What happens when people misunderstand you? What can you do? How are you to react?
This is more common than you think.
People misunderstand each other’s actions, and reasons for those actions are more common than you think. It happens in the best of loving families, in the most supportive workplace, and in solid relationships.
A misunderstanding arises when one person judges another wrongly.
What do they judge? Well, it’s usually the behaviour of that person that is judged because that is the thing that is outwardly seen by all who would observe it.
Often, the person or group judging the individual failed to ask the person’s feelings, motivations, and generally what was going on in their life at that time. Therefore, the judgement is based on purely the persons own perceptions of the behaviours.
The person or groups who judge another is seeing the situation from their own worldview. So, what is a worldview?
Clément Vidal (2008). In his paper called- What is a worldview? He proffers that the term “worldview” is often used to emphasize a personal and historical point of view. Videl says further that it is necessary to have one and argues that the term is often used, unfortunately, without any precise definition. This is interesting to me, and I will cover the outcomes of his research in another post.
Why is it important to understand your worldview and how it works?
The short answer is that Our worldview, no matter how narrow or wide, makes up who we are is as individual human beings. Our worldview establishes our values, opinions, decisions, and our actions.
So, get back to what happens when people misunderstand you. The problem manifests itself when others judge you from their own worldview, in other words, from their own perspective of how things are and how things should be. And how things are and how things could be may be completely different from the reality of what they are observing.
We shouldn’t judge each other, but we do. It seems to be an automatic human trait as we see the world from our own points of view and judge it accordingly. So, it is not an unnatural or straightforward thing to do to walk a mile into somebody else’s shoes. However, what we need to do is to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective, from their reality.
But this can only be done when one bothers to ask the person how they are feeling and why they are acting or reacting in a particular way.
This takes effort. Understanding things from someone’s perspective takes caring about the person enough that you want to know them from their point of view and what’s going on with them.
Trying to ask questions takes time and effort. Also, their idea of their own reality may clash with your perceptions, so you just don’t want to go there. It is more comfortable staying with our own judgements, perceptions, and worldview of what’s going on with that person, group, or situation – even if they are misguided.
This is why many relationships fail, problems arise within the best of families, and the workplace can become toxic. In my experience, not wanting to understand another person’s reality and how they perceive it is more common than you think.
A lot of reasons for this. The subject is too vast and sensitive to be covered here, so that will be in another video or blog post in the future.
What can you do? How are you to react?
The best way to react is to ensure that your reactions are positive and not harmful. Anything negative will lead us to exasperation to the point there may be no return to that loving relationship or a happy work atmosphere. Therefore, our initial reactions are vital to managing the best we can. Today, I came across a graphic in my Facebook feed, and it says precisely what you can do and how you can react. So, I am posting it on this page to share it with you.
Do you agree that this message says it all? We would all do well to adopt this philosophy for our everyday lives and consistently be reminded of it. If we remind ourselves of these values, which is what they are, they are values to adopt when misunderstood. They will hold you well, comfort you and give you a way forward even when you’re hurting.
If you’re interested in knowing more about why it is important to have a worldview, let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
If you are hurting because somebody has judged you wrongly and would like to talk and be supported, please contact me. I would love to support you through either counselling or coaching.
Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope it was enjoyable and was helpful to you.
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Paula Rose Parish M.A.
Paula is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling and many other qualifications and a lifetime so, I have heaps to share with you. Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals
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