How actions DON’T speak louder than words

How actions DON’T speak louder than words…

I’m guessing you’ve experienced a man you like do one of these things…

Not text back

Cancel a date

Show up late

Stall in asking you out

And after he did that you thought: “Well, actions speak louder than words, so he must not be that into me”

I hear women use this line not only for themselves, but then they tell other single friends the same thing.

“Judge him by his actions, not his words.”

If I had used this as a “rule” – I definitely wouldn’t be in a relationship that SUPPORTS me on every level I desire. Hemals actions were definitely not always what I wanted.

This rule creates the impression that everyone is clear on their intentions and is doing EXACTLY what they want – 100% of the time.

We are human and have a ton of mixed emotions around EVERYTHING.

Haven’t you ever acted in a way that was misinterpreted?

Let me give you an example:

Have you ever made dinner plans with a friend, but then you have to stay at work late because of a fire you have to put out?

So you cancel.

Imagine your friend thinking, “Oh well. I guess she just doesn’t want to be friends with me.”

If that happened – wouldn’t you want to shake your friend and say, “That’s the furthest thing from the truth!”

So imagine placing all of this into a bowl and mixing it up:

Past love experiences, pressure from family and friends to be married, feeling lonely, hurt, rejection, feeling like you aren’t confident enough, not wanting to seem too needy, etc.

That’s your brain. Often, that is why you’re so confused about what you want with a man.

Men are no different.

The only way to know if a guy is interested, wants to be in a relationship with you, is in love with you, wants to get back together, or simply wants a second date is to…


I know that it’s scary.

And yes, it’s totally possible that the guy who hasn’t been acting the way you want could come back and say that he’s not looking for a relationship with you.

But using the rule “Actions speak louder than words” has you ASSUMING a lot of things.

Know you can’t read his mind and he can’t read yours. So, ask ask ask.

It will bring you clarity. Closure. A sense of knowing what he is thinking and feeling.  

So, next time you hear something like “actions speak louder than words” ask yourself if that saying is stopping you from asking for clarity and closure.  

This week’s Lovework is to tell me below in the comments if you’ve ever said, “Actions speak louder than words”. How did it help? Or not? I would love to hear.  

In Love,


Sign up for free updates


  • Delightful5

    I have used, “Actions speak…..” I was in a relationship where the guy said he loved me, but never spent time with me. Not the personal time. He would call, or text, but never come have a movie night with me or anything. He had time for work, his son and his side adventures. I dumped him. He used me for codependency.

  • Hildos A

    Thank you for this article and it came at the exact right time! I was angry that my boyfriends couldn’t show up yesterday for a get together at my house even though he texted me twice saying that he is still at work I was going to text him today action speaks louder then words OMG!! am glad I read this before!

    • Kavita J Patel

      I am so glad this came through to you, Hildos! Thanks for sharing.

  • Swan

    Great Blog!!! 4years ago I read “He’s just not that into you”…. a book full with so called “proof” that ‘action is speaking louder than words’. It made me very sad and angry, and I lost my temper to my (then) boyfriend. Feeling sorry afterwards, I burned that specific book…
    It gears towards conclusions and prejudice, at best distrust on forhand. Good to scare anyone away… pff …glad that’s over.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Thanks for sharing Swan.

  • Neisha Williams

    I’ve used that phrase quite often. As recently as two weeks ago. I had two guys ask me out and I said yes. Both guys ended up canceling. Actually, one just never called me. When I called him the next day, he apologized and said he had a family issue. I wished him well wishes and positive thoughts for him and his family. I didn’t mention to him how his partying pics came on my Facebook timeline feed the day we were suppose to go out. I simply said actions speak louder than words.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Good for you Neisha, knowing when to move on. What happened with the other man? Did he have a legitimate reason for cancelling and are you going to re-schedule?

      • Neisha Williams

        The other guy cancelled and said he would have to reschedule at a later date. I don’t think he will considering I bumped into him yesterday at a fundraiser. He was with someone else.

  • Jane

    For me this phrase helps immensely because my major tendency is to see a mans potential and lessen the more toxic qualities in my head. Saying this keeps me focused on what he is actually doing to step up over time. I don’t ditch guys if they can’t make a date and explain why. It’s consistency over time that I look for. Many men get excited and say a lot of things. I just wait until I see consistent follow through. This is difficult if I’m drawn to a man who is extremely charming at first and then inconsistent. I need this mantra to keep me focused on reality and not my hopes.

    • Kavita J Patel

      HI Jane, so there is work here for you to do. Why do you always see the potential and lessen the toxic? Where did this pattern start for you with men. The reality is we have to go back and dig deeper to get to the root. The phrase is just a phrase. When you do the work you’ll see a shift and the phrase will no longer be needed.

  • Beth Gates

    So happy you wrote this. I’m going through something like this now. A guy I like hasn’t asked me out or called/text. Started to believe that if he really wants to, he will; but that was my way of not feeling rejected.

    Long story short, we met through work. Even though we don’t work directly together and I only work out of that office 1-2 times a week, there’s still that element. He’s also a little younger and I think he might be shy (which makes it harder for me cause I love shy men).

    We’ve both been the last ones to stay after a couple happy hours and have great conversation. At the last one, he took me to a movie because it was my birthday. He also bought me my favorite candy (which I didn’t ask for) and offered to hold it for me. Good guy, cute and very sweet. Saw him the following week and told him I had fun. He said the same. Told him to let me know about the next movie. (I texted him thank you after I got home and the next morning I saw he wrote back after I went to bed that he gets to pick the next one). He said he didn’t know what was out and neither did I. At that point, a colleague approached and I needed to get to my next meeting. As the day winded down and people were leaving, I let him catch me checking him out. As he left for the day, we both waved good-bye to one another. And that was that. Haven’t seen or heard from him since…although I admit, it hasn’t even been a week yet! I just like him and it’s been a LONG time since I genuinely felt interested in someone.

    Spoke with my mom about it (thank you SLL for helping bring us back together) and she said to enjoy this time. Use it to be his friend and get to know him. So, that is how I’m shifting my view.

    Also put myself in his shoes. He met a (kind of intimidating), outgoing older woman not afraid to tease him, call him out and speak her mind–and at work no less. Not exactly easy on his end.

    • Kavita J Patel

      HI Beth! So happy your relationship with your mom is flourishing! 🙂
      Choose a couple movies you would like to see and send him a “Hi, I see that the new ____ movie is coming out next week.” Choose a day you’re free and ask him to go with you.
      He likes you. You’re putting thoughts on him that aren’t confirmed. How do you know he thinks that of you when he looks at you. He could just be nervous because he knows how great you are. Make your move and see how it plays out.

  • Rachel

    I appreciate the blog and email, as I checked in I realized that it was easier to assume the worst case scenario than be courageous and actually get confirmation or a pleasant surprise. I am not even fully aware of just how negative and cowardly I am being, I say this in the present tense because I have a feeling a lot more revealing needs to happen in this area of my life. Thanks!

    • Kavita J Patel

      That’s great insight Rachel. It is work to keep positive, and move forward from the negative. Keep up the great work!

  • laurie

    I think RE-actions speak louder than words. We assume, don’t communicate, and then REact to a behavior which snowballs the miscommunication.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Exactly Laurie! 🙂

  • Rita

    Love you Kavita, but you’re WRONG on this one. ACTIONS DO SPEAK LOUDER than words. Especially if you’re not in a committed relationship with a man, but are just dating. Sure, you can ask, and a person can LIE. But ACTIONS rarely do. And like others have said, consistency IS KEY. Ladies, please remember that if a Man wants something, he WILL FIND A WAY 98.9% of the time, so please don’t give him the benefit of the doubt if he’s not following through and just accept that, as the saying goes, “He’s just not that into you” = “He is not the man FOR you”. Much love and best wishes for a GREAT, REAL relationship for each of us!

    • Mercedes

      Great insight. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

      • Lorraine Gugliuzza

        This is an interesting posting, I was just going to come to the blog and say that I have belived this many times with both friends and lovers, and it was always a negative thing for my head to say; and it was always a turnout either for the worst [kind of the end] or it was embarrassing for me, to hear the other party say, “its nothing like that Lorraine” ! Therefore, I was interested in reading threads about this. I hope for a shift in my thinking, even without a man at this time. Thanks, everyone

        • Kavita J Patel

          Lorraine, keep doing the love work that I ask and these shifts will definitely start happening and you will start attracting the right men into your life. Thank you for sharing.

          • Lorraine Gugliuzza

            Thank you Kavita. Things are improving, I know that. I let go of a bad for me emotional attachment of a lifetime just this week.

          • Kavita J Patel

            Awesome, Lorraine!

    • Kavita J Patel

      Rita, in opening your heart up for love you have to take chances. If you are looking for Red flags then you’re going to find them. When you assume a man isn’t capable of the truth then you’re going to attract in men that prove your theory over and over again. Opening your heart up allows for trust. Being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak, it allows love to flow so you can heal the pain and fear.

  • Mercedes

    I disagree with you on this one Kavita. Actions DO speak louder than words. In fact, 93% of communication between people is non-verbal!!!! YES!!!! 93% is behavior, body language and tone of voice!!!! The other 7% are actual words. It would be very easy for a person to LIE, but behavior always betrays the subconscious and exposes the actual true motives of a person. That being said, if a guy really has a personal emergency and must cancel a date, he will have no reservations to set up another one immediately to let you know he really is interested. Otherwise, his actions are questionable and you should treat them as such. Same rule applies at all times, whether you are dating, are in committed relationship or are married. There are no exceptions. Emergencies happen and we can all be understanding of those times, but we should be mindful of lack of follow-up that comes after canceled date.

    • DeeAnn Bradshaw

      I agree but I also agree if we want to ask we should but after we ask them what we want to know you still have to see if their actions match up afterwards if not then they aren’t being honest with you asking is just a part of the whole picture their actions complete the picture

      • Mercedes

        You are right. If you want to ask a person for clarification, you most certainly can. I am just saying that you will have more certain answer paying attention to no-verbals than the actual words. In my experience, most people will tell you what you want to hear and not what the truth is, especially if that truth might hurt you. Your best bet is to keep your eyes wide open as behavior always always always betrays what is on someone’s mind.

      • Kavita J Patel

        Exactly Dee! There is no absolute rule. You have to approach each situation differently because not all men are the same. They act and react differently so we have to approach each one with understanding. Thats why we have to ASK 🙂

    • Kavita J Patel

      Hi Mercedes, the actions we are referring too in this case don’t apply the body language argument because we are talking about picking up the phone and calling or texting which is unrelated.

      If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I don’t do rules. Rules hold you in pattern. If you release yourself from these rules ( Actions Speak Louder than words is a rule) then you allow yourself to feel and follow your intuition, follow your heart with vulnerability. Does that make sense for you?

      • Mercedes

        Kavita, I am a marriage and family therapist and I understand what you are saying very well. What I am trying to relate, however, is that non-verbal communication occurs even when partners are not in the same room and especially when partners are texting, are on the phone or not communicating at all. Lack of communication is also communication. Your emphasis is on spoken words between people and I am arguing that person’s behavior will tell you far more about that individual’s intentions than what they actually say to you because behavior always betrays our subconscious motives. Your approach of asking a guy “what is going on” allows women to clarify the situation and obtain closure. That I agree with. However, to approach life with vulnerability is not easy at all. Body’s natural instinct is to pull away immediately in an act of self protection. You are asking women to abandon this deeply rooted, internal mechanism and just put themselves out there. I would not be surprised to learn that this is extremely hard for women to do.

        • Kavita J Patel

          Of course it isn’t easy. If it was then we would all do it naturally.
          This is why I put together the Soul Level Love program so I can reach as many women as possible and help them through this process. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Mercedes!

  • Andrea

    there is some gray area in the saying “actions speak louder than words”. Someone’s behavior might not mean what we think it means at all and it’s possible to completely misinterpret a man’s actions because honestly, they think about and approach relationships differently. After many failed attempts at relationships, I find myself wanting to communicate more clearly and work through misunderstandings by asking straightforward questions. Making assumptions or finding “red flags” without probable cause might in fact fuel my anxiety, which makes me feel more insecure and in turn less confident and attractive to a man who might actually really like me. Your perspective makes a lot of sense!

    • Kavita J Patel

      Well said Andrea. Perspective is key.

    • Kavita J Patel

      Thank you for sharing, Andrea! You are doing an amazing job on getting clear for yourself and asking the hard questions.

  • Christina Posavec

    I can see how this can get you miss information. yes I say that alot even with my children. communication is the key for me. I am learning to ask the tough questions even if you do not like the answers, that is the main reason I am single again. sure isn’t easy. you have to give people chances to respond.

    • Kavita J Patel

      You are right, Christina. It isn’t easy, but asking those tough questions and getting answers, good or bad will help you get clarity and the right information. Thank you for sharing.