The Red Flag In People That's Considered The Absolute Reddest

This red flag is not always easy to spot.

Anger behind facade pixelshot | Canva

I had an incident today in one of my projects where I misstepped and the guy who hired me fired me. I had delivered and would continue to deliver the work but was being "high-maintenance" discussing my compensation. I wasn’t even negotiating but messaged unnecessarily about some tactical nuances related to my invoices.

“OMG, I don’t believe it," the guy messaged me. “Forget it. Stop the work. This is not going to work.”


I was wrong because I had already discovered from a couple of earlier situations that my boss can be easily triggered so I should’ve been extra careful with my questions or messages.

The Red Flag In People Which I Consider A True Red Flag Photo: New Africa / Shutterstock

RELATED: 5 Red-Flag Signs Your Boss Is Taking Advantage Of You


The reason I mention this episode is not because I want to criticize the particular person I was consulting or portray myself as innocent. It reminded me of a certain trait in some people that I consider a deadly sin. 

Here’s another example from my professional life: Last year, I was discussing a new business venture with a potential partner. We had only recently met, but we hit it off well due to our shared enthusiasm for the idea and some common interests. As our discussions progressed, disagreements arose regarding the vision. While the debates remained amicable, I couldn’t help but notice a shift in his demeanor — a subtle rolling of the eyes and a facial expression hinted at a different personality from the one I had come to know. Then, when it came to discussing the split of ownership my supposed partner exploded, slamming the table and explaining how he’d had enough.

I’m experienced and have encountered many moments of tension in my career, business endeavors, and family life, but I was stunned — I suddenly saw a psychopathic alter-ego in my partner-to-be. There was a meltdown and a degree of anger that went beyond the expression "the heat of the moment." And we weren’t even doing any real business yet. Imagine facing a real storm — and storms are inevitable — with someone who so easily goes berserk or threatens to abandon the ship.

RELATED: 12 Stealthy Ways To Uncover Someone’s True Personality


Over the years, there were other similar episodes involving both men and women. They were very nice people until they weren’t. In an instant, they turned into highly malevolent characters, either threatening to walk out or doing just that.

The red flag I’m referring to is the ability to abruptly switch to a highly hostile position, often involving the threat of walking away from the negotiation table, partnership, or relationship. Again, not to be confused with a more trivial situation of tension or disagreement.

I especially loathe when people resort to the threat of walking away. For me, it’s a taboo tactic even in the most charged situation — not because I’m fearful of ending the relationship, but because it’s the cheapest tactic that irreversibly breaks trust and ruins the chances, however small, of finding a solution.

RELATED: 10 Red Flag Signs Of A Master Manipulator Who Is Actively Trying To Control You


This also applies to personal situations. In my twenty-five years with my wife, we’ve experienced several monumental conflicts. When we reconcile, I always remind myself and myself of the importance of avoiding "slamming the door" — voicing the possibility of breaking up — even in moments of extreme frustration.



This is not to say that negotiations don’t fail or partnerships don’t dissipate. Of course, they do. But if a person can easily threaten to terminate the relationship or disrupt it when the conditions become stormy — it’s a huge red flag. Successful journeys require a lot of patience and the ability to forgive. My door is always open. I never slam it.

By the way, I’m not claiming to be correct in my views. I’m guessing some of the most famous entrepreneurs had difficult characters and their abrupt melt-downs were part of their successful management styles. Musk? Steve Jobs? To each their own.


RELATED: You Can Tell How Much Your Job Respects You Based On The Way Your Boss Handles One Specific Problem

Alexei Sorokin is a top writer on Medium, where he covers various topics including self-improvement, parenting, family, entrepreneurship, travel, current affairs, and running. Additionally, he writes on Substack.