What exactly do people mean when they say they don’t get us? Why don’t they understand us when we are painfully trying to explain our situation, experience, imagination, or a memory to them? Why does it get so frustrating for our audience and us when they don’t understand us?
Every single person has gone through this experience. Very often we find ourselves saying to another person that, “I don’t get you” or “I don’t get her.” Many other times, other people have said this to us. When such situations arise, we end up judging each other quickly, reaching an unfavorable conclusion of the other person’s sanity, and sometimes even severing our relationship with other people only because “we don’t get them or they don’t get us.” We allow ourselves to wallow in pain and self-pity because the other person did not understand us in spite of being our best friend or our parent or sibling.
There are two things you can do when you find yourself in this frustrating situation where you cannot get your message across or when you don’t seem to understand the other person’s point of view.
- Become aware of your own reality
You have to clearly understand that when you are explaining a particular situation or an experience to a close friend or a family member, that that particular experience belongs to you, not to the other party. Your experience can only be close to your heart because you are the one who has felt it deeply. For example, if you are trying to explain a beautiful dream to your friend where you found yourself in a land of most colorful butterflies perched and on the most exotic flowers with a fragrance so unique and pleasing to your senses that you carried this beautiful experience with you even after you were awake.
Be happy and content about the fact that your friend is willing to listen to your dream. Don’t start judging your friend because he or she may not be able to fully capture the splendor of the butterflies and the flowers. How can another person understand the joy of the fragrance of the flowers that you experienced in your dream? It is very unrealistic on your part to expect them to understand this and yet every single day, knowingly or unknowingly you make such expectations from your loved ones.
This also holds true for experiences in your life that are extremely painful. You expect other people to understand what you are going through. Your loved ones make an effort and truly try to console you but somewhere deep in your heart you know that they did not understand your suffering completely. And most of the times, it is true. If you have been injured severely or are dealing with a loss of a person or a pet, how do you expect another person to feel the same exact pain? They will not feel it because they are not going through it at that moment. It is your situation. People who have been through a similar situation could sympathize with you and give you hope but sometimes even people with such experiences fail to understand you because that experience has been in their past. You are the one dealing with the present life situation.
2. Become aware of your ego
The second most important thing is to become aware of your own ego. Most of the times when the other person does not understand you, you will let your ego decide that the other person is below you – mentally and emotionally. Your ego will make you feel superior because you have been through an experience that nobody else can understand. On some days you will walk around with a full-blown ego of a person who is above everyone. You will be frustrated when people do not understand your pain, dreams, nightmares, ambitions, imagination, and memories.
Our ego fails to explain to us that when we share our experiences with other people, we are only giving them mere words about the experience and not the entire experience that involves the colors, smell, people, and feelings that we ourselves experienced.
When it comes to understanding others, you need to honestly answer some questions for yourself. Will you be able to fully understand someone’s childhood memories? No! Because those are not your memories and you are not present in them. You are present only in your own memories. At other times your ego stops you from appreciating the experience being shared with you only because you were not a part of it.
Once you become aware of your ego and accept your reality, it becomes easy to understand another person who you did not “get” at first. You will also learn to accept the fact that it is absolutely okay if other people don’t understand you and if you don’t understand them. After all, your personal experiences are for you, not for others. They are the lessons sent to you for your growth and evolution as a human being. Other people get sent different life-lessons for their growth and evolution. The minute you stop feeling the need to prove yourself to others, you will be at peace. You are self-sufficient; you are enough.