To Always Understand
I don’t know where to begin.
I should really be sleeping… but my mind… my thoughts are keeping me up. It’s all just a bunch of statements, piling up one on top of the other. Revolving around: understanding.
“I always have to understand.”
That sentence slowly crept up on me earlier like a vine making its way around a fence. Maybe it’s a thought that has been inching its way through my psyche… or perhaps it’s brought about many random things.
I’d like to think that I am an understanding person (well… up to a certain extent) but I think it was different years ago. Growing up as an only child, I had a nasty temper. I’d get easily mad if someone annoyed me, cry if someone hurt me, and withdraw when I felt left out. Without saying anything, I think i wanted everyone to conform o my preferences. That got me a lot of scolding, a couple of physical admonitions, and a few friends.
But nature flows on its own course. Maturity set in. And although, I still stretch the limits in getting what I want, I somehow knew what to risk in taking the chance. My parents were the (un)lucky ones to experience my hotheadedness (and my ex-boyfriend). As for some of my friends, they’ve witnessed and have taken a peek on that. Not the full onslaught (thankfully!).
Anyway, as I’ve broadened my horizon and had the privilege of exposing myself in different environments (work, organizations) and people, flairing tempers started to be kept in check, control developed, triggers were acknowledged and let go, and the importance of understanding (maybe even empathy) was learned and appreciated. I grew up.
I guess it helped that my field of work in my different employment focused on human interaction. That, and having loads of responsibilities as well as living independently.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
I first heard of this from my mom. It’s Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Effective People. And it truly is. It practices the Golden Rule: “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.” So if you want to be understood, you have to give your understanding too.
But what happens… when in seeking to understand others, you can’t get your own message across because you understood their predicament as well that the issue you may have towards that person becomes negated since they may be going through a more difficult patch in their lives?
Emergencies: “Sorry, I can’t make it… I’m not feeling well.. please understand…”
Trying times: “Please understand… now’s not a good time for me…” or “You know I’m still not over you-know-who, so please don’t ask me”
Apologies: “You have to understand, I was in a meeting and had matters to attend to….” or “I already said sorry.”
So many triggers. Emergencies, Emotional Turmoil, Uncontrolled Circumstances. Things you can’t control but understand too well that these are indeed difficult moments. How would you be able to have the heart to share your own? Or say that these things bother you too and affect you? Can’t complain about these predicaments. I just hope it’ll eventually get better soon and bounce back to normalcy.
I guess it’s not just being understood. After all, that’s where good communication comes in and extending the same courtesy… eventually. Maybe it’s more of being appreciated too.
If ever I may reach my breaking point and cannot put the lid on it, I’m imperfect too.