them at an arm’s distance? Or perhaps you should refrain from sharing an aspect of your life with them from now on?