The signs you should stay away from someone usually present themselves loud and clear through abuse and negativity.
Other times, the answer isn’t always clear.
When is the right time to learn how to stay away from people who are bad for you? Is it after they’ve broken your heart, or is it enough to have that itchy feeling that something isn’t right?
If you’re having second thoughts about your crush or need to know if you should leave your current relationship, these warning signs you should stay away from someone can help you decide.
15 Signs you should stay away from someone
There are times your gut feeling has the right advice to offer in staying away from certain people, still, some people can escape from the radar and end up becoming a part of your life. The good news is that there are some red flags that you can look out for to avoid such circumstances. Read this list to enlighten yourself and then learn how to rid yourself of such toxic people altogether.
1. You never enjoy your time together
One of the first signs you should stay away from someone is pretty easy to figure out. Ask yourself: Do I have fun when I’m with this person?
If the answer is no (or if the answer is that you dread spending time with this person), you should take it as a clear sign that it’s time to end things.
2. They’ve shown signs of dangerous behavior
A warning sign it’s time to stay away from him or her should come at the first sign of questionable behavior. Your partner’s issues with anger or substance addictions can put you in danger.
3. Their friends creep you out
Signs you should stay away from someone don’t always have to do with your partner. Sometimes these stay-away signs have to do with the people they’re spending time with.
We usually mirror the behavior of those closest to us, and if your spouse hangs out with questionable people, it may be time to start putting some distance between you two.
4. You feel bad about yourself when you’re together
In a healthy relationship, your partner will leave you feeling great.
A toxic partner will use your looks or talents against you. They may make you feel ugly or useless. Such an unhealthy relationship can leave you feeling inexplicably uneasy or sad. You may even start to feel like you aren’t worthy of their love.
5. They are controlling
Some clear signs you should stay away from someone are displaying controlling behavior, such as dictating where you can go, who you can hang around with, and whether you can hold a job.
6. You complain about them to your friends
It’s natural to vent to friends about relationship frustrations, but this should not be a common occurrence. If you find yourself complaining about your girlfriend or boyfriend more often than you’re singing their praises, it may be a sign that it’s time to stay away from them.
7. They don’t respect boundaries
One of the most obvious signs you should stay away from someone is if they disregard your feelings.
Stay away from people who are disrespectful to your physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries.
8. You stay up thinking, ‘What If?’
Do you ever replay a disagreement you’ve had with your partner in your mind?
We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. We do a play-by-play of all the things we should have said but couldn’t think of at that exact moment. This is normal and healthy.
What isn’t healthy is if you replay an argument you had with your spouse and find yourself wondering, ‘what if things took a turn for the worse?’
What if he tried to hurt me?
What if she spreads a harmful rumor about me?
What if they are only with me for money, my appearance, sex, or my position of power?
Such thoughts are ‘stay away signs’ that you are afraid of your partner and, on some level, are scared for your wellbeing.
9. You make bad decisions around them
Signs you should stay away from someone include feeling like you aren’t your best self when you are together.
Do you find yourself making poor decisions around your boyfriend or girlfriend? Do you do things you would never do if you were with someone else? If so, take it as a sign it’s time to stay away from him or her.
10. They gaslight you
Research shows that gaslighting creates anemotionally damaging power imbalance. It is a form of psychological abuse where an abuser tries to manipulate their victim into believing they are crazy.
If you constantly feel unsure of yourself or your mental state when you are around your spouse, you need to reach out to someone for help.
11. Their group of friends is always changing
Stay away from people who can’t seem to keep their friends.
Drifting away from friends can happen as people grow and change but being with someone who constantly ditches their friends can be troubling.
Such behavior hints at selfish tendencies and commitment issues.
12. It’s all give, and no take
Another one of the big ‘stay away signs’ is if you feel like you’re the one in the relationship doing all the work. Relationships require two people to give of their love, time, and energy. If you’re the only one holding your relationship, it may be time to let it fall.
13. They are inconsistent
Inconsistency is the worst when it comes to relationships.
An inconsistent partner is not something you want in your relationship. You want a partner you can trust and rely on, not someone who cancels plans and lets you down.
If your partner is a flake, take it as one of the big signs you should stay away from someone.
14. Other relationships suffer due to this person
Are your friendships and family relations suffering because of who you’re dating? Do you feel like your spouse decides who you get to hang out with?
Stay away from people who try to ruin your outside relationships. Isolating someone from those closest to them is a common tactic of abusers and is something you should never have to put up with.
15. You know deep down they’re toxic
One of the most evident signs you should stay away from someone is if you feel it in your gut.
A gut feeling should not be ignored. That is your instinct kicking in and telling you that something in your life isn’t right.
If you feel that your spouse is terrible for you, even if you can’t pinpoint exactly what or for what reason, trust it.
How to stay away from people who are toxic
Have you read the signs you should stay away from someone and are convinced that your partner isn’t right for you? If so, now is the time to take action.
But, how do you stay away from people who were once important in your life? It isn’t always easy to do.
Even though you know your spouse is bad for you, you may still love them. Or you may be afraid of how they’ll react once you start pulling away. Either way, you need to stay away from them to protect your mental and physical health.
Tell people what’s going on
If you’re ready to stay away from people who you think have the potential to hurt you, tell someone about your plans.
The University of Windsor’s associate professor in the women’s and gender studies program, Betty Jo Barrett, reports that therisk of domestic homicide is highest when a spouse leaves their partner.
Confide in trusted friends or family about your decision to leave your relationship and, if possible, have someone there with you for protection the day you leave your partner or pack up to move out.
If you don’t have friends or family close by, call the police and explain the situation so that they can send an officer with you to collect your things.
Slowly distance yourself
Start pulling away slowly so that your breakup isn’t too much of a shock to your partner. Don’t respond to their emails or texts. Make plans with other people. Act busy. They’ll start to sense you’re not as into the relationship as you once were (and hopefully take a hint.)
Delete and block them from your phone
Once you’ve removed yourself from your toxic situation, block your ex from your phone. This way, you won’t be tempted to contact them in a moment of weakness.
Block them on social media
Making a clean break means keeping your ex off of your social media. This way, they won’t spot your location in your latest photo and show up unexpectedly to beg for your forgiveness.
The less you know about each other’s lives post-split, the better.
Don’t seek them out
Learning to stay away from her also means banishing yourself from creeping your ex’s socials, too. Successfully stay away from them by avoiding any situations where you might be tempted to text, call, message, or fondly reminisce about the great times you once shared.
Watch this video to know how to remove toxic people from your life.
Avoid social situations where you will be together
Were you invited to a social gathering that you know he’s going to be at? Stay away from him by either declining the invitation or going with a group of friends who will help keep you two separated for the evening.
Get friends involved
As mentioned above, friends are there to get you out of a jam.
Confide in your trusted friends about the ‘stay away signs’ you’ve become aware of, and tell them you want to cut your toxic ex from your life.
Your friends will be able to support you emotionally, potentially give you a place to crash if you are moving out from your ex’s place, and will be there to snatch your phone when you try and text your ex after one too many glasses of wine.
Your spouse should be someone who builds you up and makes you feel loved. When you’re with them, you should feel like you can do anything you set your mind to.
If you’re in the wrong relationship, you’ll know it.
Signs you should stay away from someone include feeling bad about yourself, making poor choices when you’re with this person, and feeling controlled. Having no respect for your boundaries is another sign you should stay away from them.
Learn how to stay away from people who are bad for you by avoiding situations where you might be left alone together and blocking them on your phone and social media.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.