today it’s gonna be a little more personal. there’s something i’ve noticed recently, and when i was sitting at breakfast with arian this morning i had the urge to write it down. have you ever felt like there are patterns with people in your lives? a certain personality type that always seems to enter your world every couple of years? in my case, it’s not the best personality match for me…but it keeps coming back. and it’s funny because this year i realized that i am not properly learning from my mistakes. well, that’s not actually that funny.


i think as we get older we have more of a “red flag” censor that goes off in our minds when you meet someone that could potentially be trouble for you. that gut feeling when something just doesn’t feel right. it’s essentially up to us if we choose to listen to that warning. each time i get a little smarter and think to myself “this is probably not a good idea to get close to this person or work on this project.” but in the end, i’ve still been ignoring that red flag and hoping for the best.

so i start to wonder, are these people or projects being put in front of me as a test? will the life lessons finally set in and cause me to make better decisions when faced with this in the future? i hope so. do you know the red flag i’m referring to? the one that usually ends up being exactly right? girls are cool like that. intuition. lesson hopefully learned: trust your gut.

(photo here)


Add your own

    Kate says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I’ve learned to trust my gut, to a certain extent…I almost never LOVE new people so I try to stay open, but if someone gives me a bad vibe (not just a nervous I-don’t-know-you feeling) it’s always been right. I think a big problem is that some people write it off as judgemental-ness, and so we try to ignore our gut because we’re supposed to be accepting. It’s a tough balance between accepting that you might have to be around someone who gives you a bad feeling/do something that you’re not crazy about, versus convincing yourself that someone should be your BFF.

    maggie says:

    I needed to see this today – thanks!!!

    Allison Ramsey says:

    So true Bri… my husband and I both have strong gut feelings about things, and it’s learning process getting used to trusting yourself. It gets stronger as you get older. But it is true, always listen to your heart and your gut. They’re usually right. 🙂

    Rose says:

    I have this problem . I don’t trust people. I recently had a woman show up out of nowhere and want to be my BFF. My reaction to her was so strong that I had a full blown anxiety attack and then came down with shingles. I have never had this happen before.

    Sara Kate says:

    So needed to read this. This is something I’ve been working on being conscious of, as I seem to have had the same problem over the past few years. Nice to know it’s not just me.

    Erin says:

    Wow, your post could not be more appropriate for my life right now. I ended a huge relationship over this past weekend because of gut feelings I could no longer ignore. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do by far, but at the same time I feel like an enormous weight that I’ve been carrying around for so long has been lifted. I’ve learned that no matter how long you try to push your gut feelings aside, there’s a reason they never go away. Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best ones in the long run. Just stay true to yourself! Best of luck! xx

    Rose says:

    I am curious how everyone ends these relationships.. Do you cut them off and just stop responding? Do you tell them you don’t want to be their friend? Or do you let it drift???

    Natasha says:

    Mostly I just feel like I shouldn’t leave my laptop in the living room because if it gets stolen I’ll wish I’d put it away.

    bri says:

    rose. for me, i have found the best way is to let them drift apart. not cause a scene, or more anxiety. i do my best to establish personal or professional boundaries and move on from there. sometimes it’s messy but most of the time it works.

    joanna says:

    its a crappy “i told you so” moment in your head. the worst. remember the feeling you’re having right now next time your gut goes wild! you’ll know what to do.

    i had a moment like this two years ago right after i got married and moved in with my husband for the first time. a girl who lived upstairs from us and who had been spending a lot of time with my husband before i moved in, wanted to be my best friend. i was totally weary of her and turns out, for good reason. i won’t get in to details, but i had to call the phone company and block her from contacting either of us again. i definitely learned to always trust my gut!

    aly says:

    Thank you for this post. I definitely have this problem and I always ignore the feeling. Every few years I meet that super fun, over the top friend, the one who is always so interesting and the life of the party and makes you feel so great, but it always ends badly. They always hurt me and it wasn’t until the most recent one that I really noticed the similarities between these 3 or 4 friends who have come and gone over the last 8 years. My boyfriend is a lot better at seeing these girls for what they are right from the start, and I think I’m going to start trusting not only my gut but his from now on.

    Megan says:

    I saved this exact same graphic on my computer a few days ago. This same sentiment has been running through my head a lot lately. Lesson is LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!

    richele says:

    yep, it’s a test.

    did you learn the lesson last time? let’s SEE if you did. >>> if not, the ante is upped, the consequences a little larger.

    when you learn it though… and you pass the test…. the rewards are extra good.

    That’s my experience with it.

    Amy says:

    Hi Bri, I have noticed this same pattern in my life. Have you read any books by Harville Hendrix? He has a theory that we subconsciously seek out the same types again and again until we can learn what we need to, heal, etc. Simply by becoming aware of the pattern and also your own initial intuitive response, you are already doing some of that learning and healing. So in a weird way you can feel encouraged. 🙂 Take care, Amy

    Rebecca says:

    I always seem to attract some pretty flaky people every few years. Which is my major pet peeve so I’m not sure why but even though the warning flag goes up quicker it still is difficult to extract yourself from the situation; so I totally get what you’re saying. The last time it happened I’d been going back and forth about what to do and finally I saw the quote “stop leaping over oceans for people who wouldn’t cross a puddle for you.” And it clicked and I didn’t feel as badly removing myself. I know you’re frustration though – you’re not alone!!

    I do the same thing-I think I forget and then need to learn the lesson again.

    Sofia says:

    I just wrote about trusting your intuition today on my blog! The ONE time I didn’t follow my gut it totally blew up in my face. http://thebestofsofia.com/the-12-month-absence/

    One thing about these reoccurring situations I think, for me is that they show up again and again until I’ve learned the lesson and conquered whatever I was dreading learning. Then what usually happens is the same situation presents itself either with the same people and or different people and I can see it a mile away now and I notice it sooner and already instinctively know that they’re not people I can relate to I as used to. I also realize I’m not willing to put up with things I put up with in the past so I care for myself better by honoring my intuition and allowing my gut feelings to guide away from people who don’t mesh with me. Great post Bri!

    Kiriko says:

    Totally! My pattern though is being totally blindsided by crazy behavior from people I get really close to, and I have no gut warning in advance. I have really strong intuition about other things, but when I get hurt it’s because my spidey sense didn’t pick anything up until it was too late! How do I change this?

    In retrospect I’ve noticed that another pattern is that these people were all totally unrelated to the rest of my social network. The areas where my social connection is more like a web, where my friends know each other, these things haven’t happened. Maybe it’s the accountability. Hmmm! Thanks for the food for thought Bri!

    Amanda says:

    This is so crazy because someone just contacted me today about working together on a web project and I immediately had that red flag, proceed with caution feeling… they were referred to me by a client I really hated working for. I’m taking the meeting, but I’m going to try really hard to remember how bad I’ve been burned and that it might not be worth it. Thanks Bri!

    Laina says:

    Amen, sister. I know this “red flag” theory all too well and have had major epiphanies recently in regards to them showing up all over my personal life. It’s one of the hardest things to work through, as I’m initially a trusting soul with an insistent voice in my ear saying, “well, nobody is perfect”. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Cheers to us recognizing the red flags and eventually kicking them to the curb the next time they pop up!

    Alanna says:

    I have this problem in romantic relationships – my first serious (ex-)boyfriend just got engaged and while initially I was a little jealous over the news, the reason we ended things was because I knew in my gut it wasn’t right. I’ve fallen into the same trap with similar guys since but it’s something I’m still working on!

    Josefina says:

    Totally know what you’re referring to! I do believe the older we get the better we become at paying attention to those red flags. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I completely identify with everything you wrote! Glad to know I am not alone.

    I TOTALLY have the red flag. I don’t always listen to it thought which is horribly silly. I guess sometimes I just think that in the past things have fallen apart because of me and that maybe now it’s the type of situation that I can take control of and handle better. But, no. Some people are just not meant to mash up.

    erica says:

    you always have to go with your gut! for the readers: if you read “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker, it explains how your gut instinct works and how you can use it to never be fearful again. i talked myself out of suicidal depression using the logic in this book, it’s amazing. bravo!

    Claire says:

    LOVE your personal posts 🙂

    amen, sista!

    I think it’s also the fact that some personalities are drawn to each other for some reason, but you’re right about trusting your gut. Our brains run on defult position 80% of the time. I like to think intuition is our other 20% screaming and banging against the glass to be heard. You should definitely lsten to that 20%!

    Love your personal posts 🙂 x

    Jenny says:

    Wow! This post is scary on point! I recently started a decorating bizness and a friend whom I had known for years and had a rocky friendship with asked me to help decorate her whole apartment. I agreed to it because I thought it would be a good opportunity for me. I worked on the project tirelessly for 5 months. It was a 5 month “stress ball” I ended the project over the weekend as well as our friendship. I was dissapointed but felt a huge sense of relief and self respect. Thanks for sharing this Bri 🙂

    Olivia says:

    Well, I guess that is one part of beeing grown up. To look after yourself, take care of yourself. I do it that way:

    If I feel bad after beeing with somebody I don´t try be closer, don´t seek closeness. I don´t judge it, I just go my way. Do I feel, free and generally good with friends, family and business partners on, I know that´s write for me (yeah, I know some times can´t choose).

    I had to understand that I don´t need to get along with everybody, don´t need to be liked by everybody. There is no pressure. It is my free will to share time and the free will of everybody to share time with my.
    Trust your gut is great.

    I hope I my translation in english is nod too bad and a little understandable : )

    Good luck from Bavaria

    This reminds me of the intro to Sex in the City. Intuition is a powerful thing

    Noor says:

    I am sure all your friends are wondering is it me? lol For me I am pretty picky about my friends and usually know right off if I like them or not.

    I am aware of red flags and I try to look out for them when choosing clients to work with and when picking friends.

    Oh, yes! I’m not great at identifying the patterns, but I am getting better at recognizing when people shouldn’t be a part of my world. As a chronic people-pleaser, it’s tough for me to not try to love everyone, but sometimes you have to accept that sometimes people are just too different, and not everyone will jive with the way you want to live your life.

    shayna says:

    I think it’s called wisdom, that naturally comes with age.

    Roxy B says:

    This is the story of my life! As always I hope for the best but almost like clockwork the red flag rears its ugly head. The worst part is I get the same feeling for situations for my friends and they think Im crazy when I make them aware of the unease. I feel awful if I don’t tell them what I am feeling cause 99% it becomes reality & I would rather save them the pain.

    dee says:

    bri i love your personal blog posts. i can always relate. thanks for the reminder to listen to the signs. =)

    Maggie says:

    Great advice, thanks!

    Tori says:

    This is such a great post Bri. Thank you. It is so bizarre how certain people come into your life. And I agree it is totally a test to see if you’re learning. So I am one that always trusts my gut and it never fails me.

    Much love, http://www.myomlife.com/

    nora says:

    What a great post, and I can imagine so timely for many readers. Especially in the creative field, people around you have such an influence on you work. Now in the last year of my twenties am I not just learning to – but actually going – with my gut feeling. Pretty freeing, no?

    Carly says:

    It’s a 27 thing. Things make so much more sense and you definitely question yourself a lot less after 30 😉

    katie says:

    I’ve recently spent a lot of time reflecting on this topic. I am a small business owner and have learned that above all, its important to go with your gut. its a hard move to make because you never want to pass up on opportunity because you just never know how things will turn out. but its taken me many sleepless nights and anxiety-filled days to realize if I dont feel comfortable in the initial stages, its just not worth taking a chance. thanks for bringing up the subject, Bri…always nice to hear when others are facing the same business issues

    Jodey says:

    Like everyone else commenting I to agree with trusting your gut. I guess we all know with in an instant our answers to decisions however we ponder over the positives and negatives of a situation. Until we have come to a complete stressed out situation. But if we all trusted our guts more we would make a choice faster, and 90% of the time make the right choice within an instance.
    I live and breathe by my gut decisions as I think instincts are more important than logic.

    Jodey says:

    I forgot to mention I love the graphic 🙂

    Ashley says:

    I know this exact Red Flag personality type in my life and just went through the second unnecessarily dramatic “break up” in one year, just because I didn’t recognize and take the proper steps and set up the proper boundaries. Good revelation.

    I know what you mean. I’ve also started to classify people in general because I’m a ‘travel nurse’ now I’m meeting a lot of people. I also know the red flags for those individuals and maybe this isn’t healthy but I’ve made it my mission to ‘win them over’ And luckily, I’m pretty good at it. I’ve turned enemies into really good friends not that it’s always a possibility or something you even want!

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