Everyone has a breaking point.
Even the person who seems to be the calmest has that moment when their patience has run thin, and all it takes is a little more prodding and antagonizing to set them off.
Curious to hear examples of when strangers online were surprised by what they witnessed, Redditor Specktakles88 asked:
"Have you ever seen a normally calm person completely lose their sh*t? What happened?"
A triggering moment unleashed wild behavior.
The Dude Who Had It Coming
"I was chilling at a friend’s house as a kid. His dad was the chillest, nicest guy. That day, my friend’s mom (also super nice) was across the street talking to the neighbor about something that I can no longer recall. Neighbor was one of those guys who never respected common etiquette: music blaring, parking his sh**ty boat in front of other people’s house, cars parked on the lawn. The neighbor started screaming at the mom and we all went out on the stoop to see what was happening. As soon as we got outside, the guy called my friend’s mom a c*nt. Well, my friend’s dad heard that and went full Hulk mode. He ran SCREAMING across the street and just f'king decked the guy and crouched over him shouting warnings and threats. Took a while for his wife to calm him down. I don’t think any of them had ever seen him react to something in that way, maybe even the dad himself."
"I worked as a line cook with a chef who I became really good friends with. Really chill dude, easy going, and actually super fun to cook with. He taught me most of what I know about cooking and I owe him a lot for my success. Never really saw him get mad until one day, we were getting slammed during busy night and one of the servers said something that really ticked him off, not sure if I ever heard what it was, but next thing I knew he had sent the deep fryer basket flying at Mach 1 across the kitchen, nearly missing the dish kid and shattering a light bulb. He stormed off and 5 minutes later after a smoke break, came back and casually continued cooking as if nothing had happened."
"He apologized about it the next day and we never talked about it again. The restaurant industry is a stressful place."
Thing About Grandpa
"When I was in my late teens I was financially irresponsible and borrowed money from my grandparents to move out of my mom's house. We made a plan on how I would pay it back in installments and I only missed two payments, with each one I called my granddad and asked if it was okay. He was always cool about it. One day I got a call from him and he was LIVID. Screaming at me on the phone and I could hear my grandmother crying in the background. He was the angriest I’ve ever heard anyone in my life and I was terrified. He wanted to know why I hadn’t made the payment that month, but I was sure I had. It turns out I had accidentally set the automated payment to be drawn from the wrong account and it hadn’t done it. It was an honest mistake on my part, and I explained that to him. I transferred the money immediately and he instantly calmed down. I later found out he had become an alcoholic after he quit smoking, and he would talk to my grandmother like that regularly when no one was around."
Awakening The Beast
"This is not my story but my dads. Growing up his best friend Leif was a quiet, shy guy that was a bit socially awkward. In school he wasn't physically bullied but this one kid teased him constantly. This would have been late 50's, early 60's so kids were expected to just tough it out. My dad would usually confront the kid but one day a girl runs up to him and says that Leif and the kid are fighting."
"My dad runs over to save Leif but when he breaks through the circle he finds the bully flat on his back, Leif sitting on his chest, holding him by the ears and smashing his head into the pavement over and over. My dad tackles him, wrestles him to the ground and screams at him, asking what he's doing. The thing that stayed with me from that story was how he described it, 'it was like there was nothing in there, I felt like I could see the back of his skull through his eyes.'"
"Luckily they were kids so the damage was serious but limited, the bully escaped with stitches and a concussion and Leif had to talk to the school psychologist. My dad and Leif stayed best friends and when I met him as an adult he was still quiet but less shy and awkward."
We Don't Talk About Other People's Moms
"My fifth grade teacher was a very calm and collected individual, except one time when a kid said her mother was a whore. She lost it, She was screaming about disrespect and stuff and even called her mom, put her on speaker and asked if she was a whore. In front of the whole class. I miss her lmao"
Work-related stresses really brought out the fury in these people.
"I had a friend who was in his 60's, a functioning alcoholic but he was the most calm and composed guy I have ever known. He never used to raise his voice or swear. Everything was done with meticulous precision."
"He once explained to me that if you use vulgar language and shout all the time, then you will have nowhere to go when you really do get angry."
"I had worked with him for about 3 years, never heard him raise his voice or swear before. The week before he had been shafted on his pay and the manager promised to get it sorted by Friday. Friday rolled around and it had not been sorted. So when my friend walked up to the manager in the open office and declared loudly 'Where the f'k is my money? You promised this would be resolved.' The whole office went silent and the look of dread on the manager's face was haunting. The money was in his account by the end of the day."
"That was him losing his sh*t."
"I used to see this woman in my building every day. Very friendly. We always checked on each other’s lives. We had lunch a few times over the years. It was friendly to a certain degree. A couple years passed. She was much older than me. One day, riding the elevator, she told me that she was saying goodbye. I said I was sorry to see her go and asked why. She said she was retiring that day. I asked if her office was throwing a party or if she was celebrated. She turned to me and her face contorted into an image of rage. She clenched her teeth and said she didn’t tell anyone in her office, including her bosses. She only told the HR person last week. This was her last day and she was never returning to see or talk to anyone in her office again."
The Gentle Giant
"I used to do seasonal work sorting tax returns. Like, 500 people in a warehouse size room sorting through returns, stacking them in boxes, etc. This one guy on my team, huge dude, a gentle giant, really nice. Suddenly one day he smashes the table he's working at, then flips a big box full of paperwork. It flew over my head and twenty feet away. He threw the table out of his way them stormed out. Turns out he was getting his paycheck garnished for something or other."
Rambunctious behavior really set these people off, but it also restored peace.
The Teacher Who Had Enough
"One of my teachers in high school was THE calmest dude. Never yelled, never told kids off, would just laugh and smile and wait for us all to calm down and then continue with his teaching. One day we must have been particularly rowdy and we weren’t calming down like we usually did. He couldn’t get a word in edge ways. I could see him getting increasingly frustrated and eventually he just bellowed SHUUUUTTT UPPPPP And the entire class was shocked into silence. He never had to do it again lmao"
Too Angry To Hold A Knife
"It takes a lot to make my mom yell. On the rare occasion she did yell, it still felt like she had self control. Like she yelled on purpose, because there was a reason to yell (like she needed to be that loud for us to hear us, or one of the kids needed to learn to never run into traffic again.)"
"But one morning when we were teenagers, my brother was being really, really difficult."
"And my very sweet, soft-spoken mother yelled 'GOD DAMN IT SHAWN' and threw a butter knife down so hard it stuck, 1/4 inch deep, in oak hardwood floor. Against the grain. I can still hear the noise it made."
"We were all very, very well behaved for the rest of the day."
"I did eventually ask my mom why she did that. Her explanation was that she felt she was too angry to hold a knife, even a butter knife, and was trying to get it out of her hand before she did something stupid."
Granny's Mean Streak
"Man my grandma has a similar thing. This boy was a couple years older than she was and he was constantly picking on her. He's riding his bike home from school one day and he rides past her and he's shouting at her and she knocks him right off his bike and beat the sh*t out of him. My sweet lil granny. The neighbor that saw it said he was proud as sh*t that she beat the snot out of this shitty kid lol. I think it was the start of my grandma's bad b*tch streak because not much later, she started street racing. She was allegedly a sweet little girl, but man I think she must have had a mean streak in her."
"Jerry Springer Christmas"
"My mom. We had what we now refer to as the 'Jerry Springer Christmas' when I was 7 or so. One aunt hated her sister in law and started screaming at her, then shoving started, husband's got involved, then it just continued to devolve from there. My mom went straight into mediator mode and tried to calm everyone down but it wasn't working. She decided to come check on us kids and found my cousin and me holding each other and sobbing because we were scared. The next thing I hear is her scary mom voice screaming over everyone 'listen here you motherf'kers. My kid is in there crying on Christmas because her family can't keep their sh*t together for one the one day a year we all see each other. You're gonna march your a**es into that room single file and apologize to each kid individually, then you're going to shut the hell up until I get them out of here. We're going to go find look at lights and this family better be the picture of goddam Christmas joy by the time we get back.' My mom never really cussed in front of me and only ever used gd when things were really bad. That side of the family didn't celebrate Christmas for a few years after that."
"Edit: thank you for the awards and kind words! Ma is tickled pink at all of the comments about how wonderful she is. I tell her every day how lucky I am to have her."
"Had a friend ive know since we were kids. This event happened when him, myself, and two other friends were roomates and 21-22 y/o. We will call him Kevin. He was always happy go lucky always smiling. The guy you call at 3am with a flat tire and he just ask where you're at. Never one to start anything, always managing to defuse any situation with a smile, an offer of friendship, and a beer. While we on the other hand seemed to be in a bar fight every weekend. While Kevin would always be there to break it up. Regurlaly getting hit, but never swinging back."
"He isn't a big dude, 5'9" ish maybe a bit over weight, but worked in labor intensive jobs at his family business since he was young so he was deceptively strong. Normally when breaking up fights he would just pick people up and set them down behind him. Something about being picked up by the biceps and just moved without violence or malice seemed to always take the fight out of people. It was like his super power."
Don't Cross Kevin
"Anyway we had a party at our house. This was an every weekend thing at the time. We were all outside sitting around a bonfire. A friend of a friend we will call steve was being a dick. Getting in people's face, saying he was gonna kick so and sos a** and we generally ignored him. He was drunk and it was kinda his normal behavior, nobody took him seriously."
"He got in kevins face screaming at him, bc he was sitting next to his ex girlfriend. Kevin let it slide, again he never gets angry or confrontational. At this point Steve has his forehead againts Kevin's just sreaming. I guess something just snapped in Kevin."
"Without any warning or words Kevin picked steve up by the throat and slammed him into the ground. At which point Kevin started to just beat the snot out of him, never letting go of his death grip on Steve's throat. All of us were frozen for a second. This was the first time we had ever seen kevin be violent. We quickly snapped out of it and ran to get them apart, but we found out that wasn't going to be easy. It took two guys pulling Steve's legs another two pulling Kevin's and a final guy pulling Kevin's hand from Steve's throat. This entire event probably only lasted 20 seconds, but Kevin never stopped swinging."
"Once they were apart Kevin snapped out of it and began apologizing to everyone including Steve. Kevin even went and got a wet rag and ice pack for Steve. Kevin kept apologizing to everyone the rest of the night for ruining the party. We told him he didn't, besides we got in fights all the time just don't worry about it."
"After that night I've only seen Kevin snap once more. A guy sucker punked our friend in a bar while we were just talking on the patio. Guy ended up with a hand print on his throat and two black eyes. It again took several people to pull him off. Our always smiling Kevin has a genuinely frightening side when he stops smiling."
Rage is something that exists in all of us.
Some people are good at letting small things run off their back, while others have no patience for the smallest of grievances.
The lesson to be learned here is, never underestimate the calmest people. They might be the ones to really look out for. You don't want to be the reason for them to break their patience streak and unleash all of their built-up fury on you.
Be kind to others, and just don't be a prick.
I've seen people consume foods that make no sense.
Not that food needs to make sense.
But somethings are not meant to mix.
Like... who eats BBQ sauce on chocolate cake?
Don't ask. It's real.
I guess to each their own and God bless your stomach.
Redditor K3na wanted to hear about the times we've witnessed people consuming food that left us SHOOK!
So they asked:
"Besides eating cereal with water what is the most outrageous 'eating sin' you have ever witnessed?"
I like mint chocolate chip ice cream. People hate it.
Apparently I'm a freak.
PSYCHO!!black and white milk GIFGiphy
"The wife dips Oreos in water like a psychopath."
"When I visited my aunt’s family as a kid she served a 'purple cow' - milk mixed with grape juice - for breakfast. If you haven’t tasted that, take my word for it - it’s not a great concoction."
"In elementary school, we used to mix the milk and juice the school gave us for breakfast to puke and get sent home early... apple juice and milk usually worked the best, I think grape juice and milk was a close second."Megandapanda
Without a Refill
"I work at a pub/restaurant waiting tables. This couple walks in who I've never seen but are apparently regulars. The bartender sees them, shoots me a glance, and goes to grab something from the kitchen. Before even taking their order, he's filled the crushed red pepper shaker and told me to take it over to them."
"The woman orders a small cup of French onion soup and proceeds to unscrew the cap of this shaker and dump the entirety of it onto her soup, an inch high off the top of her bowl. She's eating this spicy red pepper like cereal and didn't even ask for a drink refill."
"I had a friend who went through a period where cake decorating was her hobby, and she made some amazing looking cakes that all tasted horrible because of the bizarre flavor combinations. It was always a bit funny because people would compliment the look of them and then have to figure out how to throw their pieces away without being rude about it."
"The worst one was a Christmas cake with an immaculate looking fondant Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that was an orange spice cake covered in mint icing. It was like brushing your teeth and rinsing with orange juice in cake form."
WTF?!?!Angry Bbc Two GIF by BBCGiphy
"Friend's mom used to eat soy sauce with ice cream."
Just eat ice cream as it was meant to be.
On Everythingseason 4 the lost mattress GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"I used to be obsessed with A1. I would put it on everything possible because I loved it so much. One day I put it on jello. I no longer enjoy A1."
"When I was in grade school I went over to this kid's house to play, then ended up staying for dinner. We had spaghetti, some vegetable, maybe salad and something else. His entire family would mix everything together before eating it. His dad seemed to be the ringleader/mastermind behind this scheme."
"I remember someone cheerfully saying, 'Well, it all goes to the same place!' And then the rest of them agreeing with this truism as if it were some serious folk wisdom. That's some serial killer sh*t right there."
"My sister would make ritz cracker sandwiches, except the thing that went between the two ritz cracker “buns” was another ritz cracker, except chewed up and spit out. it was disgusting."
"I wasn't going to tell this story but here I am. As a kid I would eat a whole bag of Doritos without swallowing, and then I'd spit out the pulverized chip dust and saliva mixture and roll it into a ball with my hands and then let it harden a bit in my desk at school between first and second break and then eat it again during lunch when the outside was a bit crunchy again but the inside was still moist and the consistency of a chocolate truffle."
"When I was a server, I had a customer dip her bread in a glass of Coke. She finished her whole bread basket and Coke and asked for another basket and another refill of Coke, and went to town again for round two. She didn't give a crap how she looked and ate that crap like it was the best thing on Earth."
What in the name of Jesus?gross dumb and dumber GIFGiphy
"My mom puts peanut butter on cold pizza. It is the closest flavor to vomit that is not vomit."
Good Lord. How do people eat these things?!
Do you have any bizarre culinary items to add? Let us know in the comments below.
Without sleep, we lose our minds.
Eventually, the mind will give out.
The mind plays tricks with no rest.
Seeing things and believing things that aren't there can be quite disturbing.
All you can think sometimes is...
"Is it real?"
Redditor vicke1230 wanted to talk to the sleepless.
So they asked:
"Have you ever not slept for so long that you started hallucinating? What was your experience?"
I love sleep. I can't go without it.
Do sleep...Tired Good Night GIF by DisneyGiphy
"I was a passenger in a car and looking out the window the shadows from trees would morph and grow and move. It was kinda scary but I enjoyed it. It was like drugs before I did drugs. Don't do drugs. Do sleep."
70 hours or so....
"Yeah, after 70 hours or so. It's pretty disorienting and rational thinking starts to get very slow. The hallucinations are not realistic but are more like gaps in your vision that are shaped like things. Might see a silhouette at a distance or briefly around a corner."
"Very difficult to function in this state. Would not recommend."
"A buddy of mine landed a painting job working inside of a big commercial building and he basically stayed in the place for 6 days straight smoking and painting to meet his deadline and avoid hiring a crew to help him."
"On the 6th day the building caught fire and he ran into the lobby and was pulling people out into the streets and yelling to call 9-1-1. The firemen showed up and couldn’t locate a fire because there was none. He was hallucinating."
At the Library
"During exam week I pulled 3 all-nighters in the library between tests. The library was open 24hr so I'd just stay up all night making note cards then go take an exam during the day. I lived off campus and didn't want to spend the gas money. I'd go to the most isolated area but the library would pretty much be cleared out by midnight."
"I started to see glimpses of people and I thought it was a bunch of students f**king with me but there was no one on that floor. I thought the lights went off at some point and maybe it was a sensor so I started jumping around to reactivate it but obviously, it was lit the whole time."
I hear things...Fran Healy Reaction GIF by TravisGiphy
"I went roughly 4 days on 5 hours sleep total. I could function fine but I would just constantly hear things like people mumbling right next to me."
I could never function!
From Abovevintage spider GIFGiphy
"Spent a few weeks only getting about 4 hours of sleep a night. My brain started seeing, from the corners of my eyes, black things dropping from the ceiling that looked like giant spiders... I started making sure I got enough sleep."
McChicken meal, please.
"Ex-addict. Was driving home after a 3 day bender. Needed food so drove into a Mcdonald's drive thru. When asked for my order I replied 'McChicken meal, please.' Then they asked me against and I said 'McChicken meal, please.' Then they asked me AGAIN and I was like 'Can't you f**ken hear me? McChicken meal!' and that's when I realized I wasn't actually saying anything, I was just replying in my head."
"Yes I saw shadow creatures and I thought they were out to get me."
"Me too. I had been sleep deprived for weeks (<3 hours a night most nights) and hadn’t slept the night before. I was out a walk with friends and we stopped for a bit and then I started seeing the shadows move. Then they looked like a pile of bodies and then I was convinced that they’d come drag me into the pit."
"OP, get some sleep this experiment isn’t worth it."
"I'm better now"
"I had really bad sleep problems for years.. At one point I went to a party having been awake for 36 hours when arriving. I didn't really hallucinate also because I couldn't sleep, but when I finally did, I got the sleep I needed needed. The problem was mostly falling asleep."
"For me stress and lack of sleep triggers some form of sleep-paralysis and these weird dreams where I'm lying down somewhere and I can't see properly and I can't get up because everything is just so blurry and spinning around. It made me wake up in cold sweats and I remember once waking up and falling back asleep so many times because I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open, that I called my mom crying because I did not know whether I was awake or not.
"I'm better now."
Talk to MeWorry Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"No sleep for 4 days straight, it really messes with your head. All sounds heightened to the max and was sure I could hear all my neighbors talking crap about me."
Sleep is so imperative.
Do you have any hallucination stories to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Though we learn about criminals when they're caught, it doesn't mean they're not brilliant.
It takes a lot of planning and patience to pull off the bigger ideas.
That's why there is such a hefty penalty for pre-meditation.
Maybe that's why we're obsessed with the true crime stories that roll out over time and aren't a quick news blip.
We're fascinated by the genius and the almost near cover-ups.
Redditor ItzTacoTimee wanted cops to tell us about the masterminds they've taken into custody.
So they asked:
"Police officers of Reddit, who’s the smartest criminal you’ve ever encountered?"
Most of these murderers on these Dateline shows are smart.
Which is what is most scary.
Depositshappy work GIF by Soul TrainGiphy
"My favorite was the guy who stole a post office mailbox off the street, repainted it, and then put it next to the night deposit box at a bank. And hung an out-of-order sign on the deposit box. All the businesses came along and dropped off their deposits in the mailbox."
"release to police"
"I worked with this one guy who had a lengthy record. He had a system for getting released if he got caught. After committing a crime, if the police were in pursuit and he knew he was about to be cornered, he would act insane. His girl would play along with it telling the police that he was off his medication."
"The police would arrest him but then send him to a mental ward with papers instructing the ward to release to police once he was cleared. Once he was in the mental ward, he would cause a distraction that would make the person attending the desk with the file cabinet to leave said cabinet. He would then crawl to the file cabinet, look for his 'release to police' papers, and then would literally eat the papers."
"When the psych evaluators decided that he was stable enough to be released, there would be no instructions to send him to the police, and he would be released to the general public. He did this about 10 times until police officers noticed him back on the streets. This stunt forced the state to change their procedure for detaining mentally unstable suspects."
When in Walmart...
"A guy I went to high school had been stealing from Walmart in a pretty clever way. He would grab video games, mp3 players, beer etc. and throw them away in a trashcan in the garden section. The workers never checked the trash contents and he would just wait, sometimes 5 hours until they emptied the trash in the back dumpster and hop in to get his items."
"Once he took a cardboard box from a display inside, filled it with video games, a PS3, and extra controllers. He grabbed some tape and pens and drew all over the box and taped it up to make it look used and tossed it. An hour later he had a whole new PS3 and stack of games."
"I walked in with this"
"I heard about one person that pulled a shoplifting scam on a large, popular and well known U.S. retail store. They walked in with some cheap nylon product to get one of those 'I walked in with this' stickers they used to put on returning merchandise. The sticker easily peeled off the product undamaged. They walked to the electronics department, grabbed an expensive box off the shelf and went to Customer Service."
"They placed the sticker on the big box and asked if they could return the item without a receipt. 'Unfortunately, no. Not without the original receipt.' Dang it, and they walk out. Customer service even gave the door man the thumbs up having just interacted with the customer. This took place before widespread inventory controls and cameras absolutely everywhere."
The FollowerLocation Gps GIF by AboutMedia Internetmarketing GmbHGiphy
"I'm not a cop but I worked crime scene. This guy had attached GPS to the bottom of peoples cars who owned houses, he wanted to rob. He did it to ensure they wouldn't be showing up while he was ransacking the place."
Enjoy the meal...Food Eating GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"There's a golf course/country club in my town that has a PGA tournament scheduled in the next couple years. They have a guy repeatedly breaking in overnight and just lounging around and eating food, all on camera. The club refuses to report it so they don't hurt their chances of the tournament coming."
Drugs & Keggers
"This was in the late 90s-early 00s."
"A guy in my dorm came to school solely to deal drugs. He took out student loans, registered for a bunch of 300-person freshman survey courses where he would never be missed, then literally never went to class. All he did was go to raves and concerts and keggers and sell party drugs."
"After the first semester, he was suspended. He wrote the usual ‘I was young and dumb and in over my head’ sob story, and got put on probation for a semester. So he had a repeat of the fall. At the end of the year, he was kicked out, and didn’t care."
"He made something on the order of $150k, in return for about $8k in student loans to cover a year of housing and tuition."
"So far as I know, he was never caught. It may have been a short-sighted maneuver in the long run, but in the short run it seemed fairly genius to effectively use federal loans to start your drug business."
Into the car...
"Working in a home improvement store when younger. This guy came in, went to the snow blowers, took one and went to the return desk. Said he wanted to return it but had no receipt. They told him you need a receipt so he says ok I’ll be back and wheels it off to car through the front door. He did this a few times apparently. Couple places even helped him load it 'back' into his car."
"A french thief who spent 10 years in prison became a comedian when he got out. One of his stories... Finds a building, goes in, chooses a floor and TRANSFORMS the exit door into an extra apartment. Puts the apartment number, fake lock, welcome rug, etc..."
"Puts an iPhone for sale. The person comes to buy it, he opens the door in a shower robe and says give me one second, im just gonna count the money... and poof!"
"He's gone from the exit stairs."
So Hungryblock out no GIF by Heute-ShowGiphy
"Definitely this guy who ate the bank robbery note right off the hood of the police car when they were emptying his pockets. Although I'm fairly sure he was still convicted."
Even with smarts, crime still doesn't sound like it pays.
Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Being in a relationship can be a beautiful and empowering thing. But not all relationships make our lives better.
Truth be told, some relationships damage our well-being and impair our mental health. Some relationships can be toxic or even violent—it's important to keep an eye out for red flags.
But what are red flags? Simply put, they are warning signs that a person cannot have a healthy relationship. They can indicate unhealthy and even manipulative behavior. Excessive jealousy is something to look out for. Frequent lying is another. It's important to remember that red flags can be insidious... and that they can grow bigger over time.
The question is: What do you look out for?
Couples therapists told us what to look out for after Redditor Gnerdy asked the online community:
"Couples therapists, without breaking confidentiality, what are some relationships that instantly set off red flags, and do you try and get them to work out?"
"These are typically young women..."
"When one person is entirely dependent on the other, especially at a relatively young age. I mean financially and emotionally."
"These are typically young women (sometimes young men as well) who do not work, do not have children, stay home all day and have no friends or hobbies outside of hanging out with their spouse. Very unhealthy, and a huge red flag. Always ends in a painful and messy breakup."
"Generally, we try to get them to find a friend, join a community, get a job or volunteer - something to provide them with self worth and personal fulfillment outside of their spouse."
The idea of joining a relationship without anything of your own to fall back on is legitimately terrifying.
"One person says..."
"One partner says they’re seeking your services to help them determine if they want to stay together; the other partner says they’re seeking your services to make it so they stay together."
"Then it’s about highlighting the points and allowing the person who is on the fence decide what they want, since the other person knows."
That's so depressing, just waiting for someone to decide if they want you. Sadly, it's common.
"This comes in many forms, from gaslighting to just simple denial of another's opinion. Most of the time one or both parties are simply trying to be heard on an emotional level with an event or topic that was brought up, but the other party takes this as a personal attack on their ideals."
Do not tell someone how they feel or what they think. It won't end well.
"I saw a couple..."
"I saw a couple that was doing "retaliatory" cheating (and telling each other about it). When they got through their anger, they decided to call a truce and made peace. With their level of emotional maturity, I doubt it lasted. I don't know if I helped them or prolonged their suffering. It was their decision to come to counseling, so I think it was the help they wanted."
"Other clients realize what they really want is "divorce counselling". What's the best way to behave civilly and minimize damage to the kids while we go our separate ways?"
I think it would be great if divorce counseling were normalized. It would save a lot of people a lot of pain.
"People who approach therapy..."
"People who approach therapy with the idea that they must convince the therapist that they’re right and their partner is wrong. Almost like they’re complaining to a parent or boss to have them sort out the problems."
Pointing out all the things your partner did wrong and demanding that the therapist tell you how to fix it isn't a winning strategy for any relationship.
"Contempt. When I experience true contempt from one in the relationship I know it is usually over. Look towards a peaceful ending at that point if possible."
Ah, contempt! One of the four horsement predictors of divorce!
"When people come in..."
"One of the biggest red flags I see when working with a new couple is when they've totally forgotten the good. Part of relationship therapy is reconnecting a couple with what they like about each other, what initially attracted them to each other, and what the positives are between them."
"When people come in and they've been so unhappy for so long that they actually can't remember what it was like to be in love, or to even like each other, they're just about hopeless."
"You don't have to be happy for therapy to work--but if you can't even reminisce about the good times, then the good times are probably over."
This makes sense. Why did you get together? What did you like about each other? What do you love about each other?
It's important to keep that in mind.
"It erodes trust..."
"Couples in a tit for tat arrangement. For example: I cheated so you can have one night to cheat with whomever. Or I violated your trust and did drugs, you can go out and do whatever for one night. It erodes trust and compounds the hurt."
Yeah... nothing about that behavior is even remotely healthy. People should just leave at that point.
"I most commonly see..."
"Control to an excessive amount. I most commonly see partners having to send pictures holding up a certain number of fingers or proving that it's a live picture. This is abuse."
This is utterly heartbreaking. Hopefully these patients recognized the signs and bailed.
"Overbearing parents and in laws. I understand there's a ton of cultural nuance here, and I work with couples who have arranged marriages, as well as the south Asian community. However, when a spouse is more allied with their parents and calls them on speakerphone for fights, or often speaks ill of their partner to their parents, I usually see these couples stay very unhappily married for years."
Overbearing parents can absolutely threaten a relationship. It's important to remember that your relationship is separate from your parents — and that your partner deserves your love and allegiance.
Knowing how to identify red flags in a relationship is extremely important. In order to address them, you must learn what they look like and why they are so dangerous.
While this list isn't exhaustive, it's definitely a start. It is possible to identify red flags and put an end to toxic relationships before the damage is done.
Have some thoughts of your own? Tell us more in the comments below.