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Old 03-20-2019, 07:00 AM   #1
Arbie
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Default Not-so-obvious warning signs

We've had threads on spotting warning signs that a person may be abusive. What are some that most people may not think of, or recognize as a red flag?

I read somewhere that many abusers tend to be fast walkers.

I've had experience with that. The problem is not *just* that they walk fast. It's that they expect you to run to keep up, and they *will not* slow down for you, even if you're out of breath and your legs are starting to burn and twitch. They'll leave you in the dust if the light at the crosswalk turns green and you're still half a block behind. Call out to them to wait for you, and they'll only yell at you for being so slow. If you have trouble stepping down off a steep curb, or even if you trip and fall somewhere, they may stop to help you, but they're going to say something critical while they're doing it.

That lack of concern for you is where the red flag is.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

Thanks for this thread, Arbie! I want to know the subtle signs so next time I can run in the opposite direction BEFORE I get too involved and the damage is done.

It's much easier to stay away than to get away, because once you form a bond, they hold it against you if you distance yourself.

One of the subtle signs I noticed is lack of personal space. They stand uncomfortably too close to you and lock eyes with you (when do they blink??) like they are sucking you into the conversation. Now, I am not saying that everyone who stands too close and locks eyes with you are abusive. But if you see other abusive symptoms along with it, this could be a form of mental isolation.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

How about people who continually interrupt and overtalk you? That's signaling that what you have to say isn't important.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbie View Post
How about people who continually interrupt and overtalk you? That's signaling that what you have to say isn't important.
Again, if that is accompanied with other abusive signs, that is probably what it means. I've met a non-abusive person who kept interrupting because she was hyperactive and couldn't regulate her behavior well.

My abuser was a good listener for the following reasons (this is from the article on Psychology Today):


"Let You Speak First to Establish Your Baseline and Look for Weaknesses

Many sales people do this when they prospect you. By asking you general and probing questions, they establish a baseline about your thinking and behavior, from which they can then evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. This type of questioning with hidden agenda can also occur at the workplace or in personal relationships."

14 Signs of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation | Psychology Today

Of course, not all good listeners are abusers. But I think if they are asking personal questions too early in the relationship, that could be a warning sign.

With interruptions, if they never interrupt others but only interrupt you; or if they are dismissive of your feelings, that's a big red flag. Usually, non-abusive people who interrupt apologizes later and say, "I'm sorry, I just get so excited sometimes." But an abusive person will have this big attitude and act as if he is entitled to interrupt you.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

Thanks for this thread
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

Pretending to be interested in, or experts at, things they've heard you say you like. Then it turns out they know nothing about it whatsoever.

I went on a date once with a man who had claimed to be a professional singer and guitarist in a local band. He had read in my singles ad that I enjoyed music. I come from a family of musicians, and had also been married to one.

Sidebar lesson: Probably not a good idea to go to a guy's apartment on the first date. 1.) When I got there, he claimed that the reason he had no guitar was because it was in the repair shop being restrung. Any professional would own more than one instrument, for just such a reason. Something happens to the one they normally play, they've got a backup at the ready. 2.) Any guitarist worth HALF a darn can restring his own instrument in a few minutes. It's less complicated than putting new laces in your shoes. You wouldn't need a shoe repair shop to do that, would you? 3.) When he sang along with the radio, he was absolutely tone deaf. 4.) At one point, he insisted that no, it is impossible, it is never done, you *cannot* change the key in the middle of a song. It's called "modulation," and it happens all the time. Anybody who makes a living playing music would know that.

That's not even all that was wrong. Obviously this guy was no musician, and no, his intentions were not innocent. I never saw him again.

So to recap, watch if they're blatantly wrong about something they claim expertise in.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbie View Post
Pretending to be interested in, or experts at, things they've heard you say you like. Then it turns out they know nothing about it whatsoever.
Unless they are going along with your hobby out of politeness, pretending to be interested in something you like is a sign of insincerity. Definitely a red flag.

I wish I could turn back the time and get away from insincere people but all I could do is move forward with my mistakes (lesson learned!) and take every measure never to fall into the same trap again--ever.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Not-so-obvious warning signs

A couple of years ago I met someone I thought would be a nice friend and opened up to her a little bit. I noticed right away she enjoys hearing about the hardships of others. It made me uncomfortable. I continued to be friendly when I saw her but I closed off and never shared anything of significance with her ever again. I later realized she comes from an incredibly toxic family where there is a lot of abuse. I never quite figured out her role in that abusive family as I didn’t want to be close to her.
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

Here is a thorough article about Why Narcissists make Positive Impressions on everyone.

Why Do Narcissists Make Positive First Impressions? | Psychology Today
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Old 04-08-2019, 02:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Not-so-obvious warning signs

I think sense of humor has been mentioned in similar threads, but here's how it relates to the "not so obvious" part of it.

Notice what categories of things they think are funny. For instance, does their idea of joking usually involve making fun of somebody, or putting another person down?

I can't remember details but my ex and I once read a magazine article together. Subject was how you can't always go by how you feel. Author and his wife had both been down with a bug but she continued to feel awful while he just had a nagging leftover cough. He took her to the doctor. While there, the doctor heard him cough and insisted on examining him too. Well, it turned out she had a bad cold, but he had pneumonia. Husband who felt fine was put on bed rest, and wife who felt terrible was instructed to bring him his meals in bed.

And didn't ex think that was just SO funny.

Remember the book Clan of the Cave Bear? In that Neanderthal society, a woman had to kneel at a man's feet and get his permission to speak to him. Until he acknowledged her by tapping her shoulder, she wasn't allowed a word.

And didn't ex think that was just SO funny.

Maybe it should have been more obvious. He was making it clear what he thought of women and their roles in relation to men. But of course, if I'd listened to my gut instinct, there would have been that "Oh, lighten up. It's only a joke."
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