We’re all familiar with the concept of ‘red flags’ when it comes to toxic relationships – and now Twitter user Sara Tasker has defined an uplifting alternative
When you first meet someone new, sometimes you can just tell that you’re going to hit it off.
Call it chemistry, intuition or even a sixth sense – there’s no denying that meeting someone who is exactly on your wavelength can make your day and improve your mood.
Indeed, sometimes it’s more than just a feeling. Just last week, Twitter user Sara Tasker (who runs the blog Me & Orla) asked her followers if it’s possible to define the ‘green flags’ that suggest a real friendship might be on the cards – in other words, the early signs that suggest someone is a good person, or will make a good friend.
What are some ‘green flags’ that someone is going to be a good person / friend?— Sara Tasker (@meandorla) March 13, 2018
Some of mine: when someone...— Sara Tasker (@meandorla) March 13, 2018
Is nice to the wait staff.
Fills your awkward silences for you.
Orders the same food as you (always a good sign!)
The replies that followed reminded us of the importance of small acts of kindness.
To kick off the thread, Tasker listed some of her own ‘green flags’: when someone is nice to waiting staff, fills your awkward silences, or orders the same food as you (something that Tasker refers to as “always a good sign!”)
Other Twitter users responded in kind, suggesting examples such as, “after seeing a film in a cinema, they take their rubbish out with them and thank the usher holding the bin bag”, “stops to pet cats in the street”, and “they thank the bus driver”.
After seeing a a film in a cinema, they take their rubbish out with them and thank the usher holding the bin bag.— Mårk Phoenix (@ex_jedi) March 13, 2018
When ordering at a bar/restaurant they ask what you want first. Or first round on them. Also if they like Gin! (But non of that slimline tonic nonsense!)— Wilden London (@WildenLondon) March 13, 2018
When you ask them questions about their lives, they ask you about yours straight afterwards and don't just talk about themselves the whole time ❤️— Hollie 💫 (@HollieBradbury) March 13, 2018
*Is polite to waiters— Kim Louise (@Kinseys_speaks) March 13, 2018
*Remembers things you talked about
*Doesn't just impose themselves on you
*Stops to pet cats on the street
*Likes reading as much as I do (but doesn't need to have the same taste, you have better discussions that way!)
According to Tasker, she decided to pose the question publicly after a conversation with a friend.
“We were talking about those moments when you meet someone and very quickly get a sense of whether you’re going to be friends or not,” says Tasker.
“I noticed that both of us found it much easier to list the ‘red flags’ – usually traits based on people who had previously hurt us – than to list the positives, and it seemed like a shame.”
“I’m sure this has lots to do with how our brains are wired to remember danger, but I was keen to try and override that a little and think about all the small, positive ways people can make an impression too.”
A good sign for me is that every sentence that leaves their mouth isn’t about themselves - a good 7:3 ratio of shared interests:things all about me is good. Never fails 🙌🏼— Marie Turner (@OhMarieTurner) March 13, 2018
I know this isn’t for everyone but people who touch your arm or hand when they talk to you or say hello. It’s such a small gesture but it is a sure fire sign we’re going to get on. Not in a sleazy rubby way, just a gentle touch— Emma Svanberg (@Mumologist) March 13, 2018
When they consistently talk positively about other people who aren't there. I have a friend that's great at this. I love it about her!— Fran Wrigley (@stepupjapanese) March 14, 2018
They respond, they treat you with respect. They put away their phone 📲— Midlifewithatwist (@Midlifetwist) March 13, 2018
Overall intentionality, humility, and seeing how they treat someone with whom they don’t get along (it’s easy to be nice to people you like, it’s how you treat those you don’t that shows true colors). :)— Kimberly (@lacelitwonder) March 13, 2018
Most of the replies seemed to hit upon a common theme – politeness, good manners and understanding the needs of others.
“What the thread showed me was that for ‘my’ kind of people, it comes down to small acts of kindness, humility, compassion or thoughtfulness,” says Tasker.
And with that, we’re sold on this clever concept, especially because it encourages us to focus on the good in others – from now on, we’ll be on the lookout for green flags, too.
Image: Thought Catalog / Unsplash