How is it that we can go through life and never be truly understood? Could it be that maybe we don’t communicate well enough for people to truly get us? There was a time in my life when I felt no one got where I was coming from. They just didn’t seem to understand me or anything about me at all. Time has passed since I felt that no one understood me.
I think now most people do understand me, but it is because I try to be understanding myself. Isn’t it true that we get back what we put into a relationship with other people? If that is true, then it stands to reason that if I am more communicative on an honest, and straight forward level, I will be better understood.
I get to know people through their written and spoken words. There are a handful of people that I truly get. I get them because they give me an understanding of what it is like to be them. I learn about what they like, don’t like, and what makes them feel happy or sad. I learn what makes them who they are. The people who write or speak from the authentic part of their hearts, and communicate what they truly mean give me the gift of understanding them.
If I ask you how you are, and you say “fine” and say nothing more; you have told me nothing. You could be happy, sad, mad or anything in between, but you put on the mask that everything is okay and then I lack understanding. I call that being coy. I used to be coy with people. I never said what I felt, but now I do. I feel I owe it to you, and I owe it to myself to be honest in how I relate to you; however, it is my duty as a human being to be direct, while at the same time being compassionate. It is only then that we can have the gift of understanding.
Being understanding is a balancing act between being honest and being blunt. You can be direct with people without purposely setting out to hurt them. Sometimes the truth does hurt, and that can’t be helped, but I believe in my heart of hearts that with understanding comes prudence. We must be able to use good judgment when we deal with people.
Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. How many of us remember saying that as a child when someone hurt our feelings? Words do hurt sometimes. We must learn how to choose our words wisely. This comes with understanding how it feels to be hurt yourself.
Some folks are fragile. They have no protective armor to deflect what they perceive to be a lack of understanding. You must get to know a person to truly understand them, but in order to understand them, they have to communicate with you in an honest and direct way. In other words, you can’t beat around the bush and expect to be understood. Be direct. Be honest.
Being honest is part of being understood. Many of us have a propensity to exaggerate the problems we are going through, or do just the opposite and say everything is fine, when it isn’t. If we practice communicating directly, without beating around the bush we will all be better understood.