Confusing Communication


Confusing communication causes conflict. You feel like you’ve failed to make the grade, but you’re not sure exactly what you did wrong. If you could see through the eyes of a narrow-minded communicator, your life vision would be blurred. You should steer clear of confusing communicators, especially when you hear their words as opinions with an agenda, or pure gospel.


So, how do you know that you’re in a bewildering relationship filled with confusing communication? The standard negative talk pattern of the confusing communicator is DEFLECTION. For example, each numbered declaration below is “defensively deflected” with a re-direct that sounds good, but may be false in reality.

Ready now to observe deflection of straight talk in action?

1. You don’t listen to a word I say.

Confusing Communicator: I didn’t do it intentionally, and I’m truly sorry for any pain I’ve caused you.

2. You haven’t shown me any changes.

Confusing Communicator: I feel damned if I do change and damned if I don’t change. I would do anything for you, but why isn’t this change-thing a fifty-fifty deal?

3. We can’t express opinions without an argument ensuing.

Confusing Communicator: You’ve got to have a give-and-take that’s fair. I’m not arguing, but I am expressing what I believe in.

4. You’re too worried what others think.

Confusing Communicator: If you’re done, tell me right now, and I’ll walk away. Are you done?

5. Your actions speak louder than words.

Confusing Communicator: I want to show you by my actions that I care, but you’re not making yourself available. I don’t mean anything personal by what I’ve said before. I don’t have control over everything, you know.

6. You don’t help out around here.

Confusing Communicator: It’s not that I’m too lazy to do what you want me to do, but why should I have to always follow your rules on your time schedule?

7. You’re so sweet, then you can be so mean. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around you.

Confusing Communicator: I’m fighting for you, not with you. I’m fighting for our future. I fight tooth-and-nail because I love you so much. Sometimes I do say things, out of anger, which I don’t mean.

8. We don’t accomplish anything by talking.

Confusing Communicator: I take things very personally. I don’t want to feel that screwed up. I don’t turn it around on you. Your view is that I’m bashing you, but I’m just trying to point out what you’re not doing right.

9. You make me look like the bad guy, and that it’s all my fault.

Confusing Communicator: I want to get along with you. That’s all I really want to do, but you don’t make it any easier. We’re not going to accomplish a damn thing by always being so negative.

10. Every time I confront you, all I get back from you are a bunch of excuses.

Confusing Communicator: Sometimes you hurt the people closest to you. You know I didn’t intend to hurt you. I’m not that bad. We can get past this.

11. It’s all about you. You don’t care.

Confusing Communicator: You act like it’s all about me. I’m not putting blame, but if you can’t show me respect, then I have to look out for myself. You’ve always had a problem expressing your feelings and emotions. I need to be shown that I’m loved and respected physically and emotionally.

12. If it’s not your way, it’s the highway.

Confusing Communicator: There have been times when I tried to make plans that didn’t fit your ideas, but they didn’t work out. Are you saying that’s my fault?

13. You lie and fabricate.

Confusing Communicator: I don’t want to fight with you. I’m sure there have been times when I have told a tiny white lie, but I can’t give you any specifics. Sometimes I try to put my best foot forward by making myself look bigger than I am.

14. You always have to save face and look good in the eyes of others.

Confusing Communicator: I’ve grown up with people telling me I can’t do it my entire life. What’s wrong with striving to impress others with how good a person I hope to be? You think I don’t care if it’s not what you want to hear.

15. I feel like we’re beating a dead horse.

Confusing Communicator: I’m not trying to turn it back on you or make you look like the bad guy. You’re saying I’m not listening to what you say, but I’m just not agreeing with you. I have my own opinions and own views and because it’s not the way you believe, you say that we’re beating a dead horse.

16. You always turn it around on me to make it look like it’s my fault.

Confusing Communicator: You say I will argue with you until the end of time. I’m not making you look like the bad guy, and I don’t tell lies about you behind your back. Not once have I said I’m not at fault, either.

17. Whatever I say falls on deaf ears.

Confusing Communicator: Whatever the problems happen to be, let’s get busy and work on them. I’m disappointed that you didn’t hit me in the head with a 2×4 so I would have known that something was going on.

These are some of the telltale signposts of confusing, one-way talking that stomp on your last nerve, leaving you feeling mad as hell.


So do you feel crazy in love or made crazy from trying to communicate with the confusing communicator? When you feel like you’re putting 80% of your energy into a relationship and beating a dead horse…you are. Can you figure a way out of here? Actually, you see the elephant in the room but when you speak of it, you feel that you are contradicted and made to look crazy, to blame, insecure, or insincere.


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a Dayton region communications psychologist, relationship coach, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker. His areas of focus are change management, constructive team relationships, and effective communication. Dennis is the developer of the powerful new Talk to Me© effective listening and leadership communication training system. Copies of his book are available at and at Amazon. Get your roadmap to communication success today by calling and personally consulting with Dennis O’Grady, Psy.D.

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