Mixed Signals

Audience Members and Guests
What signals do you send with your body language?

In the Audience
The audience was in for a surprise ... Dr. Phil was looking at their body language too! "So basically sir, you're just thrilled to be here," says Dr. Phil. "Does that speak volumes or not?"

(In the man's defense, he did get up at 6 a.m. and sat in bad traffic!) 

"I was taught to walk tall, speak with a confident voice, have a firm handshake," says Karen, who thinks she intimidates men. "The thing that attracts them to me " my spunk, my assertiveness, independence " also seems to be the thing that scares them away."

"I want to know if I can adapt or change so I can stop scaring off people," Karen says. "Am I too strong?"


Dr. Phil asks Karen to demonstrate her walk.

"Does that not sound like the principal was coming to get you out of your second grade classroom?" Dr. Phil asks. "That's something you can control. Do you think that sends a message?"

"Yeah, it sends a message of 'Get the hell out of my way,'" says Karen.

Owen and Barbi
"Dr. Phil, I'm married to a great woman, yet she sends me all these mixed signals. What can I say or do to have her send me one signal, so we can eliminate all the stupid arguments that we have?" Owen asks.

Dr. Phil responds: "I'm not so sure these are mixed signals at all. The message that I get from you, Barbi, is that you have a huge chip on your shoulder and you don't need him telling you a damn thing to do!"

Dr. Phil tries to get to the bottom of their communication disconnect. "The principle of reciprocity is critical: You get what you give," he says. "You are sending signals to each other that are offensive to your sensibilities."

He confronts Karen about her "hostile persona," and tells both of them: "When you send a signal, and somebody calls you on it, be honest."

Blind Date Body Language
Scott and Leticia went on a blind date and let Dr. Phil tag along. Leticia showed up 15 minutes late. "I had a really good reason for being late," she says.

But Dr. Phil challenges her. "So there was something more important than keeping your date?" he asks. Leticia also played with her hair a lot, which she says she does when she's nervous.

Then, Leticia answered her call during the date, and identified clearly that it was a male caller.

"This, to me, is a bad thing," says Dr. Phil. Leticia says she didn't realize the signals she was sending. "If you're going to be vague and ambiguous, you've got to willing to be honest when you're called on it instead of trying to wiggle and escape it," Dr. Phil adds.