Misunderstandings make us mad, but it’s not always clear why.
There are lots of reasons to get mad at the people we love. It just seems to happen, sometimes right out of the blue. We don’t plan on getting angry, but as we all know, anger can just come out of nowhere and when it does—well, watch out. Anger is not very pretty.
I know I have been working on decreasing my anger for a long time. It’s not that anger is bad. It’s just that when we say harsh things, yell, or swear at someone we love… Well, there could be a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of damage. I just got tired of cleaning up the mess I made when I got angry.
Being Misunderstood Can Feel Like Betrayal
But it still happens. And I think I know why. I believe that when we couple with our person we fall into this lull of thinking that they love us so much they would never hurt us. We aren’t really conscious of this state, but we might carry this state around in our body because the first time we get misunderstood we are probably ready to react. And I don’t mean a little reaction; I mean something really big, angry, and unpleasant.
And being misunderstood is what’s happening. This love feeling that we carry for our mate turns us into mushy people inside our hearts. In this gushy, vulnerable state we have this belief that “if they loved us enough, they would know everything about us and will always treat us well.” So when we don’t get the right response or they tell us they don’t know what we are talking about it can feel like the worst sort of breach.
Misunderstandings Feel Like Betrayal When Our Expectations Aren’t Realistic
“But you were supposed to love me, and always get me, and not leave me even for one second while you figure out what I am trying to say.” This may not be exactly what you say to yourself, but I bet your feelings will be screaming this sentiment to you. And if we feel someone isn’t getting us and we aren’t aware that they aren’t doing this on purpose, well we might just turn that moment into a fight.
This is understandable. I know I feel it sometimes. On occasion I will try and explain something to my husband. I will be talking about a situation or topic important to me and trying to tell him about it and he will have that look on his face like I am speaking a foreign language. I see this confused look and it almost sends me flying out of my skin. I am still learning to not take this look personally. And that’s hard.
You and Your Loved One Don’t Think or Operate the Same Way, and That’s Okay
What I try and remember is that as clear as what I am trying to tell him is to me, to his ears and his mind it can sound incomplete or just off. It’s hard for me to really understand this in my body, it’s more like a “head thing” because it feels as plain as day when I am speaking something. But there are just too many examples where he doesn’t understand me and I know he isn’t setting me up or anything, he just doesn’t follow how I am telling a story.
So getting upset because he doesn’t follow my story is useless. I know he is not doing this on purpose. He is just listening to what makes sense to his brain and looking for a logical way to track what I am saying to him. I have had to learn that the confused look is part of that process. And that really is the point. I have had to learn, and I am still learning, to not take his difficulty understanding me personally. It is not personal.
It is just that we are listening from two different perspectives. I am trying to tell him something from my inside self and he is listening from his head. These are two very different and distinct places and sometimes they cross in a second. No harm intended, and I am learning that over and over again. Maybe you can too.
Learn How to Curb Understandings and Anger
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Improve your communication, reducing misunderstandings and fights with your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. You just might feel closer to—and more connected with—your partner than ever before. Give it a read.
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