Communication ~ it's such an important aspect of life and yet so few people really know how to communicate well. So many of us don't even realize we are poor communicators. Mixed messages are just one of many ways that people communicate poorly. Mixed messages occur when spoken words don't match a person's actions. Talk about crazy making... Being on the receiving end of mixed messages makes one shake their head and say "I don't understand". Many times we aren't even aware of in-congruent messages. We just know something doesn't feel right about the relationship.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about... You're in a relationship (or even a friendship that is important to you) and you are the one putting in all the work to keep the relationship moving forward. Every phone call, every request to get together, every attempt at connecting with the other person is being initiated by you. The action part of the equation says, the relationship really isn't very important to the other party. But when you are in conversation, the other party voices how important you and the relationship are to them. That's crazy making at it's best because what's true? The verbal or the nonverbal? No clue.

Another example is when someone says, "Why didn't you call me? I would have joined you." (After the fact, of course.) You respond with, "I know from past experience changing plans at the last minute is difficult for you." And they say, "That's crazy, I'm flexible." Okay, so they are giving information that says there is an open door for future last minute companionship. So, the next time something comes up you remember this conversation, give them a call and how do they respond? "Oh, I would have loved to, if only you would have given me more notice." Huh, what?

Here's another great example. "Let's get together for lunch". "Okay, I'd love to." "Great, I'll give you a call next week and we'll plan it" And then next week comes and goes and the following week goes and you never receive the phone call. The next time you run into that person, again they say, "Hey, we need to get together for lunch." And again no follow through."

What could possibly be at the root of this dysfunctional way of communicating? Peoples lives are just really busy? Yes, that is true, but I say we make time for the things that are important to us. I believe the root is fear. It could be fear of looking bad, it could be fear of connection, it could be fear of not measuring up and feeling inferior. Any number of reasons, but with an ingredient in the mix called fear. Fear is such a strong emotion and very present in almost everyone's life. Yet, it's the number one thing people try to hide. We have belief systems that say fear makes us weak. Here's a paradox ~ the very thing that we try to hide, is the very thing that brings authenticity to our relationships when shared. Do you want deep connections with other people? Begin to let them see exactly who you are. No need to hide the fact that you are afraid, no need to hide the areas in which you struggle. Take the risk of authenticity and watch as you create the space for others to be themselves. I can be me, when you are you!

Author's Bio: 

I believe most spiritual journeys start with a life changing event and mine was no different. My name is Denise Pendleton and my intention is to share my insights so that I might help others grow in spiritual awareness also.

I am a trained life coach and a solutions group facilitator in my church. I’ve been on my own personal journey towards spiritual awareness for almost 10 years and I have a heart that desires to see the amazing power of God’s hand in everyone’s life.