Misunderstandings: Why they happen

Misunderstandings: Why they happen
Highlights

How many times has it not happened to you that without realizing you have been misunderstood for something you have said or you yourself misunderstood what the other person was saying to you.

How many times has it not happened to you that without realizing you have been misunderstood for something you have said or you yourself misunderstood what the other person was saying to you. This misunderstanding can even turn out to be positive at times, but it mostly is a negative one. And at the end you are banging your head trying to understand where you went wrong! Now sit back and relax, because here are the reasons so as to why it is so easy to misunderstand or be misunderstood.

1. The other person’s mind wandered: Either they weren’t tuned into you or, without consciously having planned it, their brains temporarily went offline. Or they may have been preoccupied with other matters, and so weren't mentally available. Nonetheless, you may need to take some responsibility here. For it is also possible that you started talking without making sure you’d secured their attention. Remember, typically our minds are always occupied with something.

2. The other person may have quite different associations with the word(s) you’re employing: Put a little differently, what certain words connote to you may be dramatically different from the person you’re speaking to. And this may be particularly true if English isn’t their first language. But in a variety of situations you could be misunderstood because the meaning you ascribe to a word—or its nuances, or “coloring,” just isn’t what’s getting transmitted to the other.

3. The other person is strong-willed and rigid; and isn’t able to “take in” any viewpoint other than their own: You might have put your heart and soul while voicing your opinions but the person would turn deaf ears to you.Unquestionably, whatever you might say to someone this uncompromising will pass through a “filter” protectively in place for them and render impossible their ability to accurately, objectively, or sympathetically comprehend what you’re trying to share. Their archly defensive, or mentally blinded, stance inevitably leads them to twist things around so they can remain safe and secure within their (exceedingly narrow) comfort zone.

4. That person might have negative feelings towards you: And if this is the case, whatever it is that you say, even if you are complimenting him they are going to find something negative in that compliment you gave and turn it against you. Most of the time his reasoning doesn’t make any sense, it is just so that he can feel better about himself. In this case, there is nothing you can do to change it, unless you can get your hands on love potion!

5. The other person might be less educated or sophisticated than you: What assumptions might you be making about the depth or breadth of another’s knowledge base? Might your communication have included an allusion with which they were totally unfamiliar? Words which you wrongfully estimated the individual would know the meaning of. But which, frankly, many people do not.

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