5 signs that your partner may not be good in a crisis

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Sometimes the very things we find attractive in someone may actually be warning signs that they may not be good for us in the long run.

For example, you know those high expectations that have helped them become successful at work? They may end up creating unnecessary pressure in a crisis. In fact, that dramatic flair that makes them exciting may actually keep them from being a comfort to you in a time of need.

Here are 5 warning signs that your partner may not be good in a crisis.

1. They can’t go with the flow.

How do they react when things don’t go according to plan? When you get stuck in traffic, do they freak out? How about when plans change at the last minute? What do they do when you’re late?

If your partner sweats the small stuff, don’t assume they’ll rise to the occasion when there’s a real crisis. Instead, what you see is probably what you’ll get.

Most people don’t change personalities during a crisis. In fact, most revert to type. The person who freaks out when there’s a change of plan may not be able to handle the uncertainties of a health crisis, or have the flexibility they need to be a great parent.

2. They have friends or family they choose not to speak to anymore.

This is a big red flag. Anyone who is capable of cutting people out of their lives has the ability to see the world as black and white.

The truth is that relationships, and life in general, have a lot of gray matter. The more forgiving someone is, the more empathy they have and the more supportive they are likely to be.

Make sure you get the story on why they’ve pushed someone away, and ask yourself if you’d do the same.

3. They are a perfectionist.

There’s a big difference between someone with high expectations and a perfectionist. A perfectionist is defined in the Merriman-Webster dictionary as a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially: the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.

Need I say more? When a crisis hits, sometimes all you can do is get through the day. A perfectionist can’t let go of expectations, and that pressure can be debilitating for someone going through a difficult time.

4. They talk much more about themself than you to friends & family.

A supportive partner will be excited to share your accomplishments. They will be sure to talk about how well you’re doing at work, at home, or even note some small thing that you’ve done that they’re proud of.

An unsupportive partner will fail to mention both the big and small things that happen in your world. Instead, they will focus only on what they have accomplished. This type of partner may resent the attention you receive during a crisis.

5. They’re dramatic.

If your partner is the type who seems to create drama wherever they go, a crisis may bring out the chance for even more. Instead of being the calm in your storm, they may bring on the thunder and add to your emotional burden.

What does it all mean?

So, now that you see the flags, what do you do? You may not need to kick your mate to the curb right now (unless you checked off every single one of these traits), but it’s good to take stock.

Ask yourself how YOU are in a crisis? What do you need during your times of need? Maybe you are the strong one, and you like it that way. Or maybe you get tired of always being the one who has to be stoic.

Maybe the more intense they get, the calmer you get, and their demeanor doesn’t stress you out.

If, on the other hand, you wind each other up — making things worse for both of you — it may be time to think about making a change.

Andrea Hutton

Andrea Hutton

Andrea Hutton is a critically-acclaimed author, speaker, and breast cancer survivor. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Women's Health and Psychology Today. As a patient advocate who has "been there, had that," Andrea is on a mission to empower and educate women on how to take charge of their own health. The author of Bald is Better with Earrings - A Survivor's Guide to Getting Through Breast Cancer, she is also a graduate of Duke University, and a Komen Advocate in Science and a Rise Legacy Advocate for the Young Survival Coalition. For more information, visit andreahutton.com.

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