Should you call someone out for sending mixed messages?

Have you ever found yourself dating someone who never seemed to give you the same message. Whether it’s a conflict in what they say, or in their actions, there seems to be a pattern of mixed messages. They say they want one thing, but their words or actions send a completely different messages. Or worse, they say one thing one day, a completely different thing the next, and don’t seem to acknowledge their change.  Now you’re wondering, should you call them out for sending mixed messages?

Well it really all depends on your goal, honestly. I’m a big believer in not needing a reason to do a thing you love, but if you’re going to do something that’s a chore, you should have a reason. Calling someone out is a chore, even if you enjoy. You can enjoy a chore, but it’s still a chore. So if you’re considering calling someone out for sending mixed messages, come up with a goal first.

Your goal is valid, whatever it may be. While I prefer having a broad goal of being constructive when calling someone out, it’s perfectly valid if you want to call someone out with a goal of clearing the air. You can call someone out for sending mixed messages for whatever reason you want, with whatever desired goal you want, but you should have a goal in mind. Your goal will help you figure out your approach to calling them out, and whether it’s even worth it to call them out. There isn’t one right answer to the question of “Should you call someone out for sending mixed messages?”. The answer really depends on what you hope to achieve.

Let’s say that your goal is to get something off your chest. You don’t care whether they correct a behavior, your goal is to just speak your piece. In that case, you absolutely should call someone out for sending mixed messages. If you want to call someone out so that you can repair your relationship, call them out. If you want to call someone out so that you can you get some closure, feel free to do so.

How you approach calling someone out should be based on your goal. If your goal is to be constructive, do so in a way that is neutral, and invites constructive discussion. If you want to air your grievances, be as angry as you want to be. If it’s about closure, focus on being inquisitive above all else.

Now, the way I’ve framed things might seem like there really is no reason not to call someone out. Don’t worry, I saved that for last.

There are circumstances where calling someone out for conflicting messaging is pointless. If you’re wondering what they might be, ask yourself this: If you have a goal when calling someone out, will the person you’re calling out make achieving that goal impossible? If your answer is “Yes”, it’s pointless to call them out.

If your goal is just to vent, regardless of your partner’s reaction, you’d have a hard time finding a situation where it’s pointless to call someone out. If your goal is to get closure, but the person you want to call out is going to deflect or gaslight you, it’s probably pointless to call them out (unless you take someone deflecting or gaslighting as closure on its own, which you can).  If your goal in calling someone out is to get better at communicating, and your partner is against improving their communication, you’ll never be able to meet your goal so it’s pointless in trying. The case could also be made that being with the sort of person who you can’t have a constructive conversation with is pointless if you want a serious and healthy relationship, but that’s a topic for another time.

In the end, the decision of whether or not to call out someone who sends mixed messages should be decided on a case by case basis. Figure out what your goals are when calling them out, and figure out whether or not calling them out can potentially lead to your goal. If calling them out seems pointless, it probably is…and it’s probably time to move on.

Good Luck Out There.