9 times you can easily be misunderstood
Have you felt the struggle of being misunderstood even when you believed you were crystal clear in your words and actions?
Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in situations when others are mistakenly interpreting our reactions. This act of misunderstanding usually leads to more negative presumptions and leaves people with the wrong impression.
To deal with this problem, you first need to know the reasons why your words may be wrongly understood.
Below are listed 9 situations where people might misunderstand your communicating.
1. When the other person’s mind is somewhere else.
If you’re trying to explain yourself to someone whose mind is wandering at the moment, you can often get misunderstood. They might be overwhelmed by other things that don’t concern you. Nevertheless, when the other person isn’t paying enough attention to your words, they cannot fully apprehend what you’re trying to say. So if you feed their full attention, make sure you ask for it.
2. When they are mentally tired.
Emotional exhaustion can also be a reason for not being able to fully understand someone. Perhaps the other person is struggling with mental health issues that make them easily irritated, hypersensitive, or even numb to whatever information tries to reach their minds.
3. When they are angry with you.
Whatever you say to someone who is mad at you can be interpreted wrongly and most likely taken negatively. So instead of trying to prove yourself in suchlike situations, you can make an attempt to listen to what they have to say. If you want to be understood, first try to understand. Compassion goes both ways.
4. When the other person sees you in a negative light.
Sometimes your relationship with someone can be severely damaged to the point where whatever comes out of your mouth is being taken unfavorably. When the other person refuses to give you the benefit of the doubt, your words can be received in the worst way possible. However, you can still come clean as long as you try to explain what you meant to say as soothing as possible.
5. When they relate your words to something they’ve experienced in the past.
This particular reason has nothing to do with you personally. However, it’s far more common than people realize. If your words remind the other person about someone or something that hurt them in the past, they might assign that negative emotion to the way they feel about you. In case you unintentionally brought up a hurtful memory, you can thoughtfully ask whether you might have reminded the other person of somebody else. This may break the tension and bring clarity to the situation.
6. When they can’t accept any other point of view.
Frankly, some people simply refuse to consider there are other viewpoints than their own. They either ignore others’ opinions, or they start acting defensively to prove their rightfulness. You need to be extremely cautious around such people. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s better not to approach them at all because they will most probably initiate an inflammatory argument.
7. When the other person is not on your level.
This usually happens when you’re trying to explain your position to people you have a significant educational gap with. In case you’re communicating with someone less knowledgable than you have in mind that your words may not be fully understood. Even worse – they can be taken as either a threat or an attempt for an altercation. In such heated situations better avoid using big words and stick to a more universal language.
8. When they have different associations with the words you’re using.
A single word can have more than one meaning and a number of synonyms that can be used in various situations. Therefore, being misunderstood by someone who relates differently to what you’re saying isn’t a rare occasion.
9. When your pronunciation isn’t clear.
Maybe a phrase you said included a word you pronounced wrongly, or the other person isn’t used to your accent. Maybe the phone connection or the information-processing went wrong. Whatever the reason, you can kindly ask what your correspondent heard, so you can explain what you mean before they start jumping into conclusions.
Hopefully, this article will be of help next time your message gets misinterpreted or inflicts the wrong reaction.