Some of the greatest people are completely misunderstood. When you are misunderstood just because you live your life however you want, 100%, authentically you. That’s awesome!
This is for the people who are ALWAYS misunderstood, and they HATE it and just can’t understand why.
Are you perpetually misunderstood? Do you feel like people just don’t really get you? What do you attribute that to? Your exceptional depth? Your unique brand of weird? Other people’s lack of intelligence? Your outstanding complexity?
I get it. I’ve been there. We all have our moments when the people we are surrounded by just don’t seem to understand who we really are. Those are MOMENTS.
To be PERPETUALLY misunderstood means that you just cannot seem to find people who can relate to you. No matter where you look, no matter where you go. You constantly find yourself in groups where the person you are being treated as, is not the person you are. The people around you have decided that they know who you are, but they have grossly miscalculated.
There are 3 main reasons for being perpetually misunderstood.
1. You are a complete anomaly. You have somehow managed to become a person with emotions, behaviors and thoughts that are inhuman, thus no other human can manage to figure you out.
2. You have been cursed with constantly finding groups of people who have nothing in common with you, at all, whatsoever. These people also happen to lack empathy and flexibility, so relating with someone as unique as you is beyond their social capabilities.
3. You are not helping people understand you.
Reason #3 is by far the most common reason for being perpetually misunderstood.
How to know if you are misunderstood because of reason #3
You want to be understood, just as every other human does, but you are afraid that you won’t be. So, what ends up happening?
You wind up acting inauthentically. You behave in ways that YOU think will be amiable to others. You create yourself into what YOU perceive to be a likable person. Then, as people put together an idea of who you are, they use these inauthentic traits to draw conclusions. They, logically, treat you as the person that you have been acting as. Your inner, true self doesn’t recognize that person. Your inner true self gets upset and sad and feels misunderstood because it is being treated as the outer inauthentic self.
You take the heart out of your interactions. You are worried people won’t like your quirks, your qualities, the little details that make you, YOU, so you withdraw those things from your interactions and your interactions wind up being flat. There is nothing for anyone to love about you or to hate about you. When asked to describe you people might say “he/she seems nice.” They have nothing to judge you positively on, because you hide away all your unique identifiers out of fear of being judged negatively. Then your inner true self gets sad and upset because it isn’t being recognized AT ALL. It’s being treated as though it’s invisible, because you have made it so.
Who do you blame?
Yourself? – You are beyond strange.
Others? – They don’t care. Their emotional intelligence is severely lacking.
What’s really going on?
Fear. You are afraid! That’s a difficult thing to admit. Why are you afraid? That’s an even more difficult thing to admit.
I will tell you why I was afraid, when I was a perpetually misunderstood person. I was afraid because I was struggling with self worth. I was worried people wouldn’t like my true self. I was afraid of putting of my eccentricities out in the open because I didn’t want anyone to deem my true self to be unacceptable. This fear wasn’t unfounded. I had been treated as though my true self was unacceptable, before. I thought that by hiding my true self, I was protecting myself from experiencing that hurt again.
It turns out that being misunderstood SUCKS worse than the hurt of being deemed unacceptable.
Eventually I decided that I would prefer to be rejected for who I am, than to be understood as someone I am not. I realized that the common factor in every situation, in which I was misunderstood, was me. My inner self HATED being treated as the shallow, heartbreakingly simplistic, outer self I had been portraying. The only way I would ever be understood was if I showed who I actually was. I realized that I was being misunderstood because I was not helping people understand me.
The MOST IMPORTANT lesson for the perpetually misunderstood: You will never be understood if you don’t help people understand you.
So, what? You don’t want to be easy? You can’t just be vulnerable without people putting in some work to deserve getting to know you? Listen, it’s not that you don’t matter, it’s not that you aren’t worth getting to know – It’s just that life would never move forward if we all spent our time trying to pry the real identity out of everyone else.
Do a lot of people have guards up? Yes. But guards usually protect a part of a person, not their whole self, so they are still showing some of who they are. The perpetually misunderstood have more than just a guard, they have a maximum security prison that’s hidden under an invisibility cloak. That’s a bit much to expect any other person to work through!
Come out of hiding!
Help people understand you. Show who you are. Show what you believe in, what you feel, what you think.
Here’s what will happen
1. People will begin to understand who you really are. Whether they love it or hate it, they will understand it. It will feel good!
2. People will like you MUCH more than they liked the one dimensional false representation of your self.
3. You will begin to understand yourself more. This is really the most important understanding you can earn.
4. You will begin to feel more comfortable in every given situation.
5. Your soul will feel at ease.
A few precautions before you start being your authentic self
1. There will be situations where you still feel misunderstood. That’s TOTALLY fine! The goal is simply to not be PERPETUALLY misunderstood. If you show who you are and people still don’t understand you, that’s ok. You did your part. NEVER feel like you have to explain yourself. When you feel the need to explain yourself, that is a signal that you are in an incongruous situation. Walk away.
2. The fear of getting hurt was rational. You will get hurt. You will also love more and be loved more than ever before which makes it all worth it.
3. The fear that paralyzed you into a perpetually misunderstood person still exists. It’s a human instinct called self preservation. It has a purpose. You need it. Use it sparingly. Make sure you don’t abuse it like you did before. Really, what did you think you were protecting yourself from? Genuine human relationships? How did that work out for you?
4. There is a lot of philosophical debate about whether fully acting as one’s authentic self is actually possible. Do your best.
Go forth! Be your most authentic self! It’s scary, but worth it! You will not regret it.