Thou Shalt Be Misunderstood

by Eve Livingston

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It’s unavoidable.

I agree, life is more comfortable when we worry not at all about this, or worry less.  But, if the lack of worry about it is because you think it’s not gonna happen to you, be prepared:  it will.  Perhaps it already has.  You may have noticed this or it may have failed to capture your attention.  Either way, in all likelihood, it will happen again.

So, what’s to be done?

Well, first it helps a lot if we begin by simply facing it.  Facing it plain and simple.  It happens.

The being misunderstood part is not so much the problem; it’s how you navigate the terrain.  And this, it turns out, much like navigating any other terrain, is often simply a matter of getting familiar with the landscape.  Just have a look.  Needless to say, it helps to have someone open minded look with you.  Even if only to carry an extra flashlight for those areas that can be dark.

Doesn’t mean you have to decide anything imminently about what you want to do or should do or will do about being misunderstood.  It doesn’t mean you have to know, immediately, how to make yourself better understood.  Doesn’t mean you have to figure out before sunrise how much it even matters to you if someone else ‘gets’ you.

No, you don’t have to figure out what to do about it until you’re ready…until you understand the situation well enough.  Take your time and think about it.  And you don’t have to do anything about it on your own, if you feel in over your head.  If you need help thinking through what happened, seek as much help as you can find.  You can get help puzzling through this issue, if you need it.  You can get help coming to understand where things went wrong and how to assess your options in the way of rectifying them.  Rectifying or accepting; whichever the case.

In the meantime, whether with assistance or without, it might diminish stress and anxiety if you accept that sometimes being misunderstood is a fact of life.  It is a result of our social DNA.  It comes with the territory of being human, and, while it is among our most difficult challenges, it is, at the same time, often also among our luckiest opportunities.

 

 

 

 

©Content copyright 2017. Eve Livingston, Ph.D. All rights reserved, for more information, see content page.