Abuser Red Flag Warnings

Stop AbuseJealous of time or resources you give others:
Gets angry if you spend ‘too much time’ with friends, family, or children.
Always insists that it is ‘a bad time’ for you to talk to family/friends on the phone.
Feels that resources are wasted if given to children.
Gets angry if you do favors for other people or give them things.
Would rather throw something away than give it to someone else.

Is possessive/obsessive:
Demands to know where you are/who you are with at all times.
Insists you wear a beeper/carry a cell phone at all times so you can be summoned when ‘wanted.’
Feels threatened/becomes angry if someone smiles at you or gives you a compliment.
Tries to sit or stand between you and others who speak to you or give you attention.
Is obsessed with pornography or sex.

Is disinterested in or feels threatened by your personal desires or goals:
Finds your hobbies boring, pointless, unproductive, or a waste of time.
Is perpetually uncooperative about attending parties or events that interest you.
Often picks a fight or creates a crisis just before an event that is important to you.
States or implies that your interests should never interfere with spending time with him/her or doing things for him/her.

Is rude or inconsiderate toward you in a self-centered way:
Frequently insists on discussing something with you while you are trying to read, watch television, or talk on the phone.
Expects you to always be the one who answers the door or telephone.
Expects you to drop whatever you are doing whenever summoned.
Interrupts you on a consistent basis while you are talking.
Will rarely, if ever, act to accommodate your convenience or comfort.
Won’t go outside to smoke if smoking physically distresses you.
Will not turn down TV or radio while you are talking.
Is unconcerned and unapologetic if rude behavior is pointed out.

Does not respect your right to make your own decisions:
Insists that all of your decisions affect him/her and, therefore, should always be joint decisions.
Gets angry or hurt if you don’t always take his/her advice.
Criticizes or questions your intelligence and the wisdom of decisions that you make without his/her input.

Considers his/her own logic or intellect to be superior to all others:
Insists that his/her way is always the right way.
Claims that his/her arguments are based on logic or sound evidence and that yours are not.
Places no value on decisions you make based on feelings or intuition.
Believes that any opinion you have is invalid, illogical, hysterical, or selfish.
Is completely intolerant of any criticism of his/her own behavior.
Is confident that his/her employer and/or employees are all defective somehow.
Considers all of your friends to be idiots.

Extremely opinionated and critical of others:
Racist or sexist.
Dogmatic about behavior in others.
Unwilling to tolerate opinions that differ from his/her own.
Has double standards for behavior.
Is rude to all of your family/friends.
Dislikes all of your family/friends.

Has chronic trouble at work:
Is chronically unemployed or changes jobs frequently.
Explains employment setbacks as some sort of victimization.
Always believes that his/her boss treats him/her poorly.
Always believes that his/her co-workers are working against or out
to get him/her.

Disregards laws or social customs that interfere with his/her own
goals or pleasure:

Sees no point in ever observing holidays or giving gifts, even if
these are important to you.
Is disinterested in following family or religious customs, even if
these are important to you.
Believes that people who work hard for a living are “suckers.”
Is scornful of the government or the “system.”
Uses illegal drugs.
Is a heavy drinker.

Is very concerned about his/her public image:
Treats you better in public than in private in order to impress others.
Gets angry at you if he/she believes that you have somehow made him/her look bad to others.
Brags about you or your accomplishments to others, but never compliments you in private.

Attempts to make you jealous or insecure:
Constantly threatens to leave you.
Hints or states that he/she has other lovers waiting on the side.
Compares you to previous lovers.
Admires strangers and compares you to them.
Tells you that no one will ever care about/love/want you the way he/she does.

Is jealous and suspicious:
Falsely accuses you of infidelity.
Insists that friends of the opposite sex are trying to seduce you.
States or implies that you got a job offer or interview because of your appearance or a sexual ‘favor.’
Doesn’t want you to take part in an activity or outing without him/her because you might meet someone else there.

Rushes the relationship:
Pressures you to move in together.
Pressures you to have sex before you are ready.
Proposes marriage too early in the relationship.

Does not respect your privacy:
Reads your diary or journal.
Opens your mail.
Listens in on private conversations.

Manipulates others to achieve his/her goals:
Frequently uses guilt trips.
Says/does things that are dishonest or illegal.
Attempts to coerce you into doing things that make you uncomfortable, that you don’t want (i.e., sex), or that are against the law.
Threatens suicide or homicide if you don’t cooperate with him/her or if you leave him/her.
Lectures you endlessly until you agree.

Is easily angered at others who interfere with his/her activities:
Engages in “Road Rage.”
Has angry reactions/outbursts which are out of proportion to level of inconvenience.

Is intolerant of children or animals:
Will not get up to feed or change the baby.
Is unwilling to have pets or children because of the mess or inconvenience, even if pets are important to you.
Shows preferential treatment between children (especially “natural” vs. “step” children).
Believes that children don’t deserve the level of treatment or support as adults.

Insists that HE/SHE is the victim in the relationship:
Accuses you of being selfish, rude, self-centered, uncooperative, etc.
Claims that you are the one undermining the relationship.
Accuses you of not loving or not caring about him/her.

Lack of empathy:
Inability to put him/herself in another’s shoes.
Unwilling to provide comfort to you unless “blame” clearly lies elsewhere.
Makes minimal effort to care for you or others when sick or injured; all the while complaining about the inconvenience.
Cruel to animals.
Murders animals.
Considers donations to charity/volunteer work a waste.

Unable to acknowledge or respond to pain in you that is not clearly visible:
Turns up TV when you have a headache.
Insists on spicy food when you have an upset stomach.
Expects you to help with chores when you are feeling sick.
Ignores you when you attempt to explain an ailment.

Lack of personal responsibility:
Blames you/others for problems.
Denies saying/doing hurtful things.
Refuses to apologize for wrongdoing.
Apologizes but then repeats hurtful behavior.
Avoids duties, obligations, and debts.

Tears down your self esteem and erodes your confidence:
Tone of voice unreasonably deriding or scornful for the situation.
Questions your ability to do simple things.
Asks you to make a decision and then rejects your decision. Often asking you to decide over again.
Accuses you of being overly sensitive to criticism.
Calls you names.
Repeatedly swears at or in front of you.
Criticizes you openly.

Interferes with or attempts to control your career:
Pressures you to quit or change your job.
Thinks that your employer interferes with your marriage.
Thinks that your co-workers/employer/employees are defective somehow.
Attempts to resolve conflicts you have at work for you.
Seeks to “help you” with your career, and is upset if you don’t cooperate.
Attempts to choose your job or work projects for you.

Punishes you or threatens to punish you for “misbehaving”:
Strands you somewhere.
Gives you the “silent treatment.”
Yells at you.
Lectures you.

Believes that a “discussion” about your relationship is more important than any other obligation or activity:
Makes you late to work or social activities because he/she wants to discuss something.
Picks a fight with you at bedtime and then won’t let you go to sleep for hours.

Beyond verbal abuse – physically acts out:
Throws items or breaks things in anger in front of you, whether at you or not.
Threatens you with or uses a weapon on you.



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