Seeing the Good in People Doesn’t Mean You Should Ignore Red Flags

By Rachel Puryear

Throughout life, we are encouraged to see the best in other people. Looking at people’s better sides is lauded as reflecting maturity and compassion. And certainly, we all want ourselves to be viewed through a forgiving lens.

Indeed, there is maturity and compassion in our efforts to appreciate the good qualities of others – especially when these efforts help us get past our own prejudices.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean you should place anyone on a pedestal, or blind yourself to behaviors that raise genuine concern.

When it comes to deciding who to trust and rely on, it’s fair look at others in a balanced way – it’s also the conscientious and safe thing to do.

Two women having a conversation, while one is looking skeptically at the other. By Mimi Thian.

People frequently break off relationships that aren’t working for them. Often, this is a necessary thing to do. People sometimes also regret ending relationships. (About 10% of divorces eventually end in remarriages (between the originally divorced partners. This is a testament to the complexity – and at times impermanency – of breakups and reunions.)

People who break up and then get back together frequently – as lovers, friends, or otherwise – often have strong attraction and feelings for one another, but also have high levels of conflict and frustration between them. The former keeps bringing them back together, while the latter keeps driving them apart yet again.

It’s more of an art than a science to determine who’s good for you in the long run, who you should keep in your life only for the short run or for specific purposes, and who you should completely avoid. And at times, we all guess wrong.

It is important to see the good in people. That is key to maintaining humanity, being kind, and overcoming unfair biases. It is also important to not overlook red flags in doing so. A balanced view is reasonable and careful. We all practice doing this throughout our lives – and it will be a lifelong trial and error.


Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to taking an appropriately balanced view of others, especially those you might get closer to. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you have not done so already. xoxo

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