Last week I came across and shared, a document entitled 12 Relationship Green Flags. I had heard of relationship red flags but I thought this was kind of a neat spin on the concept. My wife then encouraged me to enlarge on the idea and together we expanded the list to include relationship red, and yellow flags as well, to help couples situate their relationship and then, if needed, make different choices.
I sometimes ask couples, when they first come into the office, to rate their relationship in the areas of: 1) safety – (physical safety has to be a given in a conscious relationship, this is about emotional and psychological safety), 2) connection and 3) full aliveness, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best and 1 not so good. In line with that, we are suggesting that a rating of 1-4 would put a relationship in the red flag zone with the relationship needing immediate help. 5-8 would put it in the yellow flag zone indicating that some work is needed. 9-10 is the green flag zone where I believe all relationships can reside all, or certainly most, of the time.
So how would you rate your relationship in those three areas? And if you are not at a 9 or 10 what would help you get there and stay there? As I have said many times, the tools are available in today’s world to have the relationship of your dreams.
Here are a couple of the Green Flags from the original document with our additions of Yellow and Red flags.
Green flag – the communication is clear and safe.
Yellow flag – You sometimes wonder how you got to this point in your relationship. (A good time to start coaching).
Red flag – Mired in the power struggle. You question whether you made the right decision to be in this relationship at all. You are second guessing yourself.
Green flag – communicate openly and safely
Yellow flag – Need practice. Sometimes afraid to bring up issues – need to test the water before embarking on a conversation
Red flag – Shut down or escalation of any attempt to communicate.
Green flag – you feel safe and secure just being together, just hanging out.
Yellow flag – It doesn’t always feel safe just to be around one another
Red flag – Anxious and stressed with each other. You feel like you are walking on eggshells.