People Just Want to be Understood


We’re all struggling to keep it together, even if we have a staff of 100 working with us to keep it that way. Our daily lives are filled with feelings and experiences and often frustration. We keep a lot of it to ourselves.

I think it’s because we innately suspect that when we share how it’s going with other people, they’re going to give us advice, or tell us what we should think, or try to change our minds. But really, all we want is to be understood. We want to be known, we want people to have a sense of what life looks like through our eyes, what we smell, and how our back feels.

This may be one of the most difficult things to attain in life. We’re not taught to understand people. For all the information and memes in the world about empathy and compassion, moments of understanding are scattered and brief.

More than solutions or positive phrases or even a hug, we all want to be understood. We want people to know why we get frustrated, or what it’s like when our back hurts, or how it feels when we resist the heck out of whatever there is to do.

When someone feels understood, there is relief. Freedom.

Just for today, see if you can understand what it’s like to live in someone else’s head. It may not make any sense in your personal logic, but it does to them. And it makes all the difference.

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