Why Do We Get Angry About Being Misunderstood?

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Full transcript

Hello again, welcome back to Ask Dan anything. Today we have a question from Emma, and very epic one. She asked What about the need to feel understood? She says, I know that I experienced it a lot, especially in times of emotional distress and conversation. The only time I blog that my mom has when I’m trying to express something to her, and I feel a lack of empathy, or attempt to understand what’s going on for me. And this is true for many people, isn’t it? And I used to experience this myself this massive emotional reaction we have to the feeling that someone isn’t understanding us, and even more so to the feeling that they’re not trying to understand us. You can see this at the heart of all the worst conflicts. And when two partners are screaming at each other, when a work boss fires somebody, unfairly, you can see at the heart, this ego trip of our being understood in this massive, insecure reaction to the awareness that you’re not being understood. Why, why do we have this problem with not being answered? Why does it matter? To be understood? Why do we give a shit, I believe is because being misunderstood represents a deeper fear and isolation around being different. If we feel that other people don’t have empathy for us, or do not want to have empathy for us, they are therefore disconnected to us, which means we’re therefore alone. And so when when somebody over reacts to being misunderstood, and or to somebody not having the heart to really hear the mount, I think what they’re really reacting to is their fear of abandonment from childhood. They’re bringing all that old baggage up with them, it’s been triggered in them by the other person’s behavior. Somewhere along the line, we also develop this expectation that we’re understandable, and that if anybody doesn’t understand us, it’s a malicious move on their part they’re choosing not to, because we’re so easy to understand that have to actively and deliberately work against understanding as we develop this expectation that they should, that they should be able to translate what we’re saying. And in an emotional crisis, even though we’re being very indirect and hiding a lot of truth, that they should have empathy for our position that even if they disagree with us, they should feel for us, we believe that. And yet, we’re pounded every day with constant evidence that doesn’t go the other way. There’s so many people out there in the world right now that you don’t understand, isn’t there 1000s Millions of them. You look at extreme groups, and Tifa, Neo Nazis, ISIS, pedophiles, you look them up, I can’t understand why you do you have no empathy for their position D. They’re just evil, and you don’t want to hear them out. And yet you punish others for being the same way. You believe when you do it is justified. But when they do it, they’ve been malicious, harmful and evil. And you react, you react with aggression and defensiveness, you feel under attack, you’re constantly frayed at a biological level of being in the out group of being kicked out of the tribe. And you see this as a push. When somebody doesn’t understand you, they’re pushing you out of the tribe. That’s how your simple brain reacts, that’s your brainstem gets on alert. And so you fight back against it, because you want to stay in the tribe, you feel like you’re on trial at trial in front of the chief of the tribe. If you don’t make yourself understood, you’re gonna get kicked out, because you’re not part of it. And you really, and you just you punish others for not being able to understand you for not having the willingness to understand you, even though they’re under no obligation to just like you are under no obligation to understand pedophiles or ISIS, or any other people that you hate. Right. So the first thing to look at is why doesn’t this go both ways? Why aren’t you putting effort to understand the people that you find confusing, that you find threatening, or somehow vaguely mis understandable? Because if you’re going to demand it of others, you’ve got to demand it of yourself. And this, it’s therein lies the clue. It’s in this, that the secret to being understood evolves, you give what you want to get. It’s a key principle in my work, given what you want to get. When you feel needy about something, the best reaction, I believe, is to give it rather than try to take it. So if I’m struggling to be understood, what I’ll try and do now is switch to try and understand the because it’s almost both ways every time isn’t it? Nearly every time I’m in a conflict where I feel misunderstood, I also don’t get where they’re coming from because I don’t understand why they can understand me. So if I understand why they can’t understand me, I don’t get upset by it. But when I don’t understand why they’re not trying, why they don’t get my point of view, that’s when I feel defensive and aggressive. So the key thing is to express that you don’t feel understood, but then to switch into curiosity II and try to understand them, give what you want to get. So going back to Emma’s position, if she’s having a conflict with a mom want to just try and understand why her mom is struggling with understanding her. You know, say, you can say this, I feel a great need for you to understand me and I feel isolated because you don’t tell me why you don’t tell me what you think you see, or what you think you hear when I talk. They helped me see me through your eyes, helped me understand why you misunderstood. helped me see how I’m not expressing myself properly helped me see the expectations I’ve placed on you that are unfair, helped me see from your point of view, rather than me trying to force you to see from mine. Because it’s in their conversation, that you’ll be able to find the language, you’ll be able to speak to them about to share your point of view and show them what they’re not seeing. But if you attack or defend them, all you’re going to do is heighten the resistance, which is going to go against your desire to be understood. And last but not least on a greater level, you have to ask yourself, Do I need to be understood? Really? Does the world fall apart? And if I’m misunderstood, do I really miss out on life? Or can I use how well I’m understood as a qualifying tool for who I should connect with? When people understand me easily or when they have the patience and the empathy to hear me out and try to figure out what I’m saying. I enjoy those those people more than the people are just stubborn in their views and blast against me. You refuse to hear me out? Why would I want to fight against there? If someone doesn’t want to listen to me, fuck him. I’ll go find someone else who will. But that’s all my opinion. What I’d say is coming back to this as I guarantee that in times that you feel misunderstood. Odds are you’re not trying to understand them. And that’s the clue. I hope that helps. If any of you have questions of this nature, send them through to and subscribe to the YouTube channel. Share it all around. And I’ll see you guys next time. Cheers.

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