What to Do with These Red Flags by Martika Shanel

What to Do with These Red Flags: Unlocking Healthy Relationships from the Pennants Within

What to Do with These Red Flags: Unlocking Healthy Relationships from the Pennants Within by Martika Shanel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So this book is a definite need for young people who desire healthy relationships with partners, friends, family, etc. However, this book is not just for young people, but for anyone who desires healthy partnerships. In my personal lived experience, this book would have been a great addition in my early 20s when I wanted to have more serious relationships with people of the opposite sex, and how to discern a friend from a frenemy. As you mature in life through experiences, you learn that not every person you date is the same, or have the same maturity, background, life experience, etc. People are complex humans, and not everyone has the same interest or motive when embarking in a relationship. This book helps to educate you on what red flags to look for in others as well as what to work on with yourself. Everyone has red flags, and no one is immune from being tricked or handled in a way that makes you second guess yourself. As an adult, one has to learn from previous relationships, self-inflicted mistakes, self-internalized junk, bad decision making, and just all around naiveté.

Martika Shanel explains what red flags are, how to be more discerning in discovering red flags in others, and how to do some internal work to combat your own red flags. This book is extremely helpful to those who haven’t been in a relationship yet because you can get a jump start on identifying red flags in people that you meet or want a relationship with. However, this book is also helpful for those of us who’ve been in relationships previously and do not want to make the same mistakes twice.

Shanel is forthcoming about her previous and past experiences in relationships and talks about some of her own mistakes in not seeing the red flags in relationships until it was too late. She encourages her readers to do their own self-introspective reflection on how/what they bring to the table in relationships, how to have a process in uncovering your own red flags, and also what to do in confronting the red flags in people you are in a relationship with.

The book is engaging and interactive with sections of the book that allow for personal self-reflection, making lists, doing a deep dive into the red flags and how they have developed, and what to do to correct, let go, and even be at peace with some relational issues. Shanel also encourages her readers to simply invest in oneself. You have to be an advocate for you because no one else will. You have to demand the respect that you so rightly deserve, but also be willing to let go of harmful, hateful, disrespectful relationships that don’t serve you.

Whether you are single, young, older, in a relationship, dating, or married, this book is for you. No matter where you are in life, red flags are something that should be dealt with in any capacity. You can use this book to help in navigating jobs, contracts, friendships, family members, therapy sessions, casual acquaintances, etc. There is so much to learn about self and others while reading this book, that I definitely would recommend this book to everyone to read or pass on to someone else who may need some guidance in helping to live your best life with other people in your circle.

I would definitely recommend this book first to young women, especially 16/17 year olds who are desiring boyfriends and partners. However, even more so I’d recommend this book to college age women who are looking for those forever relationships, between men and women alike. Lastly, I’d encourage married people to pick up this book, as it can help couples do some self-evaluation, healing, and to help identify red flags in the relationship to move them along to healthier conversations and interactions and farther away from repetitive trauma. Though this book is not just for women, relationships and identifying red flags are primarily put on women to identify these issues the most because of our patriarchal society. Being able to identify red flags helps to promote safety in vulnerable people groups so as to not be taken advantage of and demoralized in any capacity. However, as more people become sensitive to their partner’s needs, this book would be extremely helpful in identifying interpersonal areas that can greatly improve the inner workings of personal relationships for the greater good of all involved.

Definitely passing this book on to my children as they grow into adulthood because sometimes it just sounds better when it comes from someone else. Ha! Overall, 5 stars.

Thank you to the author Martika Shanel, who gifted me this book in exchange for a fair and honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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