You Feel Misunderstood
It is so easy to feel like people don’t and won’t ever understand you. There have been several instances where I felt like my actions or words were full of good intention, yet people just didn’t take it the right way. Something I’ve recently had to accept, is that people will never completely understand your version of reality or feel what it means to be you. This being said, it’s not up to you to try and make someone understand where you are coming from. All you can do is provide context when the time is appropriate and be introspective about your actions.
Picture this: a young child has been harassed about their hair ever since they can remember. This child has felt ugly and inadequate because of their hair. Then, this individual goes off to college and someone comments that their hair doesn’t look good. To you and me, this might be an emotionally void comment that simply roles off our backs, possibly prompting us to fix our hair. If anything, we are thankful someone was honest with us. To the other individual, this strikes a nerve and opens a gate which was holding in a flood of insecurities and self-doubt.
So, will we ever understand how this person feels in that moment when the comment is made? No. If they are hurt, it is up to them to explain how they’re feeling if they feel it to be necessary. Meanwhile, it is up to us to empathize. Instead of thinking about how their reaction is “wrong” or they potentially seem “crazy”, you and I can realize that everyone has a different reality. While we may react strongly to certain situations because of our own personal experiences, other people do the same thing.
On the other hand, sometimes people don’t want to understand others. They perceive something someone did or said and want to attach a negative connotation to it. Please know that, if this happens to you, it has nothing to do with you as a person. Rather, this individual is projecting their insecurities/frustrations onto you. Feeling misunderstood is normal, and it’s something you’re going to always run into in life. If we deliver actions/words with sound motive, there is nothing we can do to change how someone experiences it- it’s not our job to. Don’t forget that you’re the only one who knows your intention. Nobody gets to tell you who you are or what’s going on in your mind. Only you truly know. All we can do is make sure we have pure intent, do our part in understanding others, and remember that perception is in the eye of the beholder.