Red flags are real: Don’t pretend when you see them – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

Red flags are real: Don’t pretend when you see them – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha



Red flags are common occurrences that we often ignore.



I heard a quote from Oprah years ago, it has invariably stayed with me since then.



She said: “If someone shows you who they are, believe them.”



If something is questionable within you, do not discount it. Now, I am not sanctioning jumping into conclusions or having dreams and calling all your kids not to travel.


All I am saying is that no one is that smart to keep being incognito all of the time. Something will slip. Those red flags will flash.



I hate that most lessons in life seem to reverberate better when you are older. I am less likely to give people multiple chances to play me over now than I used to be.



People cannot hide who they are all of the time. If you listen and watch closely, you will see what really is. Those are the red flags you see but choose to ignore.


Red flags are real: Don’t pretend when you see them – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha


One of the annoying things about adulthood is realizing that not everyone has your back; that you need to be careful who you allow to get close to you. You are not a teenager with a lifetime ahead of you to correct mistakes and comfortably err. At a certain age, you don’t want to put in time cultivating things that will fall through.


If someone is a consistent liar, its’s one of the red flags to pay attention to. Don’t make excuses for them. Take all that they say with a pinch of salt.


If someone is a serial cheater, that’s another one of those red flags. Do not begin to nurse dreams of sainthood. Know that they will cheat and you cannot change them.



If a colleague keeps undermining you or making moves to make themselves seem better than you at work,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      stay away from any friendship with them. You will win no prizes for seeming maturity of dining with an enemy.


Stay away.


ALSO READ: May we never be one, amen – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha



The problem is that we usually project the things we want from people on them. Refusing to see a person in a way sometimes is about trying to maintain the picture we have of them in our heads. Trying to build realities that aren’t real.



I was having a discussion with several married friends. As you can imagine, the topic came down to side-chicks and what men tell these women.


We talked about several stories we knew. We laughed about how the side-chicks think they understand what is going on in the marriage better than the wife. How they think they know the husbands more than the wives.



Something struck me as we were talking.



I realized that most of the time the side-chicks choose what to believe about these married men; rather than what is available for them to see.


Let me explain.


A man tells you of the bad relationship he has with his wife. How she is horrible in bed. How they can’t connect. Or how he treats her like a princess and she treats him like dirt.


The side-chick already believes the wife is horrible.


So, if you hate being with your wife so much, why won’t you leave her?


The man will say how it will affect the kids. How it will affect the church they attend. How the wife is dependent on him, etc. etc.


The side-chick now sees the hapless helpless man who is inside a terrible relationship; who no longer loves his wife but cannot leave. She feels for him. She even becomes his oasis. Where he comes to drink in the water of peace and lick the nectar of her amazing unique femininity so that he can go back and survive his wife.



I laugh!


ALSO READ: My brother, my sister, Time will show you pepper – Abiodun Kuforiji Nkwocha



But what are the facts?



The fact is that the man is very much married.



The fact is that his relationship with his wife still serves a purpose in his life.



Red flags are real: Don’t pretend when you see them – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha


And the fact is that he is not leaving his marriage… hell, he even said it.


The fact is that he is oscillating between two women. One who is publicly acknowledged as his partner and the other who is a secret; complete with hotel hook-ups and deleted WhatsApp messages.


There is no helpless man that is trapped in a forbidden love. If a man really wants to leave a woman, he will leave her plus the children. If he really wants to be with the side-chick, he will be with her. Some men have done it. (Please note that promotion from side-chick to wife is not as common as people think.)



So, tell me how you will be seeing a situation exactly as it is and still choose to give yourself another explanation.



I had a trusted employee betray me once. It was devastating. Theft was involved. The person was caught red-handed.



But the person kept crying and begging.



I was torn. This employee had been faithful for over two years. Should I take this one mishap to make a harsh decision?



But I realized that purpose of the quote I started this article with was not so that people cut off from each other at the slightest infraction.



When people show you who they are, believe it and keep this as knowledge. Don’t sweep a red flag under a carpet and pretend it does not exist. Let this knowledge guide you on how you handle this person.



Proceed as an informed person.



You cannot wish your fantasies on people.



You cannot even change them.



When they show you who they are, take them like that and treat them accordingly.



This life can be complicated sha.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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