Part 1: Why Do We Give Mixed Messages? In theory, communication is a simple concept: I say something and you respond appropriately; I express what I want or leave it if there is nothing I feel inclined to say. It may be simple, but it is not easy. Perceptions, emotions and all of the differences between us get in the way. This is where the confusion and misunderstanding comes in. This is where mixed messages thrive.
When we are in a relationship or a developing relationship, because our feelings are running high and are so important, we can become very confused if the other person starts to display mixed messages about their interest in us.
These messages can come in the form of what they say or their gestures. One week they may display closeness and interest and the next week they may leave a call unreturned or ignore a sms. Now they are acting as if they are not interested and want to avoid you. You may think that that is the end of the relationship. However, the confusing part is to come: out of the blue, they may suddenly contact you, decide they are really keen and start behaving in ways that show their enthusiasm for you.
This is what is commonly referred to as giving mixed messages in a relationship. It is a â€œcome-to-me; go-away; come-to-meâ€ style of interaction.
The source of mixed messagesâ€¦ We all know the feeling of being confused and unsure as to what we want. The way in which we speak and behave depends on what is going on in our hearts and minds and our experience of the world. There are always so many thoughts and feelings running through us that we simply canâ€™t act on all of them. Some we tune into and others we let go.
When you are at the receiving end of mixed messages, the person giving them is alternatively responding to their desire to be close to you and then their need to withdraw. They are responding to their feelings that surface at that moment in time. You must not consider it in absolute terms, in other words that they either do or donâ€™t like you, as they are simply behaving according to their inner world. Your experience of them matches their internal experience. People give mixed messages because they have mixed feelings going on inside them! Understand yourself in order to understand themâ€¦