Why do we look for red flags in a friend’s partner, especially when we already like them or don’t have a reason to dislike them?

There’s not one simple reason why we find fault in our friend’s partner. One major reason that’s often identified is that people are jealous and threatened by their friend finding a partner with whom they’re happy. For example, if somebody is unhappy in their relationship, or are not in a relationship, then they might be tempted to find fault with, and complain about, a friend’s partner.

Finding fault in a friend’s partner can also stem from other factors, including differences in values, cultural backgrounds, and expectations. Sometimes it may result from misunderstandings or clashes in personalities. Personal dynamics and societal influences can also play a role in shaping perceptions. Effective communication and understanding can help bridge these conflicts and foster better relationships, of course.

And much of the above goes for people we don’t even know. We live in a hyper-intense celebrity driven environment these days. Sometimes it seems as if you cannot avoid celebrities no matter what you do. For this and other reasons we have similar feelings towards celebrities as we do towards friends and loved ones. For example, they might do things in their life, including dating people for whom we don’t care. It’s a fact that people can often be very harsh in their judgement of the people in a celebrity’s life.

Clearly, many people find comfort in the passionate feelings that they experience when passing judgment on others, including those in the public eye. Therefore, when they’re not able to identify a flaw in those individuals, they can get a feeling of discontent or emptiness.

We should all keep in mind that feeling generosity in our heart towards others is a very positive reflection on us, and one that in the long term will help us grow as individuals.

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