Mixed Messages in Relationships Part 1

Have you ever experienced a situation where you are “Darned if I do, darned if I don’t”?  This type of situation evolves from mixed messages (also called Double-Binds) in relationships.  This week at Imagine Hope, we will be discussing how receiving mixed messages in relationships can cause all sorts of problems!

What is a mixed message?

Mixed messages occur when you hear/see/perceive contradicting things from someone you care about.  Mixed messages can occur when we have a subconscious expectation about love and relationships, and how people should behave when they love and care about us. 

Oftentimes in a Double-Bind, you will hear someone communicate one thing, and then later communicate something else that negates the previous claim.  Talk about confusing!  The difficult piece of mixed messages is that someone may offer you a solution to a problem, but it also selfishly benefits them.

Here are some examples of mixed messages:

-When a person says they care about you, but their actions don’t match their words

-A parent claims that they love you, but then hurt you by being emotionally or physically abusive

-Giving gifts that are needed, but with strings attached

-The person who is causing you pain, is also the person that can help you heal (often present in situations with infidelity)

Check back this week as we talk more about mixed messages in relationships!

*Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.