Genius Twitter thread pinpoints friendship ‘green flags’

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Helen Booth
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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.

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”.

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.”

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


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Helen Booth

Helen Booth is a London-based writer, digital editor and part-time maker who loves interiors, crafts and keeping tabs on trends. She also co-founded the weekly newsletter Lunch Hour Links.