Do You Feel Misunderstood by So Many People – Always Trying to Be Understood? Here’s 3 Things That Actually Work…

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Do you ever feel misunderstood?  Do you ever feel that way….a lot?gain understanding

I know I do – it’s one of the most frustrating parts of our existence.  We strive to be fully known – to have someone embrace our ideals, thoughts, and opinions.

We desire others to really understand us at a deep level, even if they disagree or their views are different.  We really desire to just be…understood.

However, sometimes this is to a fault.  Sometimes you and I both can want this to our detriment, meaning we can strive so hard to win other people’s understanding that we drain all of our energy trying to get there.

In the event trying to get others’ understanding on a continual basis keeps happening, here’s 3 things you can do INSTEAD that actually work:

1.  Verbalize when something’s part of your personality.

You would be surprised, but this works.  When others hear you say something is part of your personality and it’s just how you’re wired, and they can genuinely see you’re content with that, they may have additional little tid bits to say, but it won’t be much – anything beyond that, and your person-hood is being insulted.  Most will just accept that – they’ll have to.

Most people respect what is part of who you are. 

The key here is not abusing this phrase – for example, eating fruit is not a part of who you are – it’s something you really like.

If you over-use it, you can’t expect that it will be respected.

Stick to using this strategy for personable traits such as “I need alone time often – it’s part of my personality” or “I really don’t like small talk – it’s just part of my personality.”

2. Back away from the argument.

Here’s the thing.  When we argue with someone back and forth, back and forth, trying to get our point, personality, POV understood – we are giving the argument power, not the relationship.

Have you ever stepped back from an ongoing argument and calmly said “okay, it’s cool – I am really SO okay if you don’t get it?” 

This is powerful.  It reverts the power back to the relationship – relating to one another – and makes it less about the power of two people trying to be understood.

When you genuinely let someone know you can let it go or agree to disagree, it’s amazing how understanding sometimes suddenly appears!  It doesn’t always, but I’ve had this happen to me so many times – when you calm the atmosphere, understanding comes a lot easier.

3.  Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

There is nothing more powerful than showing someone else you fully understand their POV, if in fact, you do (don’t say you do if you don’t).

As humans, this is all we want – understanding & connection.   Think about how powerful YOU feel when someone looks into your eyes and says “yeah, I get it.”  It’s like warm honey to our minds.  We crave understanding from another person.

So, in the same way you know that, genuinely let someone else know that you fully understand them first, THEN you can have your turn.

This is the beauty of being a giving individual.  You have the opportunity to selflessly give to another with no promise of a return.

[quote author=”Stephen R. Covey”]Seek first to understand, then to be understood. [/quote]

Now, I’d like to hear from you…

Have any of these worked for you?  Will you be trying any of them?  If I didn’t list something that either works for you OR you have used before here, please do share it below.  I welcome your perspective & stories.

Thank you for being here!



  • Kittie
    August 2, 2013, 6:29 pm  Reply

    I am a person who has had many (failed) relationships. I started out with an engagement at fifteen that I broke off 2 years later. Since then I have had freakishly consistent 1 year relationships and am now 25. So I have thought, probably more than most, on the subject of people, communication, perspectives, and communicating those perspectives. In case anyone reading is wondering, these topics fall under the subject of Human Relations (which is fascinating and helpful to study). I have often thought about how important it is for me to feel understood. It is never (almost never) that I need someone to agree with my perspective… but that I need my perspective acknowledged and respected. Really I just need someone to understand how and why I came to my own conclusion because if they don’t, I feel, even if they do not say it, that they think that I am unreasonable, irrational, or ignorant. My perspective of the “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”: Although I am an empathizer and believe whole heartedly in this quote, it gets very old to “understand” everyone else’s perspective and then most people not taking the time to hear mine. I find I struggle with some resentment due to being a generous natured person. I have found that most people are selfish and will take without giving back if they can get away with it. I am not sure if this is society today or human nature as a whole.

    • Kittie
      August 2, 2013, 6:55 pm

      Sorry I never answered your question. What I found works for me best is the first option (when appropriate), any reasonable person can understand that everyone has quirks that they have to work around because those quirks are a concrete part of them (in other words non-negotiable). I also use option three a lot, and it works very well for me. Most people will be more willing to hear your side if you are a responsive listener to theirs. I am sad to admit that I cannot use option 2 often. It is very hard if someone is arguing against me, for me to back down. If the person respectfully disagrees and states their reason, I can handle it, but if they are aggressively disagreeing, I will defend.

      • Niyah
        October 16, 2016, 10:07 pm

        I’m so happy I found your response (though 3 years later.) I have never found someone else that sounds like me down to a Tee in Anything. Finding such a simiar relation in something like this is seriously amazing to me. I feel so happy to know this and I wish you received a respnse because I am in this very same predicament. I’m so often misunderstood and it seriously pains me. I’m in such a dark and difficult place and I’ve been there for a while. It just seems to be getting worse. The desire for someone else to understand you as you can them without them thinking your closed minded or that you dont want to listen to anyone unless they agree with you because you’re at the point where you are just so tired of everyone not seeing what you’re saying, not understanding, not connecting. .. I know it very well. I agree with the options and i definitely agree with the reasoning for the option 2. Like I said, im experiencing the same thing. Three years later and I hope life is teating you very well. Thank you so so much for this comment.!

        • October 18, 2016, 4:53 pm

          Niyah – beautiful words here, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective. I’m honored you re-visited this content. It actually caused me to go back and read what I wrote to see if I even still agreed with myself from 3 years ago. lol! I do, so that’s great. 🙂 Solid, repeatable advice. Would love to subscribe and stick around here. Lots of unique content! –T

  • Fighter
    July 4, 2014, 1:03 am  Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely article. It is very comforting for someone like me who is battling with being misunderstood. I actually learned a very valuable lesson from this about the verbalization of my personality. This is something I will definitely be working on because I keep in a lot of things and it becomes overwhelming sometimes. Thank you so much.

    • July 11, 2014, 7:33 pm

      You’re so welcome! SO glad to know this was helpful.

  • Cristina
    February 13, 2016, 12:46 am  Reply

    Great article! Many thanks for the insight!

  • Atoyebi
    September 17, 2016, 2:06 am  Reply

    Hi, I am 24 years old and I’m tired of this situation. I am always misunderstood no matter how much I try to explain myself about my intent for saying whatever I said, but it always fall on deaf ears. Recently, I complained about how our on the surface communication makes me feel and what it can do to our relationship based on the kind of person I am. He thinks I wants a break even after explaining that I only want a better relationship. Now I don’t know if we’ll move past that or if I should be expecting a break up.
    If I can’t talk to my boyfriend about things affecting us, who then will i ask?

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