Before I dive into this post, I’d like to say that this is one of the things I’ve found very hard to understand. Ironic! As to the fact that I’m wanting to talk about it. But Nevertheless,i’ve actually been playing around with this concept for quite a while that i can’t wait to share with you.
Most of us are desperate to be understood, to have that sense of isolation shattered by finding people in our lives who really get us on an intimate level. The unconscious fear that seems to always be lurking in the background is that if we aren’t understood it will be as if we never existed. This causes a sense of longing and need to be understood, we find ourselves time and time again explaining to others the complexity of our lives so that we can achieve a sense of normalcy in the given situation. A Validation, An Approval to be the way we are.
To understand means to perceive, comprehend and integrate something in a particular way or manner. Evaluating things and creating a perspective and meaning of things for oneself.
In so many occasions and events in my life, I’ve always felt the need to explain to people, either family or friends about my decisions and give reasons as to why i’ve taken them. I have noticed that for most of my life I have felt this strong desire, almost a need at times, for those around me to understand what I am going through. This happens particularly with those I am closest to and particularly given certain situations. I find myself almost always trying to explain the same thing to someone over and over again because for some reason i feel that it’s only practical of me to do so in order to re-arrange my thoughts and i almost always feed off of the first opinion that comes from them. “it’s like getting a person to see something they way you see it.” And it became a coping mechanism for me, y’know, to seek for validation from others before doing certain things.
And that’s where I knew i had a problem.
I realized that I needed to begin changing this focus on other people in order to feel peace in myself. And I knew that I had to begin letting myself know that I am my own person, and if I know something myself, that is enough.
We all have different reasons for wanting to be understood. But many of them are similar. And so I share my own situation because I know that many others feel the way I have. For me, I realize that the one big reason I have wanted others to understand me is I wanted approval and validation. I wanted a sense that they don’t blame me for what I am experiencing, they know that it is typical (as I know it is), they fully accept it and they still think well of me.
Most times we feel obligated to always have to explain ourselves to people in order to feel understood and because we’re human,we feel the urge and desire to be understood and approved by others even though, in most cases we don’t understand ourselves. Not that I’m saying that getting a sense of understanding from people is a bad thing but we take it as some kind of affirmation for doing the things we do. “like a situation is not fully supported, if it is not understood by others”
which is a wrong way of thinking.
I think that we spend so much time seeking for licensing and consent from others and we forget to seek licensing from ourselves. It’s okay to have self-doubt and long for understanding but it’s also okay to depend on self-trust and self approval. You can be honest with yourself because there is nothing to be ashamed or even embarrassed about. We do what we do because we have learned it. It is a common thing to care too much about others’ thoughts of us, and given our past it often makes sense. So don’t be hard on yourself about it for a moment. Just acknowledge that it is there so you can move forward and feel better.
Do you feel the need to be Understood?
Photo from Resplash By Cristian Newman
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