Trust is all about recognizing and paying attention to your inner warning system: red flags. In order to survive your abusive past you had to disconnect from the truth. You didn’t feel safe. You didn’t trust the adults around you. This was your truth. But, even though you were up to your eyeballs in red flags, you had to ignore them to survive that abusive situation. Eventually, this became one of your toxic coping skills.
However, now that you’re an adult, it’s time to “reactivate” your internal warning system. Red flags are there for your protection. Yes, it’s important to learn how to truly love yourself and others. But that doesn’t mean everyone you meet is safe and worthy of your trust.
How do you learn to pay attention again? What can you do if you’ve ignored your red flags for so long you don’t notice them?
Don’t worry. You may not notice all your red flags, but you do notice some. Unfortunately, you’re in the toxic habit of reasoning them away. When a red flag pops up you say, “Oh, I just imagined that” or “Oh, he/she isn’t THAT scary” or “I’m not happy about how he just hurt me, but he probably won’t do it again.”
No, you didn’t just imagine that. Yes, he/she is that scary. Yes, he probably will hurt you again. Stop ignoring those warnings. The minute a red flag appears over someone’s behavior, pay careful attention to it. Your internal warning system is built on discernment (noticing red flags) and setting firm, healthy boundaries with the people in your life.
Boundaries define the difference between your responsibilities as an adult and other people’s responsibilities as adults. Everyone is supposed to do their part. If someone crosses one of your boundaries or pressures you to cross a boundary, that’s a red flag.
You can learn this. It just takes time. A good place to start is in an abuse survivor group, where you can practice reactivating your internal warning system. Or if you have questions about red flags or setting healthy boundaries, let me know. I’m here for you. Always!
Are you struggling with setting boundaries or noticing “red flags”? I can help. Just follow (this link) or call 619-889-6366 to reserve a one-hour coaching session with me. My calendar is filling up fast, so don’t wait. Let me help you heal your life. Reserve your spot NOW!
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