“Being misunderstood by someone is vexation. Being misunderstood by everyone is tragedy.” (Liu Shahe)
How many times do we get the phrases ‘you don’t understand me‘or ‘i feel misunderstood‘ ? I sometimes belong to the people who will say ‘ i really don’t understand but i just trust you know what you’re doing and i believe in you’. So for the remaining times, i’m a full time ‘i feel misunderstood’ typa person. So what’s the whole concept about this misunderstanding issue and how does it even affect us? What’s understanding in the first place and should we just comply to ‘understanding’ people in order not to hurt the other party?
Understanding is just agreeing about something, ideas, sharing the same points of view about particular subjects but one thing we need to know is, not everyone is the same. Not everyone believes in the same things, not everyone is even open for dialogue once their minds are made up, not everyone is willing to give up on their vision and that’s where the problem arouses. On a wide scale, the world is so full of diversity and it’s but normal we experience clashes and break outs causing enmity among us when all we really need is a more open mind about the world and the changes it offers. On a more personal note, when we decide to make decisions about our lives and we are questioned about them or worse judged for them, then it becomes difficult.
Misunderstanding affects us emotionally, psychologically because whatever we put on the plate is being scrutinized and rejected. This gives a low self-esteem like we aren’t good enough to make our own decisions. It breaks us and we keep wondering ‘where did i go wrong’? ‘what am i supposed to do’? ‘I thought it was a perfect plan and now i’m starting all over again’ and it goes on and on. This might even lead to depression since the burden of feeling a complete mess is above our handling capability. A single moment of misunderstanding is so poisonous that it makes us forget the hundred lovable moments ever spent together within a minute. So yeah, it does destabilize our mentality and the perspective of things.
Trying to find a way of not hurting each other in a process of exchange could be challenging because at a point in time, we get carried away by our feelings and we say hurtful things so here are a few things to help situations:
- Choose your words wisely. Words like ‘stupid’, ‘foolish’, ‘crazy’ and you name it, could really be crushing so you’ll prefer being more tender and say ‘ you need time to process it’ or just try to be a little supportive by offering possible solutions or alternatives if you think it’s all new for you. Be kind.
- Be open-minded. We have different views about life so instead of trying to impose your idea, hear the other out and really communicate. It’ll help both of you grow.
- The tone of your voice. This part may seem insignificant but the way u voice out our opinion is very important so you’ll at least want to use a tender voice so as not to seem harsh or rude towards the other party. Just as your mum may speak softly while saying ‘ baby it’s okay don’t cry’ compared to when she screams ‘ i told you not to run and now you fell’ creates two different kind of feelings; one of a calm and loving mum and the other of an angry mum. It makes a difference.
- Believe. It’s gonna be hard especially if it’s a whole process and all new for you but sometimes what the other party needs to feel, is the fact that his work is worth it. So yeah, give it a shot and if it fails, fine. Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.
Finally, someone once said “I’m responsible for what I say but not what you understand“.Apparently, being misunderstood doesn’t mean you’re the issue, sometimes it’s the people that misunderstand you with all the issues. So no matter the outcome, misunderstood or perfectly understood, do not change for anyone. Moreover, if you don’t believe in what you want, who else will? Notwithstanding how hard the world pushes you, stay strong and hold on to your dreams. It doesn’t matter if you’re alone in it. Never settle for anything less than what you’re worth.
“To be great is to be misunderstood” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)