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Calming the Chaos

Calming the Chaos is a podcast by Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tracy Kenela. She uses profound and often humorous stories from her own life to illustrate how chaos can show up, and how emotional it can be! Anxiety, depression, fear, worry, shame and overwhelm can be managed using a variety of simple tools, skills and techniques. Tracy uses her experience as a counselor and her own personal work to provide you with hope…as well as some simple coping techniques, support and encouragement... that will help you move toward a more peaceful and enjoyable life.

May 1, 2021

Ask the Professionals - Red Flags in Relationships

Calming the Chaos welcomes Laura Vaillancourt, M.A., LMHC, GMHS of Eldercare Counseling & Guidance Services onto a Live Podcast on YouTube. We talk about how to identify red flags in relationships, and how to overcome the chaos that can come with establishing a new relationship, whether it is a friendship, romantic, or online. Laura and Tracy also answer questions from the live chat!


The goal: To help people learn to detect red flags in a relationships, and what signs can indicate a good relationship

  1. Friendships (“Fren-amies”)
    1. Pace of getting to know you is too fast (“TMI”)
    2. Not respecting Boundaries (physical / emotional) or giving advice
    3. Gut Instinct tells you there may be something suspicious (intuition)
    4. Discreet forms of envy (“I hate you…You’re so skinny!”) or they fish for compliments
    5. Put-downs, shaming, namecalling or guilting (emotional manipulation) or bragging
    6. Gossiping about people or dislikes your friends
    7. Dishonesty, “forgetting,” insensitivity or overly sensitive
    8. Asking for money or substance use problems
    9. Triangulation
    10. Cutting you off / not responding (Passive aggression)
    1. Expensive Gifts / buying you things, treating you to meals, not allowing you to pay
    2. Being too agreeable
    3. Too much or too little communication with you (insensitive to your boundaries)
    4. Putting pressure on you to spend more time together / sexual intimacy
    5. Controlling / possessive behavior (checking your phone or restricting your socializing)
    6. Isolating, alienating you from other friends or family
    7. Emotional abuse (gaslighting, deflecting, namecalling, accusing
    8. Yelling, screaming, threatening
    9. Angels and Demons (extreme thinking)
    10. Passive Aggression (not answering your phone calls or leaving you on “read.”)
    11. You feel like you are walking on eggshells
    12. You feel like you aren’t safe to share feelings
    13. They are defensive, insecure, or unable to take constructive feedback
    14. They threaten suicide
    15. There is a contentious separation with ex / ex is still involved with their life
  2. Romantic (obvious: Physical abuse, infidelity)
    1. Timmy has a story he wants to share about how he was approached on Instagram
    2. Asking for your personal information too soon
    3. Asking you for money
    4. Using pet names for you, like “honey
    5. Asking you for pictures, height / weight, etc.
    6. Giving you intrusive pictures of them
    7. Not giving you their real name
    8. Not on camera, or fake pictures used
    9. They badmouth other people online
    10. They treat others in a cruel or unfair way online
    11. They are blindly loyal to a person, idea or concept
    12. They have a narrow view of the world and others, and aren’t open-minded to the truth
    13. They lie about you online
    14. They assume your intentions
    15. They don’t “get” what you are saying, despite you saying it over and over again
  3. Online
  4. Scenarios from Chat or ones that Laura and Tracy come up with (see attached)
    1. Honesty / Integrity
    2. Consistency
    3. Flexibility
    4. Patience
    5. Kindness
    6. Forgiveness
    7. Respect
    8. Adaptability
    9. Vulnerability
    10. Interdependence
    11. “Carefrontation”
    12. You feel comfortable in their presence, and being with them is easy! (Not a “job.”)
  5. Traits of a good relationship (friendship, romance and online)

Additional Resources:

Dr. Todd Grande talks about…

7 signs of a Toxic Relationship, listen at

10 Signs of a Toxic Personality, listen at