07 March 2017

The Key To Understanding Anyone

When you have an experience of being misunderstood or are accused of “not understanding”, take a moment to consider that there is something missing that just might make sense of whatever is perceived as “mis-understood”.

Yet when faced with the feelings that accompany misunderstanding, you probably go straight to reacting, protecting and defending and nothing changes.

In the paradigm of cause, understanding starts with a willingness to accept that whatever is happening and however you are reacting to it, there is something else going on under the surface that, when acknowledged, changes everything.

And to know this you only have to look at your own experience of being mis-understood.

What occurs is you say or do something that produces a reaction you do not like/did not expect. Then you push back - usually with the words: “You don’t understand!” and start explaining why the other is wrong for not “getting it/you”. Of course, the blame game never creates resolution, so round and round you go, feeling mis-understood and blaming the other.

When you accept that there was something missing in your original communication which produced the reaction, you can then respond by communicating explicitly and clearly the missing bits. And if you want to know where to look it’s usually that you did not give context before the content so the other makes up what they think you meant.

You have your own very sound reasons for everything you do/say … and so does everyone else. Mis-understanding occurs when you fail to communicate the whole of what’s going on - particularly how you feel - and what you want as a response.

If you want to understand and be understood, say what you mean, ask the other what they mean and respond to the whole communication … and you will understand.

"I will never ask you to understand my life but I will ask you
not to judge it as you do not understand it"

Eric Patten

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