Are You Sending Mixed Messages?

Shelley BaurCommunicating, Communication, Mixed Messages, Relationships

IBC Shelley Baur blog mixed messages

Refusing to participate in sending “mixed messages” requires breaking the habit of “going along to get along.”

On the subject of mixed messages, Mohandas Gandhi’s famous quote is:

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

Choosing Honesty Over Mixed Messages

My Mom was the unofficial social organizer at her retirement community, with many friends she loved. To celebrate her birthday at an intimate dinner party, she could invite only five friends. She was careful to talk privately, for fear of sending mixed messages or raising expectations she could not keep.  She planned strategically and thoughtfully whom she wanted to invite to create the perfect gathering, right down to food allergies and preferences.

Communicate honestly about who you are, what you want, and set boundaries, expectations about what is and is not not acceptable.  When you communicate like this consistently, you will get better results than when you send confusing mixed messages.

Break the Habit of Sending Mixed Messages

Why do people send mixed messages?  It’s more of a habit than any deliberate attempt to create a problem, I suspect. We want to be polite, not hurt people’s feelings.  It’s easier to “go along to get along.”

In fact, what happens at a gut level is crazy-making! When you receive a mixed messages, your intuition might say, “something just doesn’t feel right.” Or maybe even, “I don’t trust what this person says to me.”

The “mixed messages” you are sending might be accompanied with a message that says, “WARNING!  Something is wrong!!”  Can I trust what I’m hearing? Are expectations clear? Can I trust this person?

How do you feel when you receive mixed messages?

Replace “Mixed Messages” with Straightforward Simplicity 

I challenge you to practice clear communication, setting expectations and boundaries. It will help you get what you really want, while helping others get what they really want!  And who wouldn’t find that more satisfying than sending – or receiving – mixed messages?

Mixed messages will not help anyone build high-trust relationships.  Think about it. Clear communication and managing expectations is actually easier and more honest than “going along to get along.”

If you are interested in receiving the hand-out “Habits to Break/Habits to Make” please email shelley@shelleybaur.com and use “Habits” in the subject line.  You may help someone break the bad habit of sending “Mixed Messages.”