Are You Feeling Misunderstood and Lost?

misunderstood and lost, emotions

“I stopped explaining myself when I realized people only understand from their level of perception and that feeling misunderstood and lost is normal.”

We have all been misunderstood and lost at least once in our lives. We say something and whoever received the message understood something else. When communicating or participating in activities with people that have different perceptions, misunderstandings are bound to happen. There are many reasons why we are often misunderstood and lost. 

I have felt misunderstood and lost several times in my life. The people that really misunderstand me the most are my relatives. I will mention the four reasons that I can relate to…

1. I hide my emotions.

Concept illustration of a crying woman with a smiling mask in front of her face.
hiding emotions, happy, sad, misunderstood and lost

For some reason I feel that showing emotions makes people vulnerable and being vulnerable is perceived as weakness. That goes through my mind often but to be honest showing emotions is being human. When a person does not show emotions, speaking from personal experience, it means that they are somewhat detached from the people and situations around them. That can really cause people to misunderstand your intentions. 

2. Being too nice or too harsh.

There needs to be a balance. I have a friend who is too nice, he can’t say no when asked to do something, he feels bad and apologizes even when he has done nothing wrong. I have another friend who is really harsh and sarcastic. She often dismisses and demeans. People often don’t like being around her but after spending time with her and getting to know her I understood that she wasn’t trying to be mean.

From my own personal experience being too nice can make girls seem flirtatious. It often happens that I am genuinely just being nice to a guy and he thinks that I am flirting with him. One can be nice and still be able to say ‘no’ when necessary without feeling bad.

3. Someone is mad at you.

Often people bottle up their emotions and when they finally explode the most innocent joke can seem like the worst insult. If someone is unhappy with you no matter what you say it will be taken the wrong way. 

4. People are negatively sensitized to you.

Relationships can be difficult and if your relationship with someone has deteriorated everything you do or say will be received in a negative light. This is the one that helped me understand why my relatives misunderstand me.

I don’t know where the relationships went wrong but they are so broken that no matter what I do or say the response I get is “You are being disrespectful” or “You are being ungrateful”. Every wrong move I make no matter how insignificant leads to arguments, scolding and threats. At this point, there is no conversation that will not end up in an argument, and you just have to calculate your words and really think about what you want to say before you say it. 

Reflection on being misunderstood and lost

With my relatives I really got tired and just stopped trying to explain myself, my actions and what I say to them. It’s not that I don’t care but I just can’t change their minds about me. I used to think that there was something wrong with me, I had to be the problem.

There is no way that the four people I grew up with just didn’t get me; let alone know me at all. But I really started to see a pattern, they all just really had this negative image of me and that’s who I became for them (there will be a post about becoming who they think you are).

I am not sure that was my best move because it really didn’t help the situation. I am seeking ways to save my relationship with them, but I think my damage is psychological. I need professional help in order for me to learn to relate to them.

Sometimes when you are just misunderstood all the time you begin to detract from the people who misunderstand you. For me to feel at peace I would rather just cut someone out than try to explain myself all the time. But I have learned that cutting people out can lead to a very lonely and sad life. I remember I read in a book once that no one can live in solitude. We are social beings and need social interaction. If being misunderstood becomes overbearing, take a break and regain your strength, try to say what you are saying in a different way.

Keep in mind that people have different mindsets. We all perceive things differently. It is normal to be misunderstood. We often misunderstand other people as well. If you realize that you did, just do the following:

1. Listen actively and attentively.

Don’t just listen so you can reply. Stop thinking about your response and really hear what the other person is saying. 

2. Realize and accept the state of mind you are in.

You may be tired, angry, not interested or you simply just want to be right. Once you realize what state of mind you are in you will be able to understand the reason why you are misunderstanding the other person. Once you’ve acknowledged your state of mind you can actually help yourself to be more perceptive to the other persons’ point of view. 

3. Decide what is more important.

Is the relationship more worth salvaging than you being right? If it is then for the sake of the relationship make an effort. Often simple misunderstandings can lead to bigger issues and even the end of a relationship. You don’t want to be losing friends, family or relatives over nothing. 

4. Work on yourself to avoid feeling miunderstood and lost. 

In order for us to be better understood and to understand others, we need to constantly work on ourselves. Do some introspection, be honest with yourself, deal with what you can and ask for help to deal with what you can’t. It is that simple.

I am writing for you to read but I am really writing to myself. I have many things to fix and I think I have a way to fix it but I need to start being more honest with myself. I can’t do everything on my own. We can’t do everything on our own. 

To be honest you won’t stop being misunderstood but you can make a little difference. Don’t give up on people, don’t give up on yourself.

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