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Discussion Starter #1
Sometimes I behave very strangely, and I could not put my
finger on why that is.

I was driving home from work today when I finally realized it:
I am terrified of people misunderstanding me and try to
prevent it (which makes me awkward). Though I think things
would be worse for me if I didn't try to prevent it- I still think
I probably still fail to make myself understood.

It is not that I'm trying to make a bunch of friends or anything.
I even know why I'm so afraid of being misunderstood.
When I was a kid, I was terribly, terribly misunderstood- and
it sucked the joy right out of life.

Being misunderstood is like being punished for something you
didn't do. Or being given a gift that you utterly hate.
 

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I don't like being misinterpreted in a discussion.

But misunderstood as a person? I don't really care.

@FreeSpirit

What aspects of yourself are you afraid people will misunderstand?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@JuliaRhys

Pretty much everything.

People will oftentimes have a totally mistaken idea about what I
mean when I speak, and even who I am as a person.

Problem 1) If I don't speak, they assume things about me based on my
appearance, which causes problems at work, because my real potential is
ignored and assumed (but weaker) potential is pursued. Plus, people try to
relate to me in an uncomfortable/unnatural way- because they think
I'm someone I'm not. And if I try to set them straight, refer to problem
number 2:

Problem 2) Whenever I try to explain anything about myself,
I so thoroughly confuse people that they conclude that A) I'm a fruit
loop B) I want to be special- but this is all due to them not following my
thoughts all the way through. I'd have to explain everything for them
to get it (which may take sometime- and also results in the before
mentioned awkwardness). So most of the time, I avoid saying
anything real and end up with problem number 1.

As for why I care:

Being misunderstood can cause real life problems. Sometimes people
even think I'm stupid because I seem so 'out of it'- meaning I have
nothing to do with what they are talking about, or I'm focusing on
something they pay no attention to. Or I ask a question they think
has an obvious answer (when people all answer differently, but
they don't realize that.)

Sometimes they think I'm not putting effort into anything or taking
things seriously, just because I don't seem worked up. People will
sometimes not believe I am hurt or in pain when I am, because I
am not acting hurt or in pain. Even though I am telling them that I
am.

They sometimes even think that I'm 'worked up' when I'm not.
For example, at work, when I'm really 'on my game', I will
feel very confident, calm- even happy. But because of my
somewhat aggressive style, people will think I'm upset.

I will come up to them and say, "We need to do this and this,
in this order in about five minutes." In a very calm, even friendly
voice, and they will freak out-saying, "Whoa, whoa, calm down."
To me. Which is really annoying because I'm just doing good work-
and they can't handle it.

Plus they are projecting their own anxiety onto me- (because they
are freaking out, they think it's ME who is freaking out.) When I'm
right there, taking care of them, and soothing their spaz! They try
to stigmatize me with their own problem.

And being stigmatized at work is a serious problem. The health of
your job depends almost entirely on your co-workers and boss'
perception of you.
 
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