The Medium is the Message

I hate the term ‘Mixed Signals’ or ‘Mixed Messages’. “I dunno man, she sending me mixed messages” is a common refrain among many a Blue Pill man.

More often than not there’s nothing ‘Mixed’ being communicated, rather it’s a failure (willful or not) to read what a woman is communicating to a man. The average guy tends to ‘get’ exactly what a woman has implied with her words, but it takes practice to read her behavior and then more practice in self-control to apply it to his own interpretation.

When a woman goes from hot to cold and back again, THIS IS the message — she’s got buyers remorse, you’re not her first priority, she’s deliberating between you and what she perceives is a better Hypergamous prospect, you were better looking when she was drunk, etc. — the message isn’t the ‘what ifs’, the message IS her own hesitation and how her behavior manifests it. 10 dates before sex? This IS the message. Canceling dates? Flaking? strong interest to weak interest? This IS the message.

Women with high interest level (IL) wont confuse you. When a woman wants to fuck you she’ll find a way to fuck you. If she’s fluctuating between being into you and then not, put her away for a while and spin other plates. If she sorts it out for herself and pursues you, then you are still playing in your frame and you maintain the value of your attention to her. It’s when you patiently while away your time wondering what the magic formula is that’ll bring her around, that’s when you lean over into her frame. You need her more than she needs you and she will dictate the terms of her attentions.

What most guys think are ‘mixed messages’ or confusing behavior coming from a woman is simply due to their inability (or refusal) to make an accurate interpretation of why she’s behaving in such a manner. Usually this boils down to a guy getting so wrapped up in a girl that he’d rather make concessions for her behavior than see it for what it really is. In other words, it’s far easier to call it ‘mixed messages’ or fall back on the old chestnut of how fickle and random women are, when in fact it’s simply a rationale to keep themselves on the hook, so to speak, because they lack any real, viable, options with other women in their lives. A woman that has a high IL in a guy has no need (and less motivation) to engage in behaviors that would compromise her status with him. Women of all ILs will test a man’s fitness (i.e. shit test), and men will pass or fail accordingly, but a test is more easily recognizable when you consider the context in which they’re delivered.

More often than not women tell the complete truth with their mannerisms and behaviors, they just communicate it in a fashion that men can’t or wont understand. As a behaviorist, I’m a firm believer in the psychological principal that the only way to determine genuine motivation and/or intent is to observe the behavior of an individual. All one need do is compare behavior and the results of it to correlate intent.

A woman will communicate vast wealths of information and truths to a man if he’s only willing to accept her behavior, not exclusively her words, as the benchmark. He must also understand that the truth she betrays in her behavior is often not what he wants to accept.

We get frustrated because women communicate differently than we do. Women communicate covertly, men communicate overtly. Men convey information, women convey feeling. Men prioritize content and information, women prioritize context and feeling when they communicate. One of the great obfuscations fostered by feminization in the last quarter-century is this expectation that women are every bit as rational and inclined to analytical problem solving as men. It’s the result of an equalist mentality that misguides men into believing that women communicate no differently than men. That’s not to discount women learning to be problem solvers in their own right, but it flies in the face how women set about a specifically feminine form of communication. Scientific study after study illustrating the natural capacity women have for exceptionally complex forms of communication (to the point of proving their neural pathways are wired differently) are proudly waved in by a feminized media as proof of women’s innate merits. Yet as men, we’re expected to accept that she “means what she says, and she says what she means.”

More than a few women like to wear this as a badge of some kind of superiority, however it doesn’t necessarily mean that what they communicate is more important, or how they communicate it is more efficient, just that they have a greater capacity to understand nuances of communication better than do men. One of the easiest illustrations of this generational gender switch is to observe the communication methods of the “strong” women the media portray in popular fiction today. How do we know she’s a strong woman? The first cue is she communicates in an overt, information centered, masculine manner.

You don’t need to be psychic to understand women’s covert communication, you need to be observant. This often requires a patience that most men simply don’t have, so they write women off as duplicitous, fickle or conniving if the name fits. Even to the Men that are observant enough, and take the needed mental notes to really see it going on around them, it seems very inefficient and irrational. And why wouldn’t it? We’re Men. Our communications are (generally) information based, deductive and rational, that’s Men’s overt communication. Blunt, to the point, solve the problem and move on to the next. Feminine communication seems insane, it is a highly dysfunctional form of communication….,to be more specific, it’s a childish form of communication. This is what children do! They say one thing and do another. they throw temper tantrums. They react emotionally to everything. Yes, they do. And more often than not, they get what they’re really after — attention. Women are crazy, but it’s a calculated crazy.

Covert communication frustrates us every bit as much as overt communication frustrates women. Our language has no art to it for them, that’s why we seem dumb or simple at best to women. We filter for information to work from, not the subtle details that make communication enjoyable for women. This is the same reason we think of feminine communication as being obfuscating, confusing, even random. The difference is that our confusion and frustration is put to their ultimate use. So long as women remain unknowable, random, irrational creatures that men can’t hope to understand (but can always excuse), they can operate unhindered towards their goals. “Silly boy, you’ll never understand women, just give up” is exactly the M.O. Once you accept this, she’s earned a lifetime of get-out-of-jail-free cards. The myth of the ‘Feminine Mystique’ and a woman’s prerogative (to change her mind) is entirely dependent upon this covert communication.

Now as Men we’ll say, “Evil, immoral, manipulative woman! Shape up and do the right thing, saying one thing then doing another makes you a hypocrite!” and of course this is our rational nature overtly making itself heard and exposing a woman’s covert communication. An appeal to morality, that’ll get her, but, doesn’t.

This is because women instinctively know that their sexuality is their first, best agency, and covert communication is the best method to utilize it. Appeals to morality only work in her favor, because all she need do is agree with a Man’s overt assessment of her and suddenly he thinks he’s ‘getting through to her’. As Men, we have become so conditioned by the Feminine Mystique to expect a woman to be duplicitous with us that when she suddenly leans into masculine communication forms and resorts to our own, overt communication method and agrees with us, it seems she’s had an epiphany, or a moment of clarity. “Wow, this one’s really special, ‘high quality’, and seems to get it.” That is, so long as it suits her conditions to do so. When it doesn’t, the Feminine Mystique is there to explain it all away.

Have you ever been in a social setting, maybe a party or something, with a girlfriend or even a woman you may be dating and seemingly out of the blue she says to you privately, “ooh, did you see the dirty look that bitch just gave me?!” You were right there in her physical presence, saw the girl she was talking about, yet didn’t register a thing. Women’s natural preference for covert communication is recognizable by as early as five years old. They prefer to fight in the psychological, whereas boys fight in the physical.

Within their own peer group, little girls fight for dominance with the threat of ostracization from the group. “I wont be your friend anymore if,..” is just as much a threat to a girl as “I’m gonna punch you in the face if,..” is to a boy. This dynamic becomes much more complex as girls enter puberty, adolescence and adulthood, yet they still use the same psychological mode of combat as adults. Their covert way of communicating this using innuendo, body language, appearance, sub-communications, gestures, etc. conveys far more information than our overt, all on the table, way of communicating does. It may seem more efficient to us as Men, but our method doesn’t satisfy the same purpose.

Women enjoy the communication more than the information being transferred. It’s not a problem to be solved, it’s the communication that’s primary. When a chump supplies her with everything all at once we think, yeah, the mystery is gone, he’s not a challenge anymore, why would she be interested? This is true, but the reason that intrigue is gone is because there’s no more potential for stimulating that need for communication or her imagination. Too many men buy into the lie that ‘open communication’ is the key to a good relationship and do an ‘information dump’ believing their wives or girlfriends will appreciate it. In doing so a man denies his woman the satisfaction of communicating in teasing out the information.

Nothing is more self-satisfying for a woman than for her to believe she’s figured a man out by using her mythical ‘feminine intuition’. This intuition is really just a name given to her preferred form of communication.

Lastly, I should add that women are not above using overt communication when it serves their purposes. When a woman comes out and says something in such a fashion so as to leave no margin for misinterpretation, you can bet she’s been pushed to that point out of either fear or sheer exasperation when her covert methods wont work.

“Can’t we just be friends?” is a covert rejection, “Get away from me you creep!!” is an overt rejection. When a woman opts for the overt, rest assured, she’s out of covert ideas and knows she must use men’s form of communication. This is an easy example of this, but when a woman cries on you, screams at you, or issues an ultimatum to you she is self-acknowledging that she is powerless to the point of having to come over to your way of communicating.

Likewise, men can and do master the art of covert communications as well. Great politicians, military generals, businessmen, salesmen to be sure, and of course master pickup artists all use covert communications to achieve their goals. It’s incorrect to think of covert communication as inherently dishonest or amoral, or even in a moral context. It’s a means to an end, just as overt communication is a means to an end, and that end whether decided by men or women is what’s ethical or unethical. The medium is the message.


  1. Yes it’s a mean to it’s end.

    Always find it funny that men, even guys who have taken the red pill yearn for a time when women will stop acting like women… it’s not going to happen.

    Because it works on a biological level. And until it stops working it will continue in this way.

    As you point out men can learn to communicate this way (or maybe relearn it / discover it in themselves).

    Because women are reading HOW men communicate just as much as WHAT you are logically communicating. They can read through the lines and see the real you.

  2. Good post Rollo.

    There are women who do prefer more direct forms of communicating (i.e. overt) although they may use covert forms in some instances. Are these women masculine in nature b/c of that? I think being able to be both overt/ covert in communication and knowing when and how to use them is important. I don’t think having one over the other is beneficial. I believe a healthy man/woman knows when to use both depending on the situation.

    For instance, growing up I found that I can only tolerate very small selected group of females as friends and acquaintances b/c I HATE passive aggressive behavior. I find a lot of women are very passive aggressive and even manipulative for some reason and as a woman that bothers me.

    Also, could it be that the way men and women communicate has more to do with culture than biology? Do you believe women are raised and taught to not be too direct b/c “it’s not lady like” while men are raised to be more expressive in the raw b/c “its manly”?

    I believe culture plays a big role in this as well. I find Black American women (for instance) tend to be much more vocal and overt in their communication styles than other races – and we are often maligned b/c of that. So which style do men actually prefer and want?

    Women who are overt in communication styles are called masculine and unfeminine, while women who communicate in more covert ways are often deemed manipulative and emotional. I’d really be interested to know what men actually prefer when in relationships with women.

  3. “Also, could it be that the way men and women communicate has more to do with culture than biology?”

    No, I’d say these differences are cross-cultural.

    I’d also bet dollars to doughnuts that African-American men wouldn’t agree with your characterisation of African-American women as “more overt”.

    As for as what men prefer in relationships, I’d say that OVERT communication is the way to go.

    If you try to communicate something negative covertly, he will know that something is wrong, but he won’t know what it is. That’s doubly frustrating.

  4. Good post.

    One thing that has worked well for me (when I’ve had my wits about me…) is to call a woman out on any incongruity between what she says and her affect, body language, tone of voice, etc.

    In situations where that’s not appropriate just IGNORE WHAT SHE SAYS and take away the real message.

  5. I would definitely agree that there are cultural variations that should be taken into account, however I’d still argue that the mechanics – essentially the neural hardwiring – make women far more prone, or at least more sensitive to nuanced forms of communication.

    Certain cultures have stronger gender influence in their communication than others. Using your example of black women or Puerto Rican women, there is more of a cultural necessity to use overt, male forms of communication as a priority. This isn’t surprising considering the, generally dominant, more masculo-centric influence in those cultures. Basically the women in those cultures speak a non-native language out of necessity. This is an interesting contrast when compared to more feminized societies, where the reverse is true – the men are left confused and frustrated because of the social emphasis placed on covert, feminine-centric priority of communication.

    Acculturation can certainly account for differences, or sublimations in means of expression, but it still dosen’t rewire women’s greater capacity for communication. Women begin communicating earlier in life than men, and spend more time communicating as both adolescents and adults. This verbal superiority appears as early as age 5 and doesn’t appear to be controlled by hormones. Women perform better than men on verbal tasks even when estradiol hormones were balanced among them.

    On average girls age 12 to 17 send and receive 80 texts per day; boys send and receive 30 (remember that the next time you’re wondering about text Game gentlemen). More women than men use social networking, and women statistically have more friends on these sites. Roughly 60% of teenage girls call friends on their cell phones daily – boys 42%.

    There is definitely more than just a communicative reward for women than simple data transfer from one to another. Women get off on the act of communicating.

  6. ROLLO SAID This is an interesting contrast when compared to more feminized societies, where the reverse is true – the men are left confused and frustrated because of the social emphasis placed on covert, feminine-centric priority of communication.

    EXACTLY. But when the feminized society is the dominant one, those who come from more masculinized sub cultures will be viewed negativley for the way they overtly communicate.

    I also agree that women are much more prone to various forms of communicatoin generally.

  7. Johnnymilfquest,

    Thanks. Point taken. I always believe being overt in communicating with your partner is best, but since society seems to reward more covert behavior from women, it can get confusing as to what men want vs. what society has placed upon men and women in terms of how to communicate effectivley.

    The reason why some men may not prefer overt forms of communication from women, is b/c sometimes its not what you say but how you say it. Some people think being overt means that you can just say any old thing any kind of way and that’s just not true. One has to choose their words carefully when using overt styles of communicating in a relationship.

  8. I’m one of the guys you point to. It’s probably the biggest obstacle to further improvement in my Game; once I met a chick who I deem both smart and pretty, I start treating her like a male friend…and her attraction evaporates.

    There is a detour around the frustration Rollo describes: masculine women. I like a pretty face as much as the next guy, but if I have to trade it for masculine cognitive qualities in a woman, I do so, more ore less without complaint.

    I feel sorry for guys who can only get it up (or, at least, be highly aroused) by the girliest of women. LTRs or even multiple dates with such creatures is simply beyond my nerdy constitution.

  9. I love it! I’ve been guilty of accusing women of “mixed messages.” Thank you for helping me to clarify for myself what this means. I’ll be reflecting on this article and adding it to my repertoire.

  10. Rollo you use the phrase “more often than not” too often.

    More often than not, it spoils the language. Why not use something else every once in a while>>?

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  13. thank’s a lot rollo for your articles, this one and the “femminine mystique” has been especially illuminating to me: finally I see the whys (and hows) of years of crap in my steady agonizing 10-year-long relationship (well the early four was ok)…now I know it’s always been based on my ignorance haha… all expirience, yeah, but your contribution is invaluable.

  14. Wish I had read this over last week after a plate went cold and I overtly chased after it. I probably could’ve salvaged it if I saw the cues coming and went ghost instead. It’s tough remaining aloof and indifferent to the shit tests power play frame control struggle. Spinning 4 other plates at the moment, but this was the top one. Any advice how long to wait before I attempt to re-engage?

  15. If there’s a lot of shit test power plays and struggles and you find yourself losing your frame and boundaries, just drop that plate, it’s rotten.

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  19. Hey rollo, thanks for the posts, they flesh out what I’ve known since grade 3 or so. Because women are so different from myself. Imagine the troubles in communication for a guy with asprger’s such as myself… I just want direct communication to get the information across and to speak no more. But yes, size and handsomeness matter and alpha relating which intimidates them becaue of how cool and above it all one seems, make up for lack of talking etc. Really appreciate it man.

  20. “One of the great obfuscations fostered by feminization in the last quarter-century is this expectation that women are every bit as rational and inclined to analytical problem solving as men. ”

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. It’s become something of a social taboo, even in academic circles, to even ALLUDE to inherent cognitive differences between genders, as far as logic and analysis go.

  21. I couldn’t agree more with this article. When conversing I’m quite frank and always forget that most others, especially women, aren’t. Needless to say, I miss a lot of subtle come-ons…many of my girlfriends later revealed they thought I was either a snob, wasn’t interested, or gay…contrary to what many profess appearing aloof can be a hindrance. Though I’m able to laugh off my denseness, it’s bothersome to miss so much covert sexual communication, and in instances when I do finally recognize it, it is only much later. I’m truly one of those guys that needs a long gaze, broad smile, or overt come-on to not miss a womans signal.

    I’ve come to realize the reason many women only subtly communicate their interest is not because they can’t communicate overtly or don’t want to appear forward/slutty, rather they’re afraid to be rejected…it’s safer to let the man make an overt move than dare risk damaging their already fragile ego.

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  23. You called this post today. In the matter of fact, after readings practically all your articles I think this one is the best.
    My respect and gratitude once more.

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  26. Access on actions; not words. – CHECK
    Covert communications frustrate men – CHECK
    Overt communication frustrates women – ??

    These concepts are not new to me. I first read “Women are from Venus….” 20 years ago, and that book says much of the same. However, it never occurred to me that overt communication frustrates women just as covert communication frustrates men. This is worth much more thought….

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  29. I dont think “mixed signals” is a bogus concept. Sometimes a woman is using push/pull to stir excitement, but she is genuinely interested.

    Other times she might just be interested in playing around, she is keeping you interested just for the fun of it. Its just another form of attention whoring.

    Its just to easy to blame the guy for not being good enough at decoding female language or actions. The guy might not even have very much behaviour to interpret apart from sparse interaction with the woman.

    The “mixed signals” is often part of the message. She is activily trying to confuse you with her actions. The information is not always available because it is being deliberately conceiled. Its active deception.
    Maybe signals become obvious with hindsight, when you can view the interaction and behaviour in its totality. But that is a different matter.

    Much of the article has some sound analysis, but this part gives too much credit to woman and the possibility of rational analysis of female behaviour.

  30. I’ve read this post so many times in the last month! Trying to bash this information into my skull, it seems. And not with complete success.

    If we discount a woman’s words, but she is quite clearly flirtatious, no matter her relationship status, how do we tell apart the girls who are actually keen to fuck from those who are just admiring an alpha without wanting to jump ship? It can’t be as simple as saying she will be the one sucking your dick, because many women I encounter still want to be pursued … though maybe I’m doing that wrong too.

  31. I’ve gone through this 4 times today…This is probably one of the most valuable posts Rollo has ever done. I faultered, but my kung-fu shall be stronger.
    The way I see it, Rollo’s work and other relevant work in the manosphere can be related to the dialogue Morpheus had with Neo…”Are you saying that I can dodge bullets?”
    “I’m saying that when you’re ready you wont have to.”
    Here’s to not having to dodge bullets.

  32. A good read indeed. Anyone ever notice that overt and covert communication can both cause hardship of talked about in the wrong place?

  33. “When a woman opts for the overt, rest assured, she’s out of covert ideas. This is an easy example of this, but when a woman cries on you, screams at you, or issues an ultimatum to you she is powerless to the point of having to come over to your way of communicating.”

    Is it a bad sign than she is screaming on you while you pack your stuff to move out for exmpl.?

  34. What i mean here, that she is trying to use your way of communication, “overt”, cause post says than she is powerless to having communication her way, and what is interesting is it a good sigh than she try communicate your way? As I feel she would just ignore you if it’s really unimportant to her?

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  37. I was in a camp few weeks back. The first day at the camp this HB7 start talking with me, grabbing my hand, laughing at my joke. hich I consider it to be an IOI.

    Apart from that during the course of the program I caught her many time starring at me, but the few times I try to talk to her, she’ll act cold or move away. Even though the stirring continues I didn’t bother talking to her again.

    And the fact that she got a lot of men interested in her, buying her dinner didn’t help. So coming back to this post its therapeutic as I don’t have to blame myself.

  38. here’s how i take it: women know upfront what men want from them. there’s NO FUN in just being overt, going thru the necessary steps, and arriving at the conclusion = sex.

    what they want is the build-up to the romantic movie scene (in their heads). and they want MILD overt signals from you initially so they can CONFIRM your interest level before they start sending covert signals in reply (if interested).

    from there, as a man, you have to, “just get it.”

    my lady is equally covert & overt when she communicates bc i usually bind her up with logic to the point where she communicates DIRECTLY as i ask, or she starts ‘crying’ or literally, crying out of frustration that i don’t want to ‘play the game.’

    btw, verbal silence, deflecting from a question, or just plain ignoring her antics also works wonders on her female ‘intuition.’

  39. Good article I was wondering my sister says she’s tired and sleepy but on the other hand she’s bringing over company and going to look parties, now today she’s supposedly sick and her body hurts but she had company again and she was moving she even went to the store, she said she had to moving to get stuff from the store to make her better and she was asking people for help so after helping her they stayed over for a while,she was talking and everything but i don’t know, now she’s playing sick again and wants me to go do the store, what do you think about this Mr tomassi.

  40. Last year I met a nice and sweet twenty something girl. She sent me some IOI´s and I started to chase her. She began to send mixed signals and I was absolutely baffled. Looking for information I found Heartiste´s blog and I realized that she perfectly matches with what Roissy calls the “Eternal Ingenue”. It was until I read your books that I understood her game and in consequence I did what I have never done before in my life; I walked away, cut all communication and did not look back. Now when she sees me I can feel she has some respect for me because I didn’t fall in her Machiavellian frame as many other chumps did.

    Thanks Rollo

  41. Thanks Rollo since reading this post more than a year go I’ve completely changed my communication approach with my wife. I take my cues from careful observation – before I’d puke out a direct question. Your whole blog has been life changing. But this is one of the top 3 for me. I’ve also started to gently explain some of this to my eldest son. I have 3 sons and my mission is to try and help them navigate the troubled waters in front of them without the pain I’ve lived. If you ever find yourself in Sydney the whiskey is on me –

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  43. This article is just the shit, really changed how I perceive women’s ‘signals’.

    I have to come out and say that I’m pathetic at reading the covert communication, are there any means to learn how to pick up on it and how to deduce what their hidden undertones are to their spoken messages?

    Cheers brother.

  44. “That’s not to discount women learning to be problem solvers in their own right, but it flies in the face how women set about a specifically feminine form of communication.” I agree with everything up to this point. And i only disagree with it because of semantics. While it isn’t incorrect to refer to meaning being conveyed in a more complex form than simply stating it as a “feminine” form of communication, I think it misses a very large fact. By implying that only women communicate this way it creates a blind spot that will only be remedied by personal experimentation. What I’m saying is, this ISN’T solely a female method of communication (saying one thing and meaning another, and being able to grasp that meaning by analysis of various outputs of communications ie. body language, eye contact, tonality, presence etc.). Everyone communicates this way. And while i get that this blog and all it’s information is geared towards bringing hidden truths regarding the feminine to light, I do think it is misguided to say this form of communication is specifically feminine. But for the sake of creating a better result than what already exists it works well. Just sayin’, you can read both men and wornen better by not taking them at their word and instead looking at their actions. And that fact makes it a human form of communication, not a feminine one. But again, for simplicities sake, I get it.

    I take back what I said. Read the rest of the article and you covered it at the end. Damn Rollo props, you’re a good writer.

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