Being single has its ups and downs. Meeting new people can be equally as challenging. When it comes to dating and relationships, communication is one of the strongest factors in building the foundation of a potential connection. Furthermore, it is also one of the trickiest aspects in a relationship to get right because, sometimes how we communicate with each other can get lost in translation and interpretation. How people exchange information with one another – whether verbal or non- verbal – can create mixed signals. The simplest of actions can be misconstrued.
According to the Urban Dictionary, mixed messages is defined as “A situation in which a person is receiving verbal or nonverbal cues that seem to contradict each other, from another person. Typical reactions to this behavior are confusion, anger, and a willingness to cease communication with the person.”
For instance, you have a friend of the opposite sex and you call each other and hang out all of the time. You don’t have a clue that this person has secretly liked you for years. He or she finally breaks down and voices their love for you. You explain that your feelings are not romantic. Immediately after the conversation, he/she returns home and begins nursing his/her bruised feelings. The next day you call and proceeds to act like the day before never occurred at all. You’re calling, texting, and inviting him/her to go out to dinner. You may not be aware, but you are leading this person on – not to mention that you are confusing him or her. Don’t be surprised if he may or may not accept your invitation.
Here are some ways to catch yourself before you begin to ‘subconsciously’ send mixed messages towards someone:
Always come clean: Let’s say you meet someone out at a bar. He moves towards you and asks if the seat is taken. The two of you begin to converse and he offers to buy you a drink. You accept. At the end of the night, he is convinced that the two of you have definitely made a connection. He suggests that you get together again and have dinner next time.
You chuckle uncomfortably and decline the offer. He is pissed and lets his anger be known. He feels as though you accepted his drink and wasted his time and money when he could have been making his rounds elsewhere and with someone different.
When coming clean, one must find a tactful way up front (during the exchange) to let the person know that you are not interested before the drinks start flowing. If the above happens – one can slip into the conversation something like, “you would make a great friend” or “I bet you have a lot of female friends”.
Pay attention to body language. Being from the South, some of us are friendly to a fault. What if you have the gift of being overly touchy feely? Let’s pretend that you meet someone. During this encounter, you give this person a hug, and casually touch his/her shoulder or lean into him/her with your body at least five times or more throughout the night.
This person may assume that you are down for a hookup at the end of the evening. Touching a person can generally give a false impression of who you are and what you are conveying. In other words, some individuals will read your touching as sexual – when you are being your normally overly affectionate self. Be mindful of how you are behaving throughout the evening, as each person responds differently.
Don’t put yourself in compromising positions. If you are at a bar or at a place where the drinks are flowing, carefully pace yourself – especially if you are out with strangers. If one is inebriated, he/she cannot control his/her actions. In other words, you will not be capable of controlling not only your body language but what you are saying or doing. One may wake up the next morning with regrets And he/she may have to explain that it was all a mistake – blaming it on the alcohol.
Try and be as honest as you can possibly be so as not to blur any lines or hurt and confuse people, or yourself for that matter.
Thank you so much for reading my posts. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.