Do you, like myself, feel you are misunderstood? I want to use the term feel because we base this type of word through feelings not fact. I believe the way I am as a person, people at work and in my personal life don’t truly understand me. This is for family, friends, and coworkers. They might not a piece of me but about 70% of the time I am told I am one way, but I feel a different.
An example with family, is thinking I am mad about something, but I am disappointed because I am not clear, or they are not hearing me. Which really is I being not clear. Working on the way I speak toward others is a constant struggle. I guess I could say I am self-aware of how I can be or come across, but my internal struggle makes it hard for me to show others.
I get the responses of how I am not quite, how I hold a grudge, how I am vocal, and speak all the time. Reality, I try to wait to speak, I am always in my head waiting to speak after others, and I try to speak up when it comes to others or I disagree with someone. When I try to say nothing, others think I am mad or dislike someone, when I speak up people say I am impulsive or rude. At this point I am not sure how to talk about what I want or how I can speak to others without the negative results. Being self-aware doesn’t mean I have fixed the things that can help other understand where I am coming from.
Taking on leadership plan with my supervisor, listen to audio books on how to communicate, and try to change some of my behaviors can help bring others to me. I don’t think everyone needs to understand me and I need to change, I believe success is when both sides communicate better so both sides don’t feel like they are being run over.
On the website onewithnow.com there is a section on how to move past being misunderstood, these ways can work in business and personal life. How do you move past being misunderstood?
After processing my findings above, I came up with the following pointers. I hope you find them beneficial.
1. You have the right to respond but not the obligation. You always have the right to express your opinion and discuss an issue further. But only if it serves a purpose and helps you move forward. You also have the right not to engage and not respond at all.
2. Others’ views of your opinions don’t diminish your worth. You are who you are and you’re entitled to your thoughts and views. Your opinions are not who you are. They are the position you hold at this moment, which may change subsequently.
3. It’s okay to be misunderstood. The newspapers and tabloids thrive on misquoting and manipulating words. In our daily interactions, others will take what they’ll take from the conversations. There is nothing you can do about it. And if they don’t like what you have to say, so be it.
4. Feel the emotions without rationalization. As much as we’d like to think that we humans are a rational species, we are not. We’re highly emotional and a lot of what we say or do is driven by emotions. You can waste all the time in the world trying to understand why someone misconstrued what you said. In all likelihood, what you expressed triggered a defensive response in them. It has nothing to do with you. So focus on how you feel. Also, realize the more important the person to you, the higher the emotional charge. Don’t try to argue with how you feel. You may feel angry, upset, fearful, disappointed, hurt, betrayed or any other emotion. Allow—feel and then feel some more. Write about your feelings; meditate on them, or just sit quietly and allow them to go through you. Take your time—there is no shortcut for releasing your emotions.
5. Write an imaginary response. If you feel you need to express more of your thoughts and feelings write them in a letter. What would you say to the person who you feel wronged you? Write what you would want to tell them and how the interaction made you feel. There is an amazing release that comes from putting thoughts and words to paper. This is what I did and I felt much better after.
6. Sleep on it. If you decide you want to respond and you want to discuss the issue further, don’t do it right away. Think about what you want to say and maybe even draft a response as mentioned above. Give yourself a few days. You will be surprised by how fast you may cool off and change your mind. In all likelihood, you will dismiss the issue and move on. For me I decided the best approach was not to send a response. Later I talked to my friend and we never mentioned taxes. It worked out.
7. Let it go. After all is said and done, let the whole issue go. Don’t hold a grudge or keep bringing it up. You don’t want to add fuel to a fire in your heart. If the other person was not happy with your decision, it’s their problem not yours. You cannot satisfy someone who is adamant about having an argument. Do yourself a big favor and don’t engage in further discussion. Sometimes the best opinions are the ones that remain unexpressed. You know who you are and what you stand for. Instead of engaging in trying to explain and validate your opinions, move on and do something that is more meaningful to you.
Letting go is freedom. You can’t force anyone to see your point of view. However, you can drop the issue and let go. It’s always in your hands.
We each need to trust our own internal feelings but on the same token we need to step back and make sure what we say is on point. Listen more, speak less, and create an easier way to communicate. Again, I am a work in progress and no matter my age I believe I will always be a work in progress.