What happens when you tried to communicate and no one seems to understand you?
When was the last time you felt understood? Or listened to? When was the last time you have been in some sort of connection or ‘clicked’ with another person?
At times, I too felt as if I was in constant battle against people around me who know me but not quite understand me at the same time. We could be on the same wavelength on some topics but out of sync on another, and that was the most frustrating part.
To be honest, it’s not easy to tell our stories, much less discuss our personal issues with others. In fact, it takes a huge courage to do that, especially to people who matter to us. (Do you ever feel that it’s easier to pour your hearts out to people you are not as close with?)
Personally, I have also seen many cases when family members stay so close to each other under one roof but barely speaking to each other. In some instances, they have even fallen out with each other and have not spoken to each other in years.
Often times, we wanted to share so much, not to boast or flaunt, but to let people know what we are going through, how far we have come and to relay the message that is within.
In times when we are vulnerable, we tend to seek and yearn to be understood and accepted for being us. When that didn’t happen, we feel worse about ourselves, alone and misunderstood, and withdraw ourselves from positive communication.
Over time, this gap in seeking to understand from those who matter, especially those of whom we cared and wanted their attention turns into a daunting task to do, a mission too tiresome and a one-way communication too difficult to work on. Eventually, they would choose to hide their emotions, seek that understanding elsewhere or become distanced and withdrawn.
This brings disadvantages in that they would always be trying to seek acceptance from others in attempts to be listened or paid attention to, end up seeking the wrong type of support, being influenced or made use of in the process, or think negatively of themselves, all of which would not help.
If only there was someone who can see what we are trying so hard to tell, life would be so much easier to handle. How about we turn the stone around and see things from the other party’s perspective?
As you struggle to seek understanding from others, what can you understand from their perspectives? For all you know, they may be struggling to feel understood too.
Communication is Key
The more common problems around us are when children, especially teens, feel that their parents don’t understand them as they are growing up. They think their parents are too strict with them or expect too much from them. But, they’ve never really tried to see from their parents’ perspectives.
Parents, on the other hand, think they know their children so well, what their children think, that they have been there and done that, and so on. But really, do they?
Most parents these days are working dads and mums. They strive and thrive with long working hours and work responsibilities to provide good education and lifestyle for their family. 24 hours a day seem less than enough, but they try their best. At the same time, they are trying to play their best role in their personal and family life.
What parents need to know is that times are different now. Their children are exposed to more information and knowledge that in the past. However, in essence, the needs of their children are the same; they want to be loved, paid attention to and cared for.
What children need to know is that their parents only want the best for them.
Communication between one another is most important and also one that requires consistent commitment, time and attention. The approach has to be tweaked over time as children grow up.
Seeking to understand each other’s situations are much more effective than expecting each other to do things for one another.
When you face challenge in communicating well to seek or gain understanding, try out the below
Recognize the gap in understanding one another.
You have tried to communicate with your family, friends and/or loved ones, but they just don’t get it. Perhaps they have really been there for you, just not the way you want it.
Different people view/deal with situations differently. Our ways of expressing love and concern to each other may be different too. Recognizing this fact helps you to see from their perspectives.
Also, understand that others’ responses and behaviours are not your faults. Each person has their own thoughts, perceptions and life experiences. Their values are different from yours too. What matters to you does not mean it will matter to them.
Find support from like-minded groups or your tribe.
Not everyone possesses empathy. I remember times when I went to people I trusted with my problems, but I was either brushed off or was given silent feedback or sometimes worse, being judged.
That’s when I realized the importance of finding the right support. Find those who have been through similar situations as you, who share the same interests as you, or from a similar background. Finding the right support is extremely important and can benefit you greatly when they are positive influences. You feel understood, and are happier in their company, as they enjoy yours.
There are also many supportive platforms that offer great advice and support. You are not alone.
Along the way, show yourself some love & seek to understand yourself first.
Be kind to yourself, you are your worse critic most of the times, but you also understand yourself the best. Don’t just break out in anger or frustrations when people don’t understand. So many times people get angry at others for not understanding them but they possibly lack the right approach or communication method to reach out to others. Know what is lacking or what made you frustrated.
You have the answer within you on how you want the story told or issue to be resolved.
Breathe and let go
You do the best that you can and leave the rest to timing. While you may not have a solution now, things will get straightened out sooner or later.
It’s normal to feel negative emotions such as frustrations and anger, even sadness and loneliness for not being understood. Begin to let go of the fire you’re holding on to because the more you hold on to it, the more you burn yourself.
Practise deep breathing
Deep breathing slows our emotions down. When you feel frustrated during miscommunication or in a misunderstanding, step away from the situation. Let your emotion cool down with the practice of deep breathing. Count up to 20, 50 or even 100 if you need to.
When you are ready, make the effort to communicate without getting into a serious argument again. Try to see things from the other party’s point of view.
Learn to Communicate and Express Yourself Better
There are times when we misinterpret the good intentions of others and get offended or when we have difficulty expressing ourselves and chose not to share more. Learning to communicate and express yourself better is a great key and skill to develop yourself. It is also a lifelong skill that you can use.
Communication does not mean knowing how to speak but also listen. It is also knowing how to listen when another person is talking and replying only after the other person has done talking. Communication also means knowing how to relate to others with your body language and how to read the body language that others are displaying.
Great communication methods bridge the gap between people and it is also one of the factors why people have a great connection with one another.
In fact, communication is an art by itself.