There are some things that only misunderstood people would understand.
The need to be understood is one of the deepest needs we have. It’s not just a matter of being able to find and become the person you’re supposed to be – it’s trying to do it in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling forgotten or overlooked. So many times, we have quirks or differences about ourselves that sometimes we wish we didn’t have because they make us… well… different to everyone else. And not always in a way that makes us feel unique or special. Usually in a way that makes us feel like the proverbial black sheep or the proverbial ugly duckling or the proverbial Mac lover even though the market is still majority PC… or the proverbial whatever animal you identify with.
So whether it’s because you have red hair, blonde hair, dark hair, no hair, blue eyes, red eyes, pink eye or no eyes, introvert, extrovert, doesn’t even matter, were a 70s kid, an 80s kid, a 90s kid, or were never a kid – here are some things that only misunderstood people would understand.
#1: You feel the pressure of always needing to explain yourself
One of the most annoying things about being misunderstood is the constant pressure to always explain yourself. If you’re introverted like me and need to take a break from the bigger groups every now and again, you feel like you have to always tell people you just need your downtime. If you’re focusing on your career, you find yourself always needing to remind everyone why you can’t come to the thing by 6pm. If you’re feeling lethargic, you don’t want to have to decline another invite from someone you’ve already told you aren’t up to it today. You meant well with what you said, but it’s been misinterpreted again for some reason.
Then you find yourself getting annoyed that you have to justify yourself once again. Ugh, why don’t people just get it?
Probably cause people are people, and not mind readers, and can be quite forgetful… and sometimes just like to press your buttons to be annoying or see if your response changes.
#2: You find yourself keeping people at a distance even though you want them to be close
So many of our approaches in life exist within a catch 22. We’ll want one thing, but do the opposite, and the decision enforces the reality you want to change. Maybe you want to hang out with the gang on Thursday night, but you’re feeling a bit tired and lonely, so you stay in… which makes you feel a bit more tired and a bit more lonely. Maybe you like a guy or a girl, and they explore the topic with you, and what do you do? Tell them you’re not interested. Even though you are. We might be feeling hungry, but we’re also feeling lazy, and probably because we haven’t eaten anything, but to make something requires effort, but you’d have energy to make an effort if you ate something…
And maybe you actually want people to understand you, but you still keep them at a distance.
In fact, you’re often quite good at it. You know how to phrase things in a way where people don’t actually find out what you’re really thinking about or doing with your time, but not in a way that completely shuts them out.
But on the inside, you feel like no one can see you.
The catch 22 of wanting to be seen, but rejecting ourselves before others have the chance to. In our feeling of being misunderstood, we often lock ourselves up even further on the inside so we won’t be misunderstood, but if we opened up a bit it might help others actually understand… but then they might block you out and make you feel more misunderstood…
The cycle continues. Until you break it. Or you break.
#3: Sometimes you’ve locked out the people who have understood you
A lot of people wish they had better friends. They wish they had people they had more in common with, people who they could have some more meaningful conversations with, and just people who were more available with their timetable.
If you feel misunderstood, then you’ve found yourself every now and again feeling this way even though you’re surrounded by people who love you. You do have friends who understand you quite well, and are willing to take the time to go deeper with you, but sometimes because of #2 you erroneously believe no one cares or wants to try to understand you.
Maybe you’ve gotten it wrong in the past where you have hurt someone who cared about you. Maybe you’ve found times where you’ve taken people for granted and you really haven’t been grateful enough to recognize how great the people in your world really are.
Sometimes that feeling of isolation isn’t actually real, and it’s something we’ve invented in our own minds. I think this is where it pays to take a reality check on the people who are actually there for you, despite what you’re feeling.
I know there’ve been times where I’ve felt like no one cared or understood me mere minutes after having great discussions with people who have proven they care about me. Isn’t it crazy that we can do that to ourselves? Sometimes the smallness we feel isn’t actually because people don’t care, but because we’ve failed to see the love that’s around us every single day.
#4: You’re able to understand other misunderstood people
A great thing about going through the challenge of feeling misunderstood is that you’re easily able to recognize when others are feeling misunderstood. You can completely sympathize when someone is telling you how lonely or isolated or used they’ve felt.
I think one of the best things about having a difficult emotional time is it really opens your eyes to see things that you don’t see when you’re on autopilot. So many times we can just be cruising through life, doing the things we’ve always done, driving down the highway, spending time with others, and yet failing to see the need and hurt that stares us in the face every day.
What a great opportunity to use your feeling of being misunderstood to help someone else see that someone cares and is very interested.
#5: You measure what people give to you by the measure you give to others
If you’re a generous person, constantly giving, always on the lookout for people in need, you find yourself wishing that you had someone like you in your life. Someone who gave back to you in the same measure you feel you’re giving out to others.
Often what we expect from others is coloured by our perception of what we give. If we give people encouraging words, or finances, or quality time, we hope to be remunerated accordingly. And we wish that people would understand we feel that way.
Unfortunately, not everyone gives in the same way.
The way you give you may perceive to be the size of a bucket, whereas someone else may only give back to you what feels like a cup. Recognize for them that sometimes the cup is all they can give. I think we also need to recognize that what we view to be a bucket size may be seen by someone else as a cup size. Maybe what we give to others, others feel the same way we do about what they give back to us (what’s with all these cycles?).
I’ve just learnt to be grateful whenever someone does anything in any way in any form for me. Whether or not it always tickles my fancy or makes me feel like I’ve been given a lot, I’ve learnt to recognize that no one owes me anything, and it’s a true blessing when someones goes out of their way to invest back into my life. Here here, ladies and gents.
#6: You feel like you’re the only one
The truth is that when you’re feeling misunderstood, you feel like you’re the only one. No one else is as misunderstood as you are, and no one else could ever hope to understand what you’re going through.
The reality is though that every single one of us goes through times where we feel like no one understands us. In fact, many of us go through similar experiences but don’t really open up and ask others about it. Sometimes we obsess over our pain or our confusion so much that we’d rather hold on to it then to open up and take someone’s hand as we go through it.
Maybe the answer you’re looking for is in the life of someone else who’s gone through something similar. Maybe the answer someone else is looking for is in your story. Let’s never keep it to ourselves.
In truth, this list goes out to every single one of us. All of us, no matter what we look like or what our body type is or what sort of video games we do or don’t like, have times in our lives where we’ve felt misunderstood. I hope you find out how understood you really are.
You looked into my life and never stopped, and you’re thinking all my thoughts are so simple, but so beautiful. And you recite my words right back to me, before I even speak, you let me know: I am understood.