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To Be Understood

Francesca @ Etsy

I just came across this and would like to amend it to read : Home is not (necessarily) where you live but where they understand you.

It’s strange that I was thinking these thoughts yesterday and came across this picture today. So may be it was a ‘sign’ for me to write about it?

I’ve been thinking of  relationships that were the most significant to me a few years ago.  I rated these people very high on my list of relationships and gave them a lot of myself – time, energy and emotional support. I now realize that they never quite got who I am. I meet some of them now, some I don’t have anything to do with any more and wonder why I hadn’t realized this truth before. How did I allow myself to give so much and not know that I was not understood? Could it be that I so confused by who I was that I didn’t allow them to see the real me? Or is that they just never got me, never will and don’t care to?  I think it’s a little of both. Perhaps who I am makes them uncomfortable? I don’t know.

Am I angry with these people for not ‘getting’ me? No, but I do feel hurt. I do feel used to some extent. Perhaps if I had realized this earlier, I would not have spent so much emotional energy in defending them or in fighting their causes. But I didn’t realize and that’s done. No regrets. Only lessons.

What are the lessons?

To value myself and be myself with everyone,

To better understand the dynamics of the relationships I give my energy to.

However, this realization also made me ask myself if other people felt similarly misunderstood by me.  An important lesson for me is to make sure that I am taking the time and effort to understand people I am relating to.

As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the prayer of St Francis of Assisi: Oh Master, grant that I may never seek …to be understood, as to understand.

What are your thoughts on the importance of  being understood and understanding in your relationships?

May you be inspired – every day!

 

56 Comments

  1. Rahul Miglani Rahul Miglani May 29, 2012

    I guess if they dont understand u Thats their loss
    keep it simple silly !!!

      • Rahul Miglani Rahul Miglani May 29, 2012

        You should , Its always the way u make ur life
        If you want to make your life complex you can go over and keep on thinking about it.
        But just think as its their loss and enjoy your life to the fullest !

  2. rimly rimly April 17, 2012

    I so agree with you. We tend to portray ourselves to others something we are actually not. If we are true to ourselves we will reflect exactly what we are to others with no frills.

  3. Claudia Claudia April 13, 2012

    A good quote, I enjoyed reading your thoughts!

  4. Beth Beth April 10, 2012

    I don’t feel much of a need to be understood, just to be accepted. Fortunately, I have that with those who matter most.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      I see the distinction, Beth and I’m glad you have that. So do I. Aren’t we blessed?

  5. melissatandoc melissatandoc April 3, 2012

    I prefer what you wrote adding ‘necessarily’ to the quote. Indeed the self needs a home where she feels safe and comfortable. It’s a need that belongs to a category called love and belongingness which is sandwiched at middle of Abraham Maslow’s heirarchy of needs.

    Oh I just realized how I emphasized ‘need’.  Just like you, as I reflect on my relationships, I add in ‘extra’ to it… It’s not just meeting the person halfway but transcending 50 to a 70 or more. It does hurt even if I continuously say I need not people reciprocate it the way I do.

    I was contemplating to write something to add to this post when you mentioned St. Francis of Assisi. It takes more than human effort not to seek… it’s a prayer I have in my heart 😉 Thanks BS, I’ll write a baby post regarding this :*

  6. Amy Amy March 28, 2012

    First, I just have to say that I LOVE, love that prayer! I think for me some of it I contribute to not allowing people to know the real me and the other I had to let go of trying to make something into something that could never be… I was struggling with a relationship many years ago and it has stuck with me ever since… a friend of mine once said to me, “It’s like you are going to the hardware store and asking for bread!” 

    I also try to practice what you were saying about “no regrets only lessons”, sometimes easier said than done… but starting is what matters! 

    I am REALLY trying to incorporate this into my every day: “To value myself and be myself with everyone,”

    Great post… I so enjoy your words of wisdom and outlook on life!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thank you for sharing, Amy. I like what your friend said about the hardware store – yes, we often try too hard to make things work with people who just won’t budge. I think we’re all growing together and that’s the beauty of my connections. ♥

  7. Claire Hegarty B Claire Hegarty B March 28, 2012

    This certainly resonates with me. While I am still a friendly and caring person, I do not give of myself as much as I have done in the past.  I have learned when to stand back, when to empathise, when to help. I have also learned to recognise those that I cannot help and who will only cause damage to me. While I wish them well, I can now do that and move on.  I don’t take on the responsiblity that I used to take on anymore.  I am mentally and emotionally happier this way and after all, we do have a duty to ourselves as well as others.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      I think we all have to learn to balance being kind and friendly with giving too much of ourselves away, Claire. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Iamabhishekkaushal Iamabhishekkaushal March 27, 2012

    simple and true…deadly combo

  9. Jenni Jenni March 27, 2012

    I think that when we are children we are taught that relationships, especially friendships last forever. Nothing lasts forever, it’s unnatural. Everything evolves and grows and if something isn’t evolving or growing than basically it’s dying. No matter how much time and effort we put into trying to revive that thing that is dying, it seldom comes back to full life again. Is that our fault? No. We did the best we could but, our best wasn’t good enough for those relationships. Therefore, it’s best to let them go. Some people don’t grow, they are perfectly content in being the same person they have always been and refuse to do anything differently, even though the world around them is passing them by. Those type of people are the ones who constantly complain about things never going there way or how they never got those things that they thought truly mattered, i.e. husband, job, money, house, riches, etc… People like us, those who evolve and grow every day find out fairly rapidly who our friends are and who are not. It shocked me when I started losing friends, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t what I was doing wrong to lose them, it was what I was doing right that upset them. Just like we can’t stand to be around constant negativity and drama they can’t stand to be around constant positivity and happiness. They can’t understand how we can be so cheerful when every thing in our lives appears to be going to hell. We can’t understand why they would want to continue to be in a depressive state of mind when there is so much to life out there just begging for them to give it a try. I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. I am not the same person I was when my sister died. I am not the same person I was before my cyber-disagreement yesterday. Why? Because there were lessons learnt and whereas someone else may have walked away with that in anger, I walked away with a greater appreciation for the “newer” friends I made who stood by me instead of the years I spent standing alone. If you believe your path is the right one than stay on it, if you go down another path so be it. It’s deeper than understanding, it’s called unconditional love for fellow man/woman. I can honestly say that the people who have came in after others have left have not disappointed me whatsoever. I am sure you feel the same, right?

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thank you for sharing, Jenni. What you say is very wise – we grow and evolve – we outgrow some people and some people outgrow us…and as long as we don’t stay stuck, there’s always room for love and friendship and understanding. ♥

  10. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl March 27, 2012

    This hit home. Friendships that I put so much of my heart in over many years just seem to have faded away. I grieve their loss, and yes, I’m hurt that the friends in question don’t seem to miss me at all! One of those friends I would say understood me better than anyone. So very sad to see that friendship slip into the past. New people don’t have the history I had with these. But what can you do? Make new friends as you go along.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Yes, it is sad, Galen. Sometimes I still have to comes to grips with the fact that friendships I thought would last forever, fizzled out over something seemingly petty. The moral of the story is to move on, learn and make new friends. ♥

  11. Luchi Smiles Luchi Smiles March 27, 2012

    It hurts that people very close to me do not seem to understand me, or they understand me but do not want to accept the fact that I am different, I don’t know what their problem is. They keep telling me things like, “this is our culture, this is how we do things, this is how every other person behaves…….” And I’m like, “I’m not every other person!”
    They think I have changed, but the point is my interests are different from theirs.
    Even when I’ve given up trying to make them understand, my heart hurts.
    You see Corinne, it is easy for me to get used to other people not understanding me (I don’t owe them any explanation), or not accepting me for who I am (they don’t have to accept me)….It hurts when it is people who are “my family”…it makes me feel homeless 🙁

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      I can see how this post affected you closely, Luchi. I’m not sure why people want someone like you fit in when you were made for so much more. I think it’s time for us to stop attempting to make them understand – they either get us or they don’t – and frankly it’s their loss, don’t you think?

  12. Rachel Rachel March 27, 2012

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It is really really hard for me, if not impossible, to regain a close friendship with someone when I started out thinking they understood me better than anyone and have some sort of rift which makes me realize they didn’t get me at all. I sometimes am able to be friends again, but it turns into more of an acquaintance friendship where only light hearted chit chat is shared.

    Excellent post. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      You’re absolutely right, Rachel. It’s very hard to go back to close friendship once you realize this – a part of you is always guarded. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Leah Leah March 26, 2012

    Corinne, sometimes I find that I really like certain people and want them to be a part of my life. In my effort to include them in my tribe I sometimes forget that maybe I don’t fit into their tribe. I’ve learned over the years to let go of expectations and simply accept people for who they are. There are so many amazing people who will come in and go out of my life, and then there are those who stick around…for good;)

    Excellent post my dear. I was just thinking about this yesterday.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Yes, Leah we often get excited about a new relationship and think that we’d be a good fit as friends…But it doesn’t always work that way. It’s wise to let go, as you do, and focus on oneself and those that stick around.

  14. Bikramjit Bikramjit March 26, 2012

    Relationships are funny and People are more funnier than that .. thats what i have realised in whatevr experience I have gained so far.

    I have reached a stage where it does not bother me if I am understood or not, I have made peace with it now as I feel no way can we make ourself understood to others , as the wrold have become VERY clever these days. everything comes with a package.. I just wrote a comment at one blog about the times i was born , we all say the others times were better .. i just wrote there that I am happy when i was born as there wss no technology to spoil childhood .. BUT now that i read this post I think I should have been born earlier when people had respect for each other .. Nowadays you never know who is going to stab you in the back and for what reason.

    Bikram’s

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      My intention wasn’t to run down all relationships or to say that the times we live in are bad, Bikramjit. But rather a reminder that we need to value ourselves before others value us.

  15. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando March 26, 2012

    Oh, Corinne, I can SO relate to this! I have learned many powerful lessons through the years with regards to those who I assume understand me and I, them, and those who truly do. A “knife in the back” is a nasty wake-up call, but it works.
    I have learned that I must be myself in all situations whether anyone understands me or not. And, like St. Francis, I pray that I might strive to understand others in love, respect, and patience, regardless of whether they understand me.
    Beautiful post, my friend! Blessings always!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad you and I have learned our lessons and have moved on to focus on understanding others.

  16. cathy cathy March 26, 2012

    Dear Corinne,
    I don’t think that I’m so much misunderstood now as I was in my marriage. Like you in your relationships with others I give and give so much of my energy to a negative being. I don’t have any regrets, just life lessons. The blessings that I have now is that I an finally spending that energy on myself and if you can see me now, I have a big huge happy face because I’m worth it.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Cathy – I’m glad that phase of your life is over and that you are focusing on yourself. I wish I could see that happy face in person 🙂

  17. Debra Debra March 26, 2012

    I wonder why we are able to connect with some and not with others. Have you met kindred spirits with whom you immediately bonded? And then there are those you’ve tried for years to connect with and somehow end up making no progress. In the latter case, I’ve learned the significance of “brushing the dust off my feet” and moving on.
    I’ve always loved the prayer of St. Francis.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Yes, Debra I’ve learned in recent year to brush the dust off my feet and stay close to those who bring love and understanding.

  18. Martin Cooney Martin Cooney March 26, 2012

    Nice reminder, Corinne, on ‘real’ communication.
    But what’s really the relationship advice here that’s important?
    – Value yourself AND value the qualities in others
    – Be yourself AND allow others to be themselves

    The big ‘Ahah’ moment for me personally was coming to the realisation that I didn’t have any obligations in maintaining relationships with people (including family) who brought me down and lowered my energy i.e. impacted on me in any sort of negative way. Surround yourself with people you resonate with, which allows you to reach higher goals

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thank you, Martin for adding so much value to this post. I have started for a while now to surround myself with people who I resonate with.

  19. jan jan March 26, 2012

    I think for myself I choose friends who did not understand me because I needed to understand myself first. Something that blogging has taught me is that although I was always open about me, I wasn’t honest. Not as honest as I though I was. If I was not honest how could those “friends know or understand me”. Like Linda the”big ” change came when Randy and I reunited, because he knew and liked that other Jan, I didn’t have to “act” in any special way, he just loved me. That brought the honesty into my world the way it is supposed to be. I don’t regret where I was, if it hadn’t been for all that pretending to be well, I might not have gotten well. Now I am more relaxed in my entire approach to life, even with all the drama and trauma that has occurred in the last 4 to 5 years. If I hadn’t had the first years, these years would have been my demise. I love and deeply, that always leave you open to attack, that is their failing not mine. Remembering that is honest and difficult.

  20. Elizabeth Young Elizabeth Young March 26, 2012

    I actually feel exactly the same way as you do Corinne. I look back several years ago and wonder how I could have allowed certain ‘friends’ to have so much decision making input into my life, when they never really understood me! It was far too many years in fact, years that produced far reaching repercussions, but better late than never. Love you girlfriend and keep up the great work!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thanks, Elizabeth. It seems that many of us have tread this path…But then aren’t we strong that we didn’t allow it to keep us down! ♥

  21. Sulekha Rawat Sulekha Rawat March 26, 2012

    In a relationship there is always one person who understands a bit more than the other. If that person is you, you feel unappreciated by the other. Other times we build walls around us to protect our feelings and thus don’t give others a chance to understand us. Either way, we are hurt so the best thing to do is be yourself and let people see and know the real you. Liked your topic and post.

  22. Elizabeth Elizabeth March 25, 2012

    Friendships are harder to maintain and begin as an adult, so when you find out that someone isn’t what they seem..it can definitely hurt! Great post.

  23. nikky44 nikky44 March 25, 2012

    Corinne, I am not well enough now to write any consistent comment, although the subject you are treating here is very close to my heart. I have always had problems in relationships, whether with family or friends. No one understands. Now I have my online friends, and of course, it feels so much better with them, but I’m still alone, because in my heart there is a big hole nothing can fill.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      I can understand why this post touches a raw nerve for you, Nikky. I’m always hoping and praying that you can find what your heart needs.

  24. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda March 25, 2012

    Hi, Corinne! ~

    When I look back at relationships like the ones you describe I see similar patterns in my own experience. In addition to being “so confused by who I was that I didn’t allow them to see the real me” and “they just never got me, never will and don’t care to” and “who I am makes them uncomfortable” I would also add that I WAS A DIFFERENT PERSON back then, too. Part of the process of growing into the person I am today was experiencing those relationships and learning from them about who I want to be and what I want out of life.

    For the past 20 years or so I have been dedicated to the idea that the purpose of intimate relationships is to heal childhood, and even past life, wounds. ‘Experts’ often say, “Relationships are difficult. You’ve got to hang in there during the tough times!” I believed that, and it was true. I thought that is the price we pay to heal.

    Then, I met Mr. C. Although, we’ve only been together for 3 years, it’s been the easiest, most consistently pleasurable relationship I’ve ever experienced. He genuinely seems to adore me just the way I am and I am still amazed by that! Now, I don’t know what to think. Maybe I created all that pain and misery for myself in past relationships because I didn’t know there was another choice, like hanging around with someone who already likes me, instead of wanting to fix me!

    So many questions left to be answered — I’m grateful to have another day to dig in 😉

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thank you for sharing, Linda. I’m always learning about relationships and just when I think I know it all, something happens to surprise me! I’ve realized that relationships shouldn’t require us to change ourselves – if we change as a result of them that’s good. I’m so glad you have your Mr C to help you know that you’re okay just the way you are! We are blessed indeed ♥

  25. Ron Ron March 25, 2012

    A very thought provoking and profound post. As a very private person I don’t ever easily let people in and spend a great deal of time being available for those I do. It doesn’t always work out, but I am never angry or disappointed with those who don’t “get me”. I make it difficult for them anyway ;). On the other hand I have disappointed others who tried to get me and couldn’t (I make it difficult for them). I am now learning to make peace with myself and understand myself better so that I can be a better person. To me, part of that is to not hold others to a standard I am still learning to live up to. I don’t know if any of this makes sense, I simply know that although there have been relationships in my life that no longer exists, or I spend no time with, I have learned from them and learned things about myself in the process. If I understand others better, I will also understand myself better.

    Be well,
    Ron

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      Thank you for sharing, Ron. We can always look back on every relationship and know that we learned something from tit – sometimes it’s the ones that hurt the most that teach us best about ourselves! We do sometimes put up walls that prevent people from understanding us, but at other times, they just don’t try enough, in my experience.

  26. Janaki Nagaraj Janaki Nagaraj March 25, 2012

    Understanding is a two way process where people are involved. It is very important for me to be understood and there are times when I fail to make the other person what I really feel or why I did some particular thing, if that person is not really close then I don’t really bother to what they think. If it is someone close, hurt is involved when things are not clear. Hope I am good at understanding too.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 13, 2012

      You’re right, Janaki, when people are not close it shouldn’t bother us.

  27. Punam Punam March 25, 2012

    Dear Corinne, I so agree with your feelings here – esp of hurt. And I have had this happened to me quite a lot of times. The problem is, that people do not necessarily feel the depth of feelings that we feel for them, and hence that gap or disconnect. And one has to be very careful and slow because wasted emotions are actually more taxing than we realize.
    Take Care and keep loving,
    Punam

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 12, 2012

      I guess it’s their loss, don’t you think? 😉 Thanks for sharing, Punam.

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