Thursday, April 26, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Understanding

We all want to be heard and understood. We want to feel like someone “gets” us, understands where we’re coming from. Not feeling understood causes a lot of frustration. Sometimes I tell my husband something that’s bothering me and he’s dismissive or tries to solve the problem. But all I really want is for him to understand how I feel, to vent, and his reaction just angers and frustrates me more. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t explain it away or tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way. Just understand. Empathasize. Feel what I feel.

This happened recently with my ten-year-old son. He had a very strong reaction to something that, to me, was relatively minor. He was very angry that his weekly piano lesson interfered with part of his lunch time. At first I tried to explain why it made sense for the school to schedule it that way. To an adult, his being upset about this seemed silly. But I realized this was a big deal to him. He was really mad. Turned out it was because it meant he had to miss ten minutes of time he got to talk to a friend that he didn’t get to see much anymore. Talking to his friends is extremely important to him, and this ten minutes once a week was a big deal to him. And if you know ten-year-olds, socializing is huge for them.

Making an effort to understand where others are coming from goes a long way in healing relationships. And preventing hurt feelings to begin with. Sometimes that’s all we need to do. We may not be able to solve a problem. But make some effort to understand what’s really going on. It’s worth the effort.


  1. Yup... our little things may be huge to someone else. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at

  2. Maybe I should just start printing out your posts and leaving them on the kitchen counter for the OTHERS who live here to read as well!

  3. It's good to try to understand someone's point of view.
    I loved you U post.