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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    Facing Mixed Messages? How To Navigate Unclear Situations

    We’ve all been there: the situation when you’re unsure what someone is saying or whether they mean it. Mixed messages, regardless of the person we’re interacting with, can be extremely confusing and stressful. Our brain frantically searches for clarity as we replay conversations in our mind, trying to make sense of everything.

    In any relationship, whether it’s romantic, professional or social, handling unclear messages or situations can be overwhelming and draining. How do we make sense of it all and move on with our lives? Whether the relationship you’re in is long-standing or beginning to form, this article will provide actionable steps so you can better understand the confusing dynamics and have peace of mind.

    First and foremost, it is important to try and remain as open and unbiased as possible. With any situation involving more than one person, our brains can construct scenarios and realities that might not reflect the truth. It’s easy to jump to conclusions and feel slighted, but try to take some time to put the pieces together. Enter into any conversation with curiosity and a sense of understanding, allowing yourself to ask questions and seek clarification (rather than interrogate!).

    It’s also a great idea to recognize where the “mixed messages” may be coming from. Are they stemming exclusively from one person, or is there another layer of complexity involved? Taking a step back to examine the entire scope of the situation might alleviate stress and provide clarity as to its root cause – not to mention help to avoid making assumptions in haste.

    It is also essential to stay rooted in logic and emotion. Keeping our thought process rooted in both logic and emotion can help us navigate uncertain situations, as certain emotions block any clarity that could come. In order to maintain balance, it’s important to manifest a logical approach while also providing ourselves space to honor our feelings.

    Another thing to consider is whether our expectations of the situation are realistic or not. We might place high expectations on a particular person or situation, causing frustration when outcomes don’t match up to our vision. Consider setting reasonable expectations and recognize that things don’t always follow a pre-determined plan.

    Finally, take time for yourself. Self-care and reflection are never negligible or inconsequential. Taking a break or engaging in activities that help soothe your thoughts can be incredibly beneficial. A bit of “me time” away from everything can give you the opportunity to gain perspective and realign your focus.

    No two people are ever going to react to the same situation in the exact same way. Mixed messages arise due to complexities between individuals, and how we respond depend on various factors. By remaining open to alternate viewpoints and embracing our emotions, we can be better equipped to handle such uncertain dynamics.

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