When I first moved to the USA in the 90s I had people tell me all the time I was too loud, too direct and a bit rough around the edges. When I heard these things I couldn’t help but say “what do you mean? Me? Little ol lovable me?” I couldn’t believe it, but I was sending a message out to the world and that was my feedback.
I didn’t realize it, but there were messages I was sending I was not conscious about. So I listened to the feedback and went to work. Instead of spending many hours and years figuring what messages you are sending, let me help you a bit. Here are the top 3 messages people send that they are not aware of:
1. “I am closed’/”I am not available”: You might think you are open and that you make yourself available to people, but you just might not. This was one of mine. I used you have people off the street tell me to smile. I was walking around with a frown on my face, no wonder no one ever approached me and people were scared of me! Most of the comments were from men, so guess what, when you are sending the message that you are closed or unavailable there will be less that is forthcoming, less dates, less connections, less openness from your partner, less of everything all around. Not a good place to be. If you think this is you, you can shift by just smiling more, worked for me and it’s a good start.
2. “I am better than you”/”I’m a snob”: There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and some people could be sending the wrong message even if all they are doing is showing up sure of themselves and their abilities. I got a little of this too which shocked me, but once I looked at how I was showing up I totally saw how my confidence was coming off as condescending and arrogant. I had to soften up and be present to how I was communicating. I started communicating from a more vulnerable place and saw shifts immediately.
3. “I am invisible”/”I don’t exist”: I know this one is a tough one and it might touch a cord in some of you, but I can’t tell you how many people I know and meet that walk around sending this message. They hide, don’t speak up, take care of other people more than themselves, yet don’t get much in return. My heart breaks, everyone deserves to be seen and take their claim on this planet. Those who send this message tend to be people who spend a lot of time by themselves, unless they are helping someone else, and are usually the victims of bullies and easily controlled by more powerful personalities. Start by standing for yourself more and letting your opinions known. A good exercise is to be a part of a discussion group where you can voice your opinion in a safe place.
If you see yourself in any of these, or if you just realized that you have been getting feedback that sounds like any of these 3, try an experiment and be conscious of your interaction and way of being when you are with people. You might just be sending the wrong message!
I have been able to turn my wrong messages into a way for me to contribute in my business and I have now integrated messaging into what I do with my designing work as I feel it is very important to make a bold and clear statement no matter the situation. (www.messageinstyle.com) Messages are a way to connect with people whether in your personal, professional or social relationships. It is how people remember you, so be sure to know what your message is!