Mixed Messages in Relationships Part 2

If you ever find yourself in interactions with someone where there frequently seems to be a "no-win situation", you might be encountering mixed messages (or also called Double-Binds) within this relationship.

This can occur in many different types of relationships. Mixed messages can occur with a boss, parent, spouse, sibling, coworker, friend, etc. Christy did a great job yesterday explaining a mixed message. But there's another aspect:

The experiences of the person receiving a Mixed Message

There are many thoughts that rack the brain of the person in a double-bind relationship. On one hand they're trying to love and respect someone in the exact way this person is requesting the love and/or respect. But in the end, they just feel criticized for the way they're showing that love and respect. It's confusing.

Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority may occur. Thoughts of "I can't please them" or "No matter what I do it isn't good enough" may be on repeat in their head.

Perfectionism/overachievement or disconnect/cutoff may make appearances from time to time. These actions may be accompanied by the thoughts of "I try too hard and I still fall short." Or, "I feel criticized with every action I take and don't take". Thus, we may try harder or give up altogether.

If you find yourself in this type of relationship, there is hope. Speaking with a trained counselor can help with communication skills and lead to healthier interactions.

Tomorrow we'll discuss how mixed messages affect relationships. Thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.