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Hidden Messages | Sensitive Communication Tips

Hi there, this is Grace, and welcome to Sensitive Communication Tips.

So today’s topic is about hidden messages. And you might understand what I mean by hidden messages, depending upon your culture, your background, how your family communicated. So in my family, which happens to be Chinese, we use a lot of hidden messages.

So what do I mean by that? Well, someone might make a statement. But there is a hidden message behind that statement. Here is an example. My cousin, she is a year older than me. And so we went to the middle school and high school together, but she was a year ahead of me in classes. And so my aunt would ask my mom, so how is Grace doing in this class, because my cousin had went through it before. And my mom would say, oh, Grace is doing well with it, you know, and my aunt will make a statement and say, Oh, it was so hard, you know, I hear the teacher’s really difficult, but, you know, Nancy really excelled. And so she was making a statement, but the hidden messages, like, I’m sure Grace is doing well, but probably not as better as my daughter. Um, so you know, because in my culture, there’s also a lot of competition.

So, even though my aunt wouldn’t have straight out and said, you know, look, I think my daughter is better than your daughter academic wise. Um, and there is that hidden message where my aunt makes certain statements to my mom. And my mom understands it, you know, because my mom is also using these hidden statements as a reply. So sometimes what you hear may not necessarily be the straight out statement, there might be some hidden meaning behind those statements.

So how can you tell? Or how do you read these hidden messages? One is that you can look at the rationale, what is the rationale for the question, or the statement being made? You know, in the example, my cousin and myself, um, the rationale was that, you know, my aunt was trying to compete, and you know, trying to say, you know, I think my daughter’s better, in academics than your daughter, and my mom was like, you know, what, her reply was, you know, I don’t mind your daughter being better, I’m not in this competition with you.

So there was this sort of hidden messages going back and forth with what was being said, the other thing to look out is, you know, eye contact and body language. Now, in Asian culture, Chinese, Japanese, you know, it, it’s not polite to just straight out and do eye contact, right? But here in the US, from my schooling, and you know, from social skills with my peers, and everything, you know, they stress that it’s important to make eye contact, right? So you can also look at how they’re making eye contact, you know, is it kind of like a sly look? Or is it straight to your face type of look, so you can kind of tell some of their hidden messages by how the person is looking at you, the way their body posture, so the body language part of it.

And then the third is also look at the tone of voice. You know, when my aunt made some of her comments, her tone of voice was a little bit– not what her normal talking voice would be. So, you know, she might say, you know, instead of like, today is Thursday, she might say, Oh, my daughter, you know, and had this same teacher that, you know, Grace had, and, you know, from what I hear, so her tone of voice was a little bit different, when she was trying to make that little bit of a hidden message there. And so to combat, if you’re in that situation of hidden messages, and you just don’t want to engage in it, because it can be quite exhausting, you know, trying to go back and forth and trying to figure out what this person really means and what’s their motive and all this other stuff.

One of the best ways to combat that is just to keep it simple and short, use the KISS method. And that’s what I’ve noticed with my mom, if she didn’t really want to engage in that slide competition or something, she would just keep it short and simple. She’ll just say, Yes, Grace has that teacher. Grace is doing well. And so there was nothing more than she would add. So after a while my aunt then would drop it because obviously she could tell from what my mom’s reply is, and everything that, my mom wasn’t going to engage in that hidden message type of situation with my aunt. So, um, so sometimes you might encounter people that are not so direct, you know, they don’t really mean what they say, right? They might have some hidden messages in that statement that they are sharing, or there’s a hidden message to– as to why they’re asking those questions. So again, you can just tell perhaps by thinking about the rationale for it, their eye contact, body language, how it might change when they’re doing that hidden message, and also their tone of voice. And then if you just want to not be part of that hidden message, because it can be exhausting, then keep it simple and short, use the KISS method.

Alright, I hope you found these tips to be helpful in understanding about hidden messages and communication. If you found the tips to be helpful, please visit my website at That’s To learn more about me and what I do to help sensitive, introverted conflict phobic women, to be able to communicate their thoughts, feelings and desires so that they are seen, heard and recognized. So if that sounds like you, please visit my website to see how I can help you develop more effective and effortless communication. I look forward to seeing you here again next time at Sensitive Communication Tips. Thank you for being here. Take care. See you next time. Bye!

If you are driven to communicate with confidence, have your messages, be heard and understood, and repair any communication breakdown in your personal communication relationship, then Contact me here and I’ll get you started on the right path.

Warm regards,
Grace CW Liu
Communication Navigator


Grace CW Liu believes there is a solution to every problem including communication and conversation problems. Everyone can find the solution they seek by using the guidance of grace that is in you, with the grace of spiritual support, and Grace –me– as your Communication Navigator and support system.

My passion is to help sensitive, conflict-phobic, and introverted women have effective communication so they feel valued and heard in any conversation.

Through studying and observations, I’ve realized why communication breakdown occurs and the solutions to solving those problems. I’ve presented these solutions so that communicative partners can achieve effective communication!