Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood | INFJ Forum

Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by dneecey, May 14, 2009.

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  1. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    This is another thing I wrote a long time ago that I thought I would share here. This forum seems to be filled with some of the most understanding of people and I'm guessing it's due to the fact that the majority of us are INFJ's. Not to disqualify the other members because everyone seems open minded, I just think it might have something to do with the fact that this is an INFJ forum that makes everyone slightly more open. I could be wrong..

    That being said, when I wrote this I was slightly frustrated and it is about people with a lack of understanding, which we all fall into from time to time. :



    The thing about most people is that they are seeking to be understood. From the moment we are born we begin communicating. As babies we cry to get what we want and as we get older we learn the usage of language to get our points across. It's not just that we want to be heard as much as we want to be comprehended. What strikes me as odd in this whole never ending situation is that very few people try to understand.


    Now don't get me wrong, I've met some people who are open minded, very empathetic, and actually great listeners. But, the number has been extremely small and it's no wonder that people are always feeling so misunderstood. It seems that people are always waiting in line to say what they just have to say, but when they have said it, no one was listening. Why, you ask? It is because everyone was rehearsing their lines in their heads. There are two particular instances that come to mind when I think of this. One, is simply the argument, the other is the need to apologize in order to make yourself feel better about something you've done.


    Imagine with me a classic political, religious, or romantic argument. Two or more people gathered together for the sake of getting their point across. It is a verbal heightened frenzy. Emotions are running high and thoughts are running rampant. But minds, they are made up before the talking ever became shouting, before the discussion ever began. This isn't a solvent for the underlying problem, because no one came here to listen. At best it is an opportunity to release some stress and get your heart rate up. Although, there are many cardio workouts that can produce the same, or better, results.


    Most arguments, especially the ones that turn to shouting matches and involve alcohol or some mind altering substance, result in the participants walking away upset, but with the same thoughts in tact. These people were only there to be heard. They were simply waiting for their chance to speak and they could not believe that that other person could be so ridiculous as to not see things their way. Every person with the gift of life is given the opportunity to unfold a unique story, complete with drama, romance, action, new ideas and comic relief, but so few people stop to pay any real attention. Because what "I" know and have been through is what matters.


    Another time when so many people are dying to be understood is when their actions have resulted in the pain, or offense, of another individual. It is human nature to be aware of your particular feelings because you are obviously always experiencing them. Very few of us take the time to think about the consequences of what we are doing before we act. Then, even those who do stop to think and still continue with their actions, usually feel some justification as to why they have done what they have. However, if an individual realizes that their behavior, or activities, have hurt someone and then feel in any way bad about it, this realization is occasionally followed by the "understand me" apology.


    Now, the "understand me" apology is simply what it is. This person apologizing may actually care that they hurt the person they are speaking to. However, they do not care enough to either leave this person alone so that they might deal with this hurt, or to leave out an explanation as to why hurting them was necessary, unavoidable, or without intention. It is very rare that someone who has been hurt by another individual, and is still dealing with that hurt, wants to hear an I'm sorry coupled with a self justifiable explanation from the person that put them in this situation of pain.


    It's not the hardest thing to regard a person as a person , an actual human being, and an individual worthy of being heard. Perhaps your story is a good one and your ideas valuable. Why then couldn't someone else's be as well? Maybe if we took some steps back and tried to use some common sense in our conversations we wouldn't feel the need to argue. We would know whether our audience was ready to listen, or our ideas would be best saved for a more appropriate time and person. If we tried to actually think about other peoples feelings instead of our own, we might realize that sometimes it is best to walk away even when you truly are sorry. People try so hard to be understood , but often it is in the attempt to understand others that we realize that we aren't so alone, or as misunderstood as we think we are.




    What do you think? Do you feel that in our quest to be connected, to be understood, that we fail to see others for who they are and where they've been? Do we miss the big picture when we're thinking of ourselves and not the other side of the story? Are we so different, you and I? (generalization)

     
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  2. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    I agree that far too many lose sight of the fact that everyone else is a person too, with their own ideas, hopes, dreams, hurts, anxieties, everything. This is why I hate the "understand me" apology, particularly if it's leveled at me, and - whether that's fair or not - trying that on me usually lands you in the "not a true friend" box with me.

    I mean seriously, you're not apologizing for what you believe in, so why add in the whole "but I was still right" kit and kaboodle? You're apologizing because you hurt a fellow human being, caused them pain, because they're someone you (presumably) care about and you feel bad about having caused them pain.

    The argument that caused it all shouldn't even be coming into the picture, it's not what you're apologizing for! Which is why I assume that people who apologize like that - or worse don't apologize for the hurt at all - obviously don't care enough about me to bother with them.

    Is that being too quick on the draw?
     
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  3. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Wow, dneecy! That was a great post! :) Thanks for sharing!
     
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  4. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    When people do something they regret; or when people begin to believe (in the faith sense); or when people think of some new concept; or when someone realises that thier sexual attractions are same sex; etc; etc. they feel alone (or isolated) with their feeling/thoughts/beliefs.

    When someone realises that they have done something wrong, it is this realisation that makes them feel alone, so they want someone else, even if it is only one person, to come to the same realisation of what they have done, without condemning/rejecting them.

    Being willing to go into someone else's loneliness is a difficult thing. There is a prayer about doing that, I think.... (does some Google searching).... found it: (It's the second half that seemed relevant to the topic).

    Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope
    ;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love;
    for it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
    Amen.
     
    #4 Flavus Aquila, May 15, 2009
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
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  5. meiro

    meiro Community Member

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    [YOUTUBE]q660KO2hTD0[/YOUTUBE]

    The prayer reminds me of this song.
     
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    #5 meiro, May 15, 2009
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  6. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    This is a great explanation on the process of empathy. Apology followed by 'understand me' is not empathy. Your problems are not a good excuse to level hurt towards another individual. However I see this as a unique opportunity, some people really seek clarification and by understanding their motivations, you can allow them to understand yours -- for defending yourself if need be -- if you have also wronged them in retribution.

    A lot of people, it seems, will continue to hold on to their excuses to abuse others and this will reinforce it.

    I enjoyed reading your post.
     
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  7. OP
    dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    Hi Eniko. :) I see exactly what you are saying here, but perhaps, yes it is a little too quick to the draw. Sometimes it's best to step away from the situation and look at the other persons motives. I don't agree with the "I was still right" apology, but I know why people, even myself have used it. It is often said that it takes one to know one, and I think that means until you've seen something first hand, or done something first hand it is hard to completely know it. That person that hurts or offends may truly value you as a friend but doesn't realize the it's no longer the idea or problem that is an issue but rather your feelings and even their feelings have now become involved. Too often we don't open ourselves to really see. Lots of friendships have been ended over petty arguments that progressed into something much bigger and deeper and may have been resolved if the other party would realize that it had turned into whether or not the other person cared about what they were feeling and vice versa. People who feel disrespected put up very high walls eventually. I don't know if this helped or answered your question, but thank you for reading. :D
     
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  8. OP
    dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    Thanks to everyone for reading. :D It was just something I felt compelled to share, and Flavus this is beautiful. I would like to use it as my signature, if that's okay. Thank you also, for sharing.
     
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  9. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    It is attributed to St Francis of Assisi.
     
  10. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    It did actually. :) I already had a gut feeling it was a bit too extreme, but I've had issues in the past with untrustworthy individuals so I got a lot more extreme in how many strikes before someone is out policies.

    Maybe it's time I mellow out a bit again.
     
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  11. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    I've seen this happen a lot, in arguments I have seen or been in. Two people will admit the other having a valid argument, but they still keep repeating themselves, because they don't see the other person's argument as important. i.e., "What you're saying is true, but that's not the point." They're not trying to reach a mutual solution, they're just trying to soothe their own egos.
     
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  12. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    I think the extreme focus on being an individual leads to these types of arguments. While we are all our own person, almost everything we think feel and experience is shared with all human beings. We're all just tiny parts of a whole (and it's a tiny whole in the scheme of things). Thinking that we are different than everyone else leads to justification of our thoughts or ideas being better than everyone else.

    Like you said, we are definitely missing the big picture when we are thinking about ourselves.

    Great post
     
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