Why don't they understand me?

103 Answers
Last Updated: 11/08/2019 at 9:27am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Hope Hadding, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I am a professional therapist with extensive experience working with various mental health disorders as well as sexual issues. I am supportive and non-judgmental.

Top Rated Answers
adamabinta
December 8th, 2014 6:35pm
Because everyone has different experiences, needs, and expectations, no one will see the world just as you do. I remember figuring this out when I was a young teenager, trying to help my mom understand how she was hurting me. When I confronted her, I chose my words carefully, I did not let emotion overwhelm my words, and I focused just on my feelings and not on attacking her character. I was as articulate and concise as I could be at that age. I remember being proud of myself with how well I expressed my experiences, and then noticing that there was no new understanding in her eyes. Nothing I said had stuck. I knew she loved me and would move mountains if she thought it would benefit my quality of life, but she could not hear me when I tried to teach her how to help me. That was when I realized that there was no magic word or phrase that would unlock the mental wall/barriers she had that kept her from understanding my perspective. You cannot make someone think or feel what you want them to think or feel. In university I learned that each of us have "cognitive schemas," or rigid beliefs, that filter all information we take in from the world. We have schemas for nearly everything, from the social meaning of different colours to what makes a chair a chair, to more complex concepts, such as the meaning of love and pain, or the roles and expectations for different people (e.g., children, parents, police officers, etc.). Schemas are deeply ingrained, and they automatically affect behaviour and emotions, constantly shaping how we see and interact with the world. But since we each have had experiences unique to us, our schemas develop differently. So, two people can be looking at the same world and see very different things, sometimes making it difficult for them to understand each other.
Anonymous
December 4th, 2014 11:43pm
Because they have their own issues and baggage. In this world, understanding is rare, fey and fleeting. When you do encounter understanding, cherish it as you would a flower that only blooms for a short time. If understanding is what you seek from others, you will be exhausted and depleted by the quest, for it will never end. Instead of seeking understanding from others, cultivate acceptance within your heart and mind. Accepting things as they are is the only answer, the only understanding, the only wisdom there is.
Anonymous
November 24th, 2014 4:50pm
Many people do not understand what you are going through. You have to explain to them exactly how you feel.
AishaNinaBowd
October 9th, 2016 1:51pm
they don't understand you because they aren't you and you have to understand that you are your own hero. the more you worry about others understanding you, the less you will understand yourself and you will lose yourself, and I promise, it's the worst feeling. sometimes all we ever want it to be understood, but that's the only thing that's seems so impossible. not everyone will understand you, and that's okay, because you are here to live your life, not to make everyone understand :)
smileitswhit
December 28th, 2014 3:34am
Some people will not understand you because everyone is different and everyone has not experienced the same things.
StardustEyes
June 7th, 2015 9:51am
We all have our own visions. That's why they don't understand me. I'm different. I make choices that others consider unusual. That's what make us unique. There are a couple reasons why someone won’t come to the same conclusion as you and they are based on relevance and emotions. Not everyone places the same importance on facts. Just because they may agree with what you’re saying doesn’t mean they will come to the same conclusion as you or place as much importance on them as you. Most people understand exactly everything being said, the problem is they don’t place as much value to what’s being said as others.Failure to understand why that particular person values something so much is the only misunderstanding. No one takes the time anymore to understand why a person values certain things. Everything counts on value of the spoken thoughts, not in misunderstandings.
Anonymous
September 22nd, 2016 2:31am
Is this in general? I'm sorry you feel misunderstood. You're not alone! It's possible you've been associating with people who are actually unsupportive; if you look in new and interesting places you may find new people with like-minded thinking who will understand you perfectly. If this is for a specific discussion: try to put yourself in the other person's position and really try to believe their side of it - this might help you find the words that will this person understand your point of view. Speak calmly and honestly. No one can understand anyone else without honesty! Some people are stubborn and will almost willfully not see your side of things; there's little you can do with these people except agree to disagree and hope for the best for them.
Tammy001
December 17th, 2014 8:47am
It isn't easy for human beings to understand that which they haven't yet experienced themselves. They misunderstand or misinterpret you because they have yet to feel the experiences and situations you've been through. It doesn't make them purposefully oblivious or ignorant, they're still learning.
caringIceCream67
November 16th, 2015 1:12pm
We cannot really expect for everyone to understand us, we have to accept that we are our masters we knw us better than others, its is not easy for all to think standing in your shoes.
Anonymous
December 15th, 2015 2:07pm
We forget sometimes that everyone is different, and we are all inside our own heads. Our experiences are all different and our thoughts are different. We feel misunderstood when it really may be that we need to communicate more clearly and have patience with each other.
Anonymous
November 19th, 2016 5:52am
One major reason for the same is you fail to express yourself. You have a feeling that they already know it or how would they react if I told them such and such directly. Feel free to express and it would be alright soon.
AnnieElen
November 24th, 2014 5:17pm
Not everyone gets you. you are yourself. You are an expert on yourself. Sometimes, they don't have your issues so they don't really get it.
Anonymous
December 29th, 2014 1:33am
Everyone has a different mindframe and mentality. No two people think alike, though some think similarly. As with any other trait, your way of thinking was shaped by your environment and the actions of people around you, by your genetics, and grows and develops as you do. Therefore, it is common to feel as though other people don't understand you, because no one is going to think the way you do. Sometimes, people just can't comprehend the way you think, why you do the things you do. Other times, that person doesn't want to understand you, because they don't want to take the time to listen and empathize, or they don't know how to do so. If you want someone to understand you, you could talk to them when they are calm and willing to listen, and ask them to try to put themselves in your shoes. If someone is not willing to do so when asked, that is probably not a good relationship to have and you should end it. This, of course, does not work with family members; you have to love and tolerate each other indefinitely. However, it is worth a try.
ChristopherLeo
October 16th, 2016 4:44pm
Understanding is all about perspective and personal context. We cannot always expect others to understand what we are going through because many times they may not have experienced this kind of situation, emotion or feeling for themselves. To be able to relate in that way is called empathy. Empathy is true understanding, and it happens when people can related and put themselves in your shoes. Do not be mad at someone for their lack of understanding, rather attempt to share with someone who can grant you their empathy through their own circumstances and experiences or understanding.
KindBean2002
October 7th, 2016 2:05pm
Because they can't understand what you're going through. They can't get in your mindset. If they choose to not understand, then they are ignorant for not being able and not wanting to understand.
IrenePeace
April 19th, 2017 9:34pm
It’s always good for you to ask them to repeat back to you what you are saying if you feel they don’t understand. That’s probably one of the first steps you should take to clear up misunderstandings.
XxxxxxxZoeyxxxxxX
March 1st, 2018 2:43am
People can't read other people even if their your friends it might be a struggle but you need to speak up
Anonymous
March 16th, 2018 4:50pm
It might be a misunderstanding. Some may make assumptions and this may lead us to believe that we are not understood.
Anonymous
April 15th, 2018 11:57am
maybe because they feel like your not enough maybe try explaining to they what you mean maybe that way they'll understand you better
Greatlistener87
March 21st, 2016 3:31am
Different people understand others in different ways. Maybe you will need to explain to them on what you are trying to get them to understand in their understanding.
Anonymous
June 14th, 2016 12:36am
They don't understand you as they are either ignorant or they are yet to find an aspect of your character that they identify with or are familiar with.
earthch1ld
November 10th, 2016 11:10am
Some people will never understand you in this life. Most don't even understand themselves. The important thing is that you know yourself, and surround yourself with people that do too.
Ruek
August 10th, 2017 9:25am
I am really sorry to hear that you feel misunderstood. I know that it can be a really difficult situation. Perhaps there is that one person whom you know will understand, try talking to them when you feel you need somebody to listen. They can even be a virtual friend or a listener here on 7 cups. I am here if you need to talk to me!
brucesmith
September 1st, 2017 8:48pm
Persons interactions are based on each others personal characteristics. One of individual differences is the differences in world view. Some people see the trees and some people see the forest. These differences interfere with understanding each other.
JudithAsk9
April 18th, 2018 5:42am
Sometimes its hard to understand others because we all have different personalities, backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Understanding everyone could be tough since we dont really live and lived the same way as others. What we CAN do, is respect others and even if we are different we need to be able to say what we need and express our feelings and needs in a respectful way.
Selina0503
May 31st, 2018 6:20pm
many people can't understand your situation because they are struggling themself with a lot of problems. Try to show empathy for them instead and break the endless cycle. They may be wishing to be understood as hard as you do. What i also experienced is, that some people just aren't able to show a lot of understand and empathy. But either way try to understand them if you want them to understand you!
supportiveStrawberry81
October 26th, 2018 9:18pm
If someone doesn’t understand me they are possibly applying their set of expectations on me and want me to be someone I’m not and to fit into a prefabricated mold. If this is the case I will continually fail to meet those expectations and probably not be understood. Often, we don’t take into account a person’s background, current stresses, personality, etc when trying to understand them. It’s important to get to know the person before judging or better yet don’t judge at all. If we try to just accept the person for who they are and where they’ve been understanding will follow.
Anonymous
November 27th, 2014 6:53pm
You're a complicated person :o) Everyone is. Chances are they want to understand you, and they need some opportunities to. No one is going to be able to understand you quickly, and some people will take more time than others to understand you. Their own experiences and knowledge and personality will impact how easily they empathize with you. If you can, try to be a little patient in explaining yourself. Even if they don't understand you, if they want to, they care for you, and just might need a little more time to fully comprehend.
Anonymous
April 29th, 2015 12:48am
They don't understand you just in the way that you don't understand them. Find areas of common ground and focus on that.
Dawn04
September 28th, 2016 3:02pm
People often cannot understand things they are not going through or have forgotten. Clear communication might help bring them back up to speed.