Let’s start this article with one very common and basic question – what true happiness means to you? Surprisingly, if someone has to select a moment/thing that gives them true happiness, it is rarely materialistic. Mostly it is love, trust, and understanding between family members, partners, or friends. These are some of the most precious commodities of life that money can’t buy. What makes these commodities so precious is their elusiveness. Love, trust, and understanding are hard to find and even harder to sustain simply because these three life sustenance factors cannot be maintained individually. For them to nourish, two people have to participate equally – the giver and the receiver. The success of any relationship lies in how these two parties nurture these emotions in their lives.
Why No One Understands You
We have talked and heard about love and trust many times so, in this article, I will concentrate on ‘understanding’. How many times it has happened to us that we feel sad and alone even though we are surrounded by people. We see people move their lips and hear sounds coming out of their mouths but nothing enters our mind. We just keep nodding and smiling and keep searching for some meaning. However, while thinking about how other peoples’ talks are evading you, have you ever wondered about the possibility that for someone else, you could also be part of the same cacophony. Your voice may also be just a noise for someone else. So, why we are not able to understand others and why others are not able to understand us? Why do we feel alone and misunderstood or not heard at all even though we are with best of our friends?
Why is it so Difficult to find Someone Who Understands You?
The simple and straight forward answer to this question could be – Because we all are self-centered beings and unless we love/like someone beyond ourselves, we are too busy to understand other person’s feelings.
Some other reasons could be:
Language – One of the foremost reasons for any miscommunication or lack of it could be the language barrier. A person may not understand you because he/she is not able to understand your language or diction.
Being Judgmental – People have the tendency to judge others based on their beliefs and preconceived notions. With such kind of reserved and influenced thinking, it becomes impossible for anyone to understand the other person’s situation.
Lack of Intent or Interest – You may scream in front of a person about your feelings but if the person doesn’t have interest in listening to you or doesn’t have intent to understand you, your voice will hit the wall and come back.
Lack of Similar Experience – You may have encountered a scenario in life where a stranger was able to understand you better than your known ones. This happens when the other person has had the similar experience in their life so they are able to relate with you easily. If a person has not experienced a situation similar to yours, he/she will not be able to understand your story completely. They may give you their support but you may not get their understanding .
Why is it important for us to be understood by others?
We Want Acknowledgement and Appreciation
It is important for us to be understood as it translates into acknowledgement and appreciation. And we as a human being, strive for acknowledgement and appreciation. In every relationship, we expect the other party to acknowledge what all we do for them. People in love expect their partners to understand how many efforts they are putting in the relationship. Parents want their kids to understand how many sacrifices they have made for them and kids want their parents to understand how hard they are trying to do well in the studies. We all want people around us to understand us and consequently praise us for what we are doing. That’s why, we feel bad when our friends, relatives, or partners do not acknowledge or praise us enough or ignore our efforts.
We Want a Deeper Connect
There is no greater happiness in the world than being with someone in your life who can understand you without you having to tell them anything. In most of the cases, this kind of deep understanding takes place when two people are living together since long. However, in some cases, even without having a long relationship, two people can develop an understanding like they have known each other since forever. This kind of magical connection is hard to find but once found, it takes your relationship to a different level and makes you the happiest person in the world.
We Want to be Heard
Often, we have seen people screaming their lungs out explaining and trying to make the other person understand their situation. They are eager to share their experiences and tell others what has happened to them. On the other side, there are people who are too shy to talk. They prefer to keep their experiences and feelings to themselves. At the end of the day, both these kinds of people long for someone who could understand their feelings hidden behind the noise or silence.
What does it take to understand someone?
Understanding someone means resonating with his/her feelings and perceiving the intended meaning. Contrary to how difficult it appears, understanding someone doesn’t require any special talent. Let’s first break some myths by listing the things you need not necessarily have to understand someone. You need not:
- Have sharp eye sight or extremely sensitive and sound ears.
- Be closely associated with the other person to understand him/her.
- Be living with that person for a certain period of time.
- Be an intelligent person with high IQ.
- Be a psychic who can read the mind of the other person.
You understand someone, when:
- A person relates an incident to you and you perceive the pain/happiness associated with it on your own.
- You haven’t seen your friend for ages but can still explain why he/she did what they did.
- You can feel the pain behind someone’s smile and happiness behind someone’s tears.
- You know the love behind someone’s anger and care behind someone’s absence.
- You understand the entire story when the other person has just stated two words.
To understand someone, all you need is some time, experience, patience and a kind heart and above all intent. Having a good understanding in any relationship is important as it brings the comfort level between the people involved. Once there is an understanding, you can build upon the trust and feel the love more profoundly. Sometimes, an understanding between two people could be a gift from God and sometimes you need to make an effort to be able to feel what the other person is going through. You can work on the following traits to become an understanding person:
- Listen carefully and with an open mind
- Try not to be judgmental
- Ask questions to gauge the situation better
- Do not jump to the conclusions
- Do not be in a hurry to provide solutions
A Quote to End With…
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”― Carl Jung