Dismissing Red Flags Ruined My Life For Years— Here’s How I Now Spot Red Flags Like a Pro:

For years, I spent hurting in relationships, workplaces, and friendships by putting up with toxic people. It caused me a lot of pain because I felt lonely and unfulfilled. One day, I had enough and left my toxic relationship and began my healing journey. During it, I learned that toxic people all have the same traits that can be identified in the very beginning.


Here are the 5 most comment red flags I look for:

  • Disrespect: If the other person is consistently disrespectful or inconsiderate of your feelings, boundaries, or needs, this is a red flag. This may include things like talking down to you, belittling your ideas, or ignoring your requests.
  • Dishonesty: If the other person is not being honest with you, this is a red flag. This may include things like lying, withholding information, or gaslighting (manipulating you into doubting your perception of reality).
  • Controlling behavior: If the other person is trying to control you or your actions, this is a red flag. This may include things like telling you what to wear, who to spend time with, or how to spend your money.
  • Lack of accountability: If the other person is not willing to take responsibility for their actions or their mistakes, this is a red flag. This may include things like blaming others, making excuses, or denying wrongdoing.
  • Negativity: If the other person is consistently negative or critical, this is a red flag. This may include things like complaining, blaming, or being pessimistic.

By paying attention to these red flags, you can protect yourself from unhealthy or toxic relationships, friendships, or work environments. If you notice any of these red flags, it is important to trust your instincts and take action to protect yourself.


Why people dismiss red flags:

  1. Denial: People may ignore red flags in others because they do not want to believe that there is a problem or that something is wrong. This can be especially common when the red flags are related to difficult or unpleasant topics, such as addiction or abuse.
  2. Lack of awareness: People may not recognize red flags in others because they do not have enough information or knowledge about the situation. For example, they may not know the signs of a certain mental health condition or they may not be aware of the warning signs of a toxic relationship.
  3. Wishful thinking: People may ignore red flags in others because they are hoping that the problem will go away or that things will get better on their own. This can be especially common when the red flags are related to someone they care about, such as a friend or family member.
  4. Fear: People may ignore red flags in others because they are afraid of the consequences of acknowledging the problem or taking action. This can be especially common when the red flags are related to something intimidating or uncertain, such as a difficult conversation or a potential confrontation.

How to recognize red flags:

  1. Pay attention to your instincts. If you have a gut feeling that something is not right in a relationship, friendship, or workplace, pay attention to this feeling. Your instincts are often based on unconscious cues and observations, and they can be a valuable source of information.
  2. Notice patterns of behavior. Look for patterns of behavior that are concerning or that do not align with your values or expectations. For example, if someone is consistently disrespectful, unreliable, or dishonest, this may be a red flag.
  3. Pay attention to how you feel. Notice how you feel when you are around the person or in the workplace. If you consistently feel anxious, uncomfortable, or drained, this may be a red flag.
  4. Look for warning signs of abuse or manipulation. Be aware of warning signs of abuse or manipulation, such as controlling behavior, jealousy, or verbal or physical aggression. If you notice these behaviors, this is a red flag and you should seek help and support.
  5. Write down what you feel. If you are unsure at the moment, write it down and check back on it later if it comes up again or ask someone what they think. This also ensures you don’t forget what you noticed.
  6. Seek advice from others. If you are unsure about whether something is a red flag, consider seeking advice from others who are close to you or who have more experience in the situation. They may be able to provide a different perspective or valuable insights.

Red flags are warning signs that indicate potential problems or issues in a relationship, friendship, or workplace. These red flags can be subtle or overt, and they can be difficult to spot, especially if you are not looking for them. But you be cautious about protecting your energy because that is the most valuable thing you have. The people around you have a profound impact on your well-being and success.

HOW TO SET Better boundaries

Does anyone else feel like the phrase ‘boundaries’ is trending? There’s always a new self-care / self-help focus that everyone’s talking about and all I’m hearing about lately is boundaries. Which got me thinking about my own.

To me, having boundaries means that you know when to let people/events/commitments into your life, and more importantly, when to NOT let them into your life. For the most part, I feel like I’ve conquered boundaries as an adult but there’s always room for improvement. Here are my thoughts on boundaries + what I do to respect my own:


+ Wait to respond

Anyone who has my cell number will tell you that I’m bad at texting, but I disagree. If I think about it from a boundaries perspective, I’m good at text boundaries.

Yes, it might mean I’m not always quick to respond but that’s because I’m choosey about when and how I respond. Everyone thinks they deserve a response (or need to give one) within a matter of minutes these days and IMO, that’s not realistic or healthy. Sometimes I get texts but I’m focused on school, work, emails, writing a blog post, or am with the family, so I won’t respond. Sometimes I get texts but I’m scrolling TikTok or Amazon and having my time, and I won’t respond right away. Sometimes texts I get are unnecessary or don’t necessarily need a response, so I don’t respond…ever. Which is OKAY!

This doesn’t mean I don’t care about the person texting me or what they’re saying, it means I have boundaries. I like to reply to text messages when I want to when I have the time, and when I’m not trying to be present with my family. 99.9% of the time, a text can wait until you’re at peace to respond. If it’s an emergency, they’ll call.

Try waiting to respond, whether it’s a text or email or whatever until you’re in the right mindset to respond. Or if you can’t help yourself, turn on Airplane mode so that you’re not tempted. This not only helps your peace of mind but sets up boundaries around when / how you respond. It also trains people to know that they can’t expect an immediate response from you (which I think is healthy!).

+ Get comfortable with saying ‘no’

Saying ‘yes’ out of habit or guilt is probably the number one reason why boundaries are broken. I fall for this, especially with the guilt part, but I’m usually able to say ‘no’ without feeling bad about it. Especially if I break down the honest reason behind why I need to say no. For example, ‘I’d love to attend but I need to be there for my mom, my aunt is having another episode or my mom just needs it, so I can’t make it. Hope the event is a success!’ Or, ‘This sounds like a great opportunity. I’m unfortunately feeling overwhelmed with my commitments right now so I’ll have to pass, but I’d love to stay in touch.’

 + Learn your boundaires

If you have no clue whether you have boundaries or not, learn about them. Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential podcast had a sought-after boundaries relationship expert on her show a while back so I’m linking that episode here. The expert happened to be Licensed Therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab, MSW, LCSW, author of bestsellers Drama Free and Set Boundaries Find Peace. She has practiced relationship therapy for 15 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice, Kaleidoscope Counseling.

Nedra has appeared as an expert on Red Table TalkThe Breakfast ClubGood Morning America, and CBS Morning Show to name a few. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Vice, and has appeared on numerous podcasts, including The School of Greatness, We Can Do Hard Things, and Ten Percent Happier. Tawwab runs a popular Instagram account where she shares practices, tools, and reflections for mental health and relationships.

Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential and the boundary licensed expert walks you through difficult boundary conversations, how to deal with setting your boundaries, etc.


Here are more boundary tips with valuable talking points:


+ Voice them

I’m not great at voicing my feelings but I will speak up if I feel like my boundaries are being violated. This year, I felt like I was getting requests from family, friends, my partner, and from work. It was all too much. It felt overwhelming and like everywhere I turned, work was waiting and people constantly calling my name for everything. I spoke up and set some specific boundaries around work (like ‘no, I can not come on a Saturday my time off to help set up another classroom graduation) ( oh, it is mandatory for all teachers well that was never said when hiring me and I am just now finding out about it, so NO). And it was as easy as that. If someone had the same request, you better believe I’d respect their boundaries.

I’m sure we all have blurred boundaries with work, especially since most jobs don’t end when you ‘leave the office’. I suggest setting up boundaries so that your team/boss / whoever knows when and how to reach you (within reason, of course). Certain people I work with even put their availability in their email signature so it’s a clear reminder of their boundaries. You can also set offline notifications on most communication platforms like Slack or whatever, so utilize those.

Some boundaries are more sensitive than others. For example, in-laws or your parents stopping by unannounced 5x a week or a bitchy boss who thinks she owns your life. These cases will probably require you to write out the WHY behind your request for a boundary…and things might be awkward. But in the end, most of these convos are never as bad as we assume them to be. Be assertive and kind, and if they don’t understand, that’s on them.


+ Get alone time

As someone in their mid 20’s who works full time, goes to school full time, and is a caretaker to family members, I have zero physical boundaries in my life, which I LOVE at times, and it’s also overwhelming AF. There are days when I don’t shower, go to the bathroom, or sit alone for even 5 minutes. Add in having a partner who has all these needs and trauma. So I will feel touched out physically. When I feel like this, I know I need alone time ASAP, so I try to work it into the following day. There’s something about being alone and no one needing you physically or emotionally for even 30 minutes that can seriously help.

+ Trust your gut

I’m huge on following my intuition or gut in all situations, and it can help with boundaries. Whether you’re questioning if you’re the one overstepping on someone’s boundaries OR if someone is overstepping yours, your gut usually knows what’s up.

Do you have set boundaries in your life?

7 THINGS You’re Probably Forgetting Before a Date

Modern dating is one of the single people circles of hell, and this is a hill we will die on. But since it’s a thing that many people do, us included, we thought we’d try to make the process a bit better by sharing some hard-won tips. Here, are seven things you’re probably forgetting before a date.


3 good convo starters

Statistically speaking the conversation will, at some point, peter off into an awkward silence. Have a few things at the ready to help resuscitate it. 

An easy out

In case those convo starters don’t work. Or your date brings up NFTs. 

A razor

Raise your hand if you’re part of the “decided to forgo shaving before a date as a deterrent to sleeping with said date, but it didn’t stop you and now you’re in their bathroom using a questionable razor you found on the counter as quickly as possible, so they don’t think you’re pooping” crew. (JK, but not really.)

Tell someone where you are

Because ending up on an episode of Dateline is not the endgame here. 


A phone that’s not at 10 percent battery 

A gentle reminder to charge your phone! 

Focus on whether or not you like them

Not whether or not they like you. 

Your chill

See above tip. Also, this is especially applicable on a first date—as clichéd as it is, try not to put so much pressure on the date.


The content provided in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that BeautyLeeBar, LLC (“BLB”) is not engaged in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. You understand and agree that BeautyLeeBar shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article.

Woman on top sex position advice from men who share how to ride dick

Woman-on-top (or ‘Cowgirl’, or ‘The Rider’) is a classic sex position if you are a woman or have a vagina, and are sleeping with a man or someone with a penis (or someone wearing a strap-on). As most women and vagina-owners can’t orgasm through penetration alone, this position is great because you can get extra stimulation either through grinding your clitoris as you ride away, or manually stimulating your clit with your fingers/a partner’s fingers/a vibrator.

But, if you’re an over-thinker like me (this is amplified tenfold when naked and having sex), it’s hard to know exactly what to do when you’re up there. Do what feels good for you. But remember, the best sex happens when both partners are having the time of their lives. Here, some guys on Reddit give their tips for how to ride dick in a way that’s enjoyable for everyone involved. If you’re ever in doubt, remember the golden rule: talk about it and talk about it honestly and openly.


1. “I like when she gets on top and tries her best to make herself cum. It gets me so turned on to see her take command of her orgasmic destiny. This is also the most common way for my wife and me to cum together.” [via]

2. “Don’t bounce too high… speed isn’t always the best. Going slow. Also, getting the right angle is important. Ask which angle feels the best.” [via]

3. “Use my chest for leverage.” [via]

4. “Use your hips, not your legs. Also, getting into a squat, on your hands and feet, that’s extremely hot. And don’t forget to lean in and kiss us now and then.” [via]


5. “This might be overly general advice because it goes for everyone in most sex positions, but keep an eye on [your partner’s] reactions to what you’re doing. Both noises and facial expressions. If a particular speed, rhythm, or angle is working for them you should be able to see it in their face and possibly hear it.” [via]

6 .”Press their hands to your boobs while grinding them. It’s really hot!” [via]

7. “While it feels really good for you to just grind your hips on them while they’re inside, they generally need some extra movement to build through friction for them to get off. Also, the further you bounce up the higher the risk you bend the penis wrong and kill the erection.” [via]

8. “No matter what you think you look like, you don’t need to be self-conscious. We are loving it, and we think you look hot as hell.” [via]

9. “Don’t be self-conscious about what you look like, but seeing you grind and moan is hot. We love that shit. Speaking of grinding, I love it when she grinds on my dick more so than thrusting.” [via]

10. “Focus on getting yourself off. We’re just glad to be there.” [via]

11. “Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish when you’re on top. This is a position where you have more control. Use it to your advantage. If you want them to feel good, but a little vertical movement to it and allow their hands to roam.” [via]

12. “If you are riding someone, don’t try to lift off so far that just the tip is in you. In my experience, it is really hard to maintain that stopping point when both of y’all really get into it. Try to just lift off half his length in your enthusiasm you’ll probably get most of the way off him but the chance of going too far is reduced.” [via]

13. “Your best bet is: communicate better about what you both want.” [via]

14. “The best cowgirl I’ve ever had came from a girl who could salsa. The best feeling comes from amazing hip control. Smooth, powerful, rhythmic movements.” [via]

15. “Get on. Close your eyes if you need to, just lose yourself, vibrate back and forth as I guide your hips, and gush all over my cock. Also, if you are struggling with maneuverability issues during your first times together, reverse cowgirl is a great interim step, both physically and psychologically since eye contact isn’t a factor.” [via]


16. “You should also be honest with each other and not just yourself. Switching positions if you’re getting tired is better than carrying on until you literally can’t do it anymore and it just becomes a pathetic attempt to get to the finish line that fails miserably. We go from cowgirl to missionary, to sitting and back to cowgirl for the big finish. If you need a break, take one.” [via]

17. “If it’s uncomfortable or awkward for you chances are they’re not enjoying it. 50% of my pleasure comes from knowing my wife is having a good time and it’s easy to pick up when your partner isn’t enjoying it.” [via]

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