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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It bothers me that people misunderstand me because I am able to see things from another direction.
This is something that is becoming more obvious to me...or..bothering me more and more.
I think what bothers me most is not the fact that I am misunderstood, but the fact that people think that, when I transport my mind to the other side, these are my personal rules aswell.
This may sound the same...I don't know how to eplain.Maybe it is.
Maybe I just hate being misunderstood by people who know me.
Or maybe I hate it when my beliefs are being misunderstood. Which is more likely now I think of it.

I could post a story as an example of what I am talking about...
I don't think this is needed..
I do hope some of you will come up with a story, or some insight on how you see this, how you approach this situation, or these persons, ...
Every person opens up a new perspective, right.
 

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I hear you. People generally just don't understand how you can see all sides at once, how you can understand where someone else is coming from but not necessarily agree with them, but because you understand the other point of view it makes it stupidly difficult to take a stance against them. Like you could argue for everybody's point of view and be right. Most people see things more in black and white, whereas we see things in so many shades of grey. I guess sometimes you just have to let your understanding slide, and pick a side and you will be appreciated for your loyalty, though you'll feel a bit flaky for doing so. Like you are turning against your own self. And it won't make you any more understood because they will understand an image of you rather than the real you.

So much for that theory. Pfft. Pick a side, people on that side will appreciate it and think they understand you, but you know deep down that they don't. Don't pick a side and you annoy everyone and you're misunderstood by all of them, but you know you are being true to yourself.

I have a story to share. Half the reason why I lost my best friend was because when I moved away from him I became involved with the world of my husband, and with my new set of friends here who were very different to the friends I had when we were younger and hung out so much together. Because I didn't see him (we're 7000 miles apart and he won't travel), all he saw was a procession of opinions and facebook statuses and comments etc that he couldn't relate to, because they seemed so different to the world that we lived in together. Eventually he took it to mean that I had changed and left "his kind" behind. He got hurt by that, accusing me of talking about our values as if they were past. In reality, I still hold on to those values, but they are different to the values of my husband and friends here, so I have to take on other values as well in order to fit in. And part of growing up is taking into account other people's perspectives of the world and not dismissing them just because they are different to yours. Though my current values and past values may seem contradictory, I can adhere to them all. I am happy to seem inconsistant, as I can carry the ying and yang as a whole within myself, but conveying that to anyone who can't do it, let alone getting them to understand it, has seemed an impossible feat so far.

And what annoys me about my friends now is that they all claim to love me because I'm a very "What you see is what you get" kind of person. Which is very true. But I know that they are only seeing one side of the thousands of sides of me. They don't know me or understand me, they just know and understand the very limited part of me that they choose to look at.
 

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It bothers me that people misunderstand me because I am able to see things from another direction...I do hope some of you will come up with a story, or some insight on how you see this, how you approach this situation, or these persons, ...
Every person opens up a new perspective, right.
CreativeDreams,

May I ask more specifically what situation you are talking about and what were your views and other's views? No need to talk too much about it if you feel it is too personal; But I'm not sure in what context you are talking about - I do understand what you are saying though. At home, my father says I am backwards, he is ISTJ. Often what I do is go along with my own way, and then celebrate the outcome of my efforts, instead of the journey (in front of others), in this way my ways are more appreciated. I don't discuss methods to reach my final outcome, much with people, unless they are also INFJ :) Like you all. Lest I get criticized too harshly.
 

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Just goes to show how little empathy there is today.

I was on the football team and I used to sympathize for the other team, and that'd get my team-mates really pissed.
 

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Your ability to understand other people's perspectives though is incredibly useful in being understood. I hate being misunderstood too so as soon as I am I'm reading the person for the source of misunderstanding so I can explain it in the way that they need to hear. It's weird I can be talking to someone and either by the tone of their voice or their face I can instantly know that I was misunderstood even if they try to pretend that they did or think they did. I usually even know exactly how they understood and use that to clarify myself. I love being able to use that ability to a completely clear and understood line of communication with the other person. I think it's something that comes from our natural ability to empathize. That being said you probably know how to clearly explain yourself to them you just have to not let your frustration for being misunderstood get in the way of making the effort. It was a hard but valuable lesson for me to learn to be careful to not expect everyone to see everything we do right away. We don't all share the same eyes for things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hear you. People generally just don't understand how you can see all sides at once, how you can understand where someone else is coming from but not necessarily agree with them, but because you understand the other point of view it makes it stupidly difficult to take a stance against them. Like you could argue for everybody's point of view and be right. Most people see things more in black and white, whereas we see things in so many shades of grey. I guess sometimes you just have to let your understanding slide, and pick a side and you will be appreciated for your loyalty, though you'll feel a bit flaky for doing so. Like you are turning against your own self. And it won't make you any more understood because they will understand an image of you rather than the real you.

So much for that theory. Pfft. Pick a side, people on that side will appreciate it and think they understand you, but you know deep down that they don't. Don't pick a side and you annoy everyone and you're misunderstood by all of them, but you know you are being true to yourself.

I have a story to share. Half the reason why I lost my best friend was because when I moved away from him I became involved with the world of my husband, and with my new set of friends here who were very different to the friends I had when we were younger and hung out so much together. Because I didn't see him (we're 7000 miles apart and he won't travel), all he saw was a procession of opinions and facebook statuses and comments etc that he couldn't relate to, because they seemed so different to the world that we lived in together. Eventually he took it to mean that I had changed and left "his kind" behind. He got hurt by that, accusing me of talking about our values as if they were past. In reality, I still hold on to those values, but they are different to the values of my husband and friends here, so I have to take on other values as well in order to fit in. And part of growing up is taking into account other people's perspectives of the world and not dismissing them just because they are different to yours. Though my current values and past values may seem contradictory, I can adhere to them all. I am happy to seem inconsistant, as I can carry the ying and yang as a whole within myself, but conveying that to anyone who can't do it, let alone getting them to understand it, has seemed an impossible feat so far.

And what annoys me about my friends now is that they all claim to love me because I'm a very "What you see is what you get" kind of person. Which is very true. But I know that they are only seeing one side of the thousands of sides of me. They don't know me or understand me, they just know and understand the very limited part of me that they choose to look at.
Thank you so much for your words and thoughts Katey.
It is amazing that I could find understanding in misunderstanding here.
After reading this I was thinking.
What probably is the most frustrating for me, is trying to let other people think as I do.
...or ... I think I want that other people simply accept this is who I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your ability to understand other people's perspectives though is incredibly useful in being understood. I hate being misunderstood too so as soon as I am I'm reading the person for the source of misunderstanding so I can explain it in the way that they need to hear. It's weird I can be talking to someone and either by the tone of their voice or their face I can instantly know that I was misunderstood even if they try to pretend that they did or think they did. I usually even know exactly how they understood and use that to clarify myself. I love being able to use that ability to a completely clear and understood line of communication with the other person. I think it's something that comes from our natural ability to empathize. That being said you probably know how to clearly explain yourself to them you just have to not let your frustration for being misunderstood get in the way of making the effort. It was a hard but valuable lesson for me to learn to be careful to not expect everyone to see everything we do right away. We don't all share the same eyes for things.
You hit the nail on the head FromTheWorldUp.
I do know when people misunderstand what I am trying to say.It is something I instantly know.
I know we all have different values in life and I embrace that.

But...

How can you explain it in the way they need if you are just sharing an other point of view?

I can understand the frustration of people on the opposite of me.
Them: "So what x did was not right."
Me: "Yeah, I agree, but on the other side I can see why x did it."
*MISUNDERSTOOD*
Their thoughts: He is just trying to be liked by everyone by having no opinion of his own. He just agreed with me and now he is defending x?

I'm not defending. I am just telling you how I think, x was feeling..
I use these words before I say things, "I can see why... or I can understand why..."
I make people aware this is not my idea, but it could be x's idea.

So how could you explain this if they do not want to or can't see it in x's way?
Or if they do not want to accept that I will always see and feel things from other peoples perspective.

Not bring it up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CreativeDreams,

May I ask more specifically what situation you are talking about and what were your views and other's views? No need to talk too much about it if you feel it is too personal; But I'm not sure in what context you are talking about - I do understand what you are saying though. At home, my father says I am backwards, he is ISTJ. Often what I do is go along with my own way, and then celebrate the outcome of my efforts, instead of the journey (in front of others), in this way my ways are more appreciated. I don't discuss methods to reach my final outcome, much with people, unless they are also INFJ :) Like you all. Lest I get criticized too harshly.
Hi Female INFJ.

I wasn't really talking about a specific situation. I was thinking about plenty of them when I was writing.
I think my previous reply gives more insight in which context I am seeing this at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just goes to show how little empathy there is today.

I was on the football team and I used to sympathize for the other team, and that'd get my team-mates really pissed.
lol :crazy:
Good thing I'm very competitive.
 

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Unfortunately we are part of the problem. We're the ones who have developed such complex personalities. You look at the average person and they have a handful of different sides to them. We just have more sides than most. Others can be two-faced, we can be thirty-faced. If we don't express all those faces, we feel inauthentic. If we express them, people are confused and sometimes disappointed. And that can lead to them not accepting us - how can they take you at face value when your face changes so much? They're going to be a little suspicious and therefore maybe not invest emotionally in you as much as someone who is more straightforward. Or, conversely, they're just going to be blind to the fact that you have all these faces and accept you as you are, but their version of who you are and your version of who you are might be very different.

I don't know about you, but I am still trying to figure myself out, and probably always will be, so it is really no surprise that others don't understand us as much as we crave them to. It's frustrating to think that maybe we'll never find someone who truly understands the real us, but the best advice I can give is just to express as many of those sides of you as you can and you will hopefully find that you will have an assortment of people who understand particular parts of you very well. A kind of "acceptance by committee". If you put all the people who have considered me a good friend throughout my life together in one place you'd have a particularly bizarre mix. They certainly wouldn't get on with each other :crazy:
 

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I can understand the frustration of people on the opposite of me.
Them: "So what x did was not right."
Me: "Yeah, I agree, but on the other side I can see why x did it."
*MISUNDERSTOOD*
Their thoughts: He is just trying to be liked by everyone by having no opinion of his own. He just agreed with me and now he is defending x?

I'm not defending. I am just telling you how I think, x was feeling..
I use these words before I say things, "I can see why... or I can understand why..."
I make people aware this is not my idea, but it could be x's idea.

So how could you explain this if they do not want to or can't see it in x's way?
Or if they do not want to accept that I will always see and feel things from other peoples perspective.

Not bring it up?
The way I do this, is by not saying "I understand" or "I see why". You can put the alternatives out there without attaching personally to the ideas. For instance, if my friend would come to me saying her boyfriend was a complete jerk (which he was, pretty much all the time) I would sympathise with her and tell her he was a jerk but then say "Maybe he acted that way because..." and throw out a bunch of hypothetical situations and emotions that may have caused him to do what he did. That way I wasn't saying I understood or forgave his point of view, I was still very much on her side, but I was introducing several new perspectives for my friend to think about, which made her less fixated on her own perception of the event (he did it because he's a jerk, I hate him) and therefore more open to really getting to the bottom of the problem (he did it for a reason, whether he was conscious of it or not, I wonder if I can find out the reason and work with him on fixing it).
 

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You hit the nail on the head FromTheWorldUp.
I do know when people misunderstand what I am trying to say.It is something I instantly know.
I know we all have different values in life and I embrace that.

But...

How can you explain it in the way they need if you are just sharing an other point of view?

I can understand the frustration of people on the opposite of me.
Them: "So what x did was not right."
Me: "Yeah, I agree, but on the other side I can see why x did it."
*MISUNDERSTOOD*
Their thoughts: He is just trying to be liked by everyone by having no opinion of his own. He just agreed with me and now he is defending x?

I'm not defending. I am just telling you how I think, x was feeling..
I use these words before I say things, "I can see why... or I can understand why..."
I make people aware this is not my idea, but it could be x's idea.

So how could you explain this if they do not want to or can't see it in x's way?
Or if they do not want to accept that I will always see and feel things from other peoples perspective.

Not bring it up?
No you don't have to avoid it but the thing is when people take a strong stance on something they can be sensitive to even the slightest hint of disagreement and often immediately go defensive and they can no longer be communicated with. In your case when you say "I can see why x did it" you're probably coming across as advocating for that person and putting yourself on their side therefore to the person your talking to your putting yourself on the opposing side, and that is what you are doing but only because you understand through empathy. Now people don't like to or usually won't even consider sympathize with an opposition. In their mind sympathizing with the opposition makes you a part of it. This is a common barrier when it comes to any kind of diplomacy in anything because no one can try to see from the other side. In your case if you really want to try to talk about the issue and be heard you have to try to do as if you're speaking from observation not empathy. You can try saying something like I think x have done x because. Spin it like your speculating not feeling. In a war of wills or literally, feeling for the other side is often scoffed at or seen with disgust; however, if you can present as intel you just might be heard. Sorry for speaking in military type terms.

When communicating it's like your negotiating but not really with the other person but with their subconscious. The key is understanding them to the point that you know the exact word or words it's rejecting and can tailor what you are saying into something that it will accept. You can't effectively mediate unless you can understand both sides and then see clearly how to make them meet. I hope that helps.
 

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The way I do this, is by not saying "I understand" or "I see why". You can put the alternatives out there without attaching personally to the ideas. For instance, if my friend would come to me saying her boyfriend was a complete jerk (which he was, pretty much all the time) I would sympathise with her and tell her he was a jerk but then say "Maybe he acted that way because..." and throw out a bunch of hypothetical situations and emotions that may have caused him to do what he did. That way I wasn't saying I understood or forgave his point of view, I was still very much on her side, but I was introducing several new perspectives for my friend to think about, which made her less fixated on her own perception of the event (he did it because he's a jerk, I hate him) and therefore more open to really getting to the bottom of the problem (he did it for a reason, whether he was conscious of it or not, I wonder if I can find out the reason and work with him on fixing it).
Exactly, maybe I should have read this first before I responded to what you said to me. It's an art. It really feels like walking through a mine field.
 

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I can understand the frustration of people on the opposite of me.
Them: "So what x did was not right."
Me: "Yeah, I agree, but on the other side I can see why x did it."
*MISUNDERSTOOD*
Their thoughts: He is just trying to be liked by everyone by having no opinion of his own. He just agreed with me and now he is defending x?

I'm not defending. I am just telling you how I think, x was feeling..
I use these words before I say things, "I can see why... or I can understand why..."
I make people aware this is not my idea, but it could be x's idea.

So how could you explain this if they do not want to or can't see it in x's way?
Or if they do not want to accept that I will always see and feel things from other peoples perspective.

Not bring it up?
To me, this seeing both sides of an argument, can lead to indecisiveness. And I can understand why people that prefer more clear-cut distinctions don't appriciate this ability to empathize with both sides. Maybe the key is to see when people are looking for a deeper understanding of the situation, and when they have already made up their minds and are just expressing themselves. As for me, I am always interested in seeing the greater picture, but I some people are just happy to have arrived at a conclusion.


Unfortunately we are part of the problem. We're the ones who have developed such complex personalities. You look at the average person and they have a handful of different sides to them. We just have more sides than most. Others can be two-faced, we can be thirty-faced. If we don't express all those faces, we feel inauthentic. If we express them, people are confused and sometimes disappointed. And that can lead to them not accepting us - how can they take you at face value when your face changes so much? They're going to be a little suspicious and therefore maybe not invest emotionally in you as much as someone who is more straightforward. Or, conversely, they're just going to be blind to the fact that you have all these faces and accept you as you are, but their version of who you are and your version of who you are might be very different.

I don't know about you, but I am still trying to figure myself out, and probably always will be, so it is really no surprise that others don't understand us as much as we crave them to. It's frustrating to think that maybe we'll never find someone who truly understands the real us, but the best advice I can give is just to express as many of those sides of you as you can and you will hopefully find that you will have an assortment of people who understand particular parts of you very well. A kind of "acceptance by committee". If you put all the people who have considered me a good friend throughout my life together in one place you'd have a particularly bizarre mix. They certainly wouldn't get on with each other :crazy:
So spot on! Thanks for that; I will remember your words...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
how can they take you at face value when your face changes so much?

"acceptance by committee".
introducing several new perspectives
speaking from observation not empathy.
Maybe the key is to see when people are looking for a deeper understanding of the situation, and when they have already made up their minds and are just expressing themselves.
I've cut the quotes because it got too long. But these say for me all I need to remember all those words.
I like how you both explained the same thing. In other words..which makes it even more clear for me to see where I was going wrong.

I have to say, Katey, this acceptance by committe, is how I see my relationships with others.
Some know more sides than others but no one knows all.
I am blessed however, in a way that I have a very close friend, who knows a lot more sides of me, then I would expect. And who in some way connects with me when I go all..."me"?
 
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