When it comes to the many different aspects of being humans and socializing, we often overlook just how powerful understanding is. Over the years of being taught a lot of lessons in life, I realized that understanding should be placed above all else. It is the key to connecting with others with minimized issues. And this applies to any type of social connections, whether it’s friendships, relationships, acquaintances, family, or just someone you meet. Learning how to understand one another could have saved the world from a lot of unneeded chaos.
Why is it Important That We Understand Each Other?
I can tell you first hand that there is no worse feeling, then when someone does not understand you. They may not have understood what you said, what you mean, or what you feel. And this begins to give us growing feelings of isolation. We need to feel accepted by those we are looking to gain connections with. In order to feel accepted, we must be understood… everything works in an order of chain reaction. Communication becomes smooth, and the risk of issues decreases when we understand each other. Those feelings of isolation when we are never understood, feeds the other negative thoughts.
At a first glance we think the most important aspect of relationships are love, trust, or loyalty. Yes, these are important in a relationship, understanding takes the #1 place above all else. Once we have understanding the rest just falls into place. I have seen it many times, from my own relationships even and through other individuals; the lack of understanding in communication alone has destroyed relationships when it could have been avoided. When someone takes something in the wrong tone or anticipates a different outcome, you lose more and more credibility with that person. Always being aware of how things could be understood incorrectly. There is not always much you can do to make the other person aware of the same rule though. Even if you bring 100% understanding to the table, there is no guarantee they can or will, which is the hardest part for me. I always try to be understanding and leave room for additional explanation, but a lot of the times people just don’t want to hear it. Their emotions sweep under them and they have no desire to pause for a moment and try to understand things from a different view, or to confirm if they were right.
Your family more than likely already understands you rather well, considering they are your blood. However not all families were close or are close. So, this presents difficulties when they do eventually speak to one another or spend time together. I was away from my family for some years and there was always a disconnect as a result. It wasn’t till I returned to northern Ohio and began spending time with them, that they were able to gather insight on understanding me. This took honesty though on my part, we can’t shut someone out and expect them to know or understand us. And sometimes your family might never “quite” get something, and that is ok. We do our best to try and gap the bridge of understanding, different factors alter how successful that is though.
My parents had kids late in life, so they were of a much older generation; for that reason, it has always been more difficult for them to understand their children in some ways. But they have come a long way and succeeded well in doing so. It may not be an exact science, but they made effort and it paid off.
If you have a lot of friends, or even a few best friends, you probably already have a good understanding of each other. Friendships seem to be the most in tune out of all the connections. This is not always the case, but the same principles apply. I haven’t had too m any friends over the years, Aaron has been more of a constant for a good 9 years now, though we met when I was much younger. We have always had a mutual understanding about many things in life, which has made all the difference in the world. The friends that stick around are the ones who have reached that understanding with you, the others eventually fade away.
Could Understanding Prevent Harm?
Absolutely… understanding is at the root of so much more than we often realize. When we don’t understand something, or someone, it commonly creates fear. Fear leads to hatred. Hatred leads to war. The feelings of being isolated when we can’t be understood can drive fears and hate within ourselves, especially if you have already been struggling with inner negativity…
If we just took that extra time to really stop and think and slow the process down so that we didn’t assume or rush to judgement; we might have a world that was that much more accepting and open-hearted. How many people have we lost to suicide because they felt that no one understood? It’s a strong negativity to fight, especially alone. Take the time. Try to better understand someone in your life or around you, that just might be exactly what they need.