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Feeling Misunderstood? These 3 Things Can Help

Photo by Tristan Duplichain Photography & Design
Everyone has a side to them that's kind of unexplained and feels misunderstood. ~Kirk Hammett

I have felt misunderstood, and for a large part of my life.

I am a very social person and I can get along with most people. People, who know me well, would not describe me as an introvert but I do feel I have an introverted side to me.

I find the world incredibly noisy, and I often struggle to understand my part in the grand scheme of life.

I have always questioned things and still spend much of my time thinking about different aspects of life, what everything means and how it all fits together.

I think a lot, and I think logically, so I find myself grappling with the meaning of life daily, which can be extremely frustrating.

Difficulty Relating to Others

Because I question life and societal constructs on such a deep level, I often struggle to relate to others. If you know me, you may find this hard to believe as I often have deep and meaningful conversations with people.

What I find challenging is finding people who are able to stretch my thinking. People who make me look at life differently; people who think like me and are able to offer further thoughts and insights.

When you find it difficult to relate to the world around you, navigating life can be hard work. You are constantly faced with people and rules that want to keep you within the constructs of society or their own comfort zone. It can be a lonely place.

All you want to do is explore your thoughts, but you quickly learn that many people either think you are crazy or rebellious. Very few people would consider you curious, and for those that do, even fewer consider this a positive trait.

So you adapt as best you can, and try to fit in.

Desperate to Be Understood

You do what the masses do, try to accept life as it is and convince yourself that you just think too much. After a while however, the frustration kicks in, and again you long for someone to just get you.

You are desperate to be understood, even if it’s just by one person.

What I now know is that the person you need to feel understood by is you.

Rather than looking outside of ourselves to be understood and accepted, we need to understand and accept ourselves.

Often the frustration we experience is because we either cannot articulate our feelings, or we simply don’t understand them.

Fit In … With Yourself

Getting to know yourself allows you to embrace your true self, which over time eliminates the need to fit in.

You discover how to spend time alone with your thoughts and concerns without considering yourself slightly odd and without feeling lonely.

You no longer need others to get you or relate to your way of thinking, and you learn to navigate the world respecting the fact that each person is on their own journey and relating to the world the best they can.

I think everyone questions life and their purpose at some point, even if it’s not as often as me.

And I think it’s normal. I also think it is healthy to look within to find answers that resonate rather than simply accepting what we are taught.

I believe that as long as we blindly accept what we are taught, we will always have internal conflict.

Three things that helped me to look within include:

1. Writing a Journal

As it can sometimes be challenging for me to speak with others about my true feelings, I have found that writing in my journal helps me to make sense of my thoughts.

My journal gives me a safe space to question my values and beliefs as well as a place to reflect on my emotions and explore my ideas.

2. Meditating

I wish I could say that I was a Zen queen and that I meditate for hours in a state of total bliss.

Unfortunately, that is still a long way off for me. I can only manage a maximum of ten minutes, and during that time it’s a constant battle to quiet my thoughts.

However, the ten minutes that I do accomplish force me to stop and be present with my thoughts. It gives my mind the opportunity to be still and let my thoughts settle.

3. Spending Time Alone

Initially I struggled with this. I grew up believing that spending time alone was for people who had no friends. Being on your own was not cool and was something that I avoided at all costs. I was always busy.

I have since discovered the benefits of spending time alone.

When you are constantly surrounded by other people, it can be difficult to tune into your own instincts and distinguish your values and beliefs from others.

Being on your own, meditating and writing in your journal encourage you to query your thoughts, values and beliefs and identify which feel true to you, and which you have held onto through habit, survival or convenience.

When I looked outside of myself I felt trapped, but as I began to look within, I felt a sense of freedom and liberation.

Exploring who I am will be an ongoing journey, and I now understand that although I share my life and world with billions of other people, I no longer need to be understood by others, I just need to understand and accept myself.

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About the author

Leanne loves inspiring, motivating and empowering women who have had enough of feeling demotivated, fed up and unfulfilled. She is a Career and Lifestyle Fulfilment Coach and author of Get A Career & Life You Love, who has experienced redundancy, a complete career change, starting a small business and has setup an online lounge to support and empower women to create a career and life they love. To receive her FREE guide to creating a happier and more fulfilled career and life, click here.

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3 thoughts on Feeling Misunderstood? These 3 Things Can Help

  1. I get you! Lol. I think sooo much as well, that it makes me tired. I have often said that I wish my brain would just stop thinking – go on strike or something! And I agree with journalling. I have kept journals since I was a teenager, and still do (and I’m not in my 40s). It helps me get the jumble of thoughts out of my head and bring some clarity. I’ve tried meditation – and like you, it’s hard to quiet the mind! 10 minutes is all I can manage as well. :)

  2. Hi Leanne, I really enjoyed your post! I can especially identify with being an ‘extroverted’ person, and having thoughts that my friends don’t relate to. I recently changed careers after some serious soul searching, and I’ve had to let some friendships lapse. Did I try hard to save them? Not really. Was it inevitable? Maybe. I feel like I’ve done right by me, which is exactly what you realized you had to do! Congratulations to us, I guess. :)

  3. It looks like you’re describing here two issues. First of them is accepting yourself, your weaknesses and strengths. Second is too much thinking in some situations. While the first issue is self-explanatory the reason for the second one may stem from different roots. There is article called “Open-Mindedness: Too Little, Too Much, Just Right” that you may find interesting. It’s about one of the possible roots behind the problem described in your article.

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