Being misunderstood is painful. It can leave you feeling helpless, shameful, impatient, and angry, especially at the person you want to share with. Most of us experience this on a weekly, if not daily, basis. You know that feeling when looking into the eyes of another person and seeing the look of utter confusion, or worse. Often this leads to a deep sense of hurt, resentment, and ultimately loneliness.
We all have an innate desire to be understood, a human need. We want to share our feelings, thoughts, and perspectives with the people closest to us in an overwhelming world. There is also the desire for emotional release and validation. When we feel a lack of understanding, disconnection grows. We tend to push people away while needed to understand and confuse and scare them and us at the same time.
Are you the victim of being misunderstood? No worries, here we are providing 25 ways to combat being misunderstood.
Clearing up mind
1. It is okay to be misunderstood
The newspapers and tabloids thrive on misquoting and manipulating words. In our daily interactions, others will take what they’ll take from the conversations. There is nothing you can do about it. And if they don’t like what you have to say, so be it.
Even in daily life routine, miscommunication emerges with every passage. Sometimes, it is okay to be misunderstood. Please do not complain about it and let it calm down. It is the best thing to handle situations and combat being misunderstood and depressed.
2. Acknowledge vulnerability
Acknowledge your vulnerability and embrace it. Knowing it is essential to feel understood is just accepting a fundamental human truth and explaining why you might be experiencing such intense emotions over a misunderstanding.
A vulnerable person is more sensitive to hurt or attack. This is not the thing that you feel embarrassed about. Just accept yourself the way you are. Accepting your trait will help in healing and combating being misunderstood, and overcoming depression.
3. Understand others first
Listen, don’t just wait for your turn to speak. Ask questions and be curious about the answers. Determine other people’s positions. Understand them before moving on.
Your response to others won’t mesh if you don’t understand what they’re saying. You’ll be responding through your inaccurate understanding of their concern. They will then respond to this through their filter, thus distorting the message even more.
Neither person will feel heard because the communication was ineffective. The way to avoid this is by listening first, gaining a complete understanding, and then responding. It is the most straightforward strategy in combat misconceptions.
4. Get to know yourself better
The more you understand yourself, the more clearly you present yourself to others, the more they can understand you. Notice what things make you happy during a normal day versus what things you assume should make you happy.
Start paying attention to how you feel about things. When you got the idea about your feelings, you will better understand how to respond to your senses. Through this, you can grow better and combat misconceptions.
5. Don’t diminish your worth
You are who you are, and you’re entitled to your thoughts and views. Your opinions are not who you are. They are the position you hold at this moment, which may change subsequently.
Please do not feel negative about yourself. Understand your worth and avoid misconceptions.
Acknowledging significant others
6. Take a breath before responding
When you feel misunderstood, take a deep breath before responding. It is, oh, so tempting to either go into the defensive mode or, worse, to go on the attack and justify it by your perceived hurt at the other person’s inability to understand you. Give yourself time to cool off and avoid responding in such a hurry. This can help you in overcoming misconceptions and combat being misunderstood.
7. Feel emotions without rationalization
As much as we’d like to think that we humans are a rational species, we are not. We’re highly emotional, and emotions drive a lot of what we say or do.
You can waste all the time in the world trying to understand why someone misconstrued what you said. In all likelihood, what you expressed triggered a defensive response in them. It has nothing to do with you. So focus on how you feel.
Also, realize the more influential the person to you, the higher the emotional charge. Don’t try to argue with how you feel.
You may feel angry, upset, fearful, disappointed, hurt, betrayed, or any other emotion. Allow feel and then feel some more. Write about your feelings; meditate on them, or sit quietly and allow them to go through you. Take your time, your misconception is being avoided, and you will not feel misunderstood.
8. Use right to respond but not the obligation
You always have the right to express your opinion and discuss an issue further. But only if it serves a purpose and helps you move forward. You also have the right not to engage and not respond at all.
9. Ask for feedback from a trusted one
Are you hard to understand? Is your speech persuasive?
These are the questions that you may encounter in your mind. It is best to ask for help. You can take feedback from your loved ones for your self-correction. Discussing and listening feedbacks from your trusted one will push you to acknowledge your misconceptions, and you can combat your feelings of being misunderstood.
10. Repeat back after saying or hearing
Ask people to repeat what they think you said; if it’s different from what you think you said, you might be misunderstood.
Repeat back to others what you heard to see if it’s what they said. If you’re off-base with what you repeat, maybe you don’t understand them (which is why you may be misunderstood). So it is good to say and repeat back what you said and heard to combat being misunderstood and misconceived.
11. Know the value of being misunderstood
Like many painful experiences in life, being misunderstood contains some valuable lessons; in other words, it’s not all bad.
Being misunderstood shows you your boundaries. It shows you where your communication prowess ends and where you need help. It offers you an opportunity to express yourself and grow.
Best of all, it gives you a chance to learn yourself better and what drives you.
12. Expand network
Often, we expect one person to understand and help us through all our problems continually. This could be difficult, no matter how close they are to us. It is beneficial to find different avenues, or more people, who could comprehend our problems. If we feel misunderstood by one person, we still have other sources to explore, to feel understood and validated.
13. Guide people
A lack of knowledge can prevent people from supporting us desirably. We can guide them on how to help us feel understood. We could tell them what we want when sharing our concerns, do we want them to listen, or tell us that our problems are valid, or know their opinion on something?
Alternatively, we could also try different ways to reach out and feel misunderstood, write letters, seek therapy, and so on.
Changing body language
14. Make eye contact
Not everyone’s great at making eye contact, and that’s OK. But it does help to be aware of how others could perceive your shifty gaze. Often, people who don’t make eye contact when speaking to others are less likely to be trusted. It’s harder to connect with someone when it appears you are not present. And if people don’t feel seen, heard, and valued, they are less likely to understand you. So, maybe something to work on?
Learn to make eye contact to focus on verbal and non-verbal clues and avoid the feeling of being misunderstood.
15. Avoid fidgeting
Pulling at your collar, playing with your hair, scratching your face, these tics and habits can send off a negative message, too. This is all thanks to body language and how we subconsciously read into it.
By doing so, you may appear less confident and confused. So, it is suggested to avoid doing such fidgeting to avoid spreading misconception and overcoming being misunderstood.
16. Avoid frowning
Little facial expressions like frowning, wrinkling your nose, or pursuing your lips can give off negative vibes without you even realizing it. We have some habits and daily tics that create an impression about us in our observer’s minds, which may not always be a true reflection of who we are or how we feel.
While you shouldn’t become fixated on what your face looks like, others may be reading into expressions like these, thus causing you to be misunderstood.
17. Listen actively
When you’re not listening during a conversation, people can tell. Maybe you’re just waiting for your turn to talk, or you’re interrupting. And that can, for obvious reasons, come off as rude. That’s why listening skills are so important, along with being fully engaged when someone is talking.
18. Stop doodling during meetings
Like doodling on paper or tapping your foot, little boring habits can create the impression that you don’t give a damn even when you do. When in meetings on or on the phone, doodling can signal that someone is bored, but it’s capturing the doodler’s full attention in reality. They are a misunderstood lot.
While you certainly don’t have to completely change your personality, paying attention to your little, everyday habits and adjusting them where necessary can mean projecting your real self and feeling more understood.
19. Sleep on it
If you decide you want to respond and discuss the issue further, don’t do it right away. Think about what you want to say and maybe even draft response as mentioned above. Give yourself a few days.
You will be surprised by how fast you may cool off and change your mind. In all likelihood, you will dismiss the issue and move on.
20. Let it go
After all, is said and done, let the whole issue go. Please don’t hold a grudge or keep bringing it up. You don’t want to add fuel to the fire in your heart.
If the other person was not happy with your decision, it’s their problem, not yours. You cannot satisfy someone inflexible about arguing. Do yourself a big favor and don’t engage in further discussion.
Sometimes the best opinions are the ones that remain unexpressed. You know who you are and what you stand for. Instead of explaining and validating your views, move on and do something more meaningful to yourself.
Letting go is freedom. You can’t force anyone to see your point of view. However, you can drop the issue and let go. It’s always in your hands.
21. Don’t expect much
Many people have this difficulty, and it is a genuine difficulty. How is it possible to live without expecting anything and to live life as it comes? If you tell someone not to expect something, you mean that it is unlikely to happen as they have planned or imagined, and they should not hope that it will.
Expecting others always to understand you correctly is like a wish to be successful while sitting idle. Walk away from people if you are on freak and respond later. Fewer expectations will help you to keep yourself free and combat being misunderstood.
22. Read a good book (Daring Greatly)
Read Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. I wish I’d had the benefit of its knowledge and wisdom much earlier in my life. It can help with every kind of relationship from inside families to those at work, school, or church. Its message is equally important for men as for women. It is based on thousands of interviews and extensive research, yet it is highly readable and compelling.
23. Improve communication skills
If you’re not being understood, don’t just say it louder. Say it differently to avoid misconceptions and being misunderstood.
I say things that I feel are clear yet get no response. Two weeks later, a co-worker says precisely the same something, and everyone is on board.
I get frustrated and blame others when I need to change how I communicate.
To overcome this, I had to learn to figure out, in real-time, that the response I got was unexpected and that I needed to hold that moment and redeliver the same message. So when I suggest improvement and the room looks at me like I’m holding up a moon rock, that’s my trigger to continue holding that moment. I usually do this by asking questions.
I will ask, “Does that make sense?” or, “What part of that plan needs improvement?” Essentially, the idea is to keep people participating and speaking while I attempt to redeliver my message more effectively.
24. Work on self-esteem
If we want to be understood by others, we need to believe that we deserve to be understood. And for that, we need a healthy sense of self-esteem. Many of us mistake self-confidence for self-esteem. They are very different aspects of self.
You decide to like yourself because of your strengths rather than hating yourself because of your weaknesses. You stick up for yourself and defend yourself against your critical inner voice. For many people who feel inadequate, this can be a significant first step. Commit to notice and challenge the inner critic in your head. Start noticing the good things about yourself. If embraced, you will make progress toward what we all desire, unconditional self-esteem.
Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. To combat feelings of being misunderstood and fight depression, cognitive therapy and counselling can be used.
The feelings of being misunderstood associated with depression are common among people. You cannot force others to take you in a good way all the time. The suggested ways can help in combating feelings of being misunderstood and avoid misconceptions. On the other end, a psychologist’s visit is also a good step for taking useful therapy and psychological help. Be empathetic toward yourself, and please do not constraint seeking help.
Moving forward with Psychotherapy
Fortunately, Ahealo.com offers a global ePsychotherapy platform that allows clients to book an online anonymous private appointment with a broad skill range of psychotherapists at an affordable cost and desired schedule.
Alternatively, if you need to seek psychotherapy, be sure to check out ahealo.com. Ahealo is an online psychotherapy platform with a diverse range of psychotherapists for many different fields of mental challenges. Ahealo provides ePsychotherapy at an affordable price, confidential, convenient (through a web page 1-1 private video call), and at your comfortable schedule.
With these options, we believe your misconception issues can be resolved soon.