Tuesday, May 31, 2016

You Have the Right to Be Understood

This sounds like a strange title for an article. Some of you may think it odd that I would even write such a simple sounding article that is so obvious it needs no explanation. Unfortunately, it's not as obvious to many people as it should be, which is sad.

What I didn't realize until I really went deep is that we all have the right to be understood.

Yes, you have the RIGHT to be understood. As a human being you NEED to be understood in order to experience fulfillment. Being understood is a need that you have and therefore, it's a right. You have a right to get all of your needs met. You have a right to ask others in your life to meet your needs--and they have a right to meet your needs or say no. You have a right to stay or go.

You have a right to require that the people in your life understand you, and if they do not, cannot or will not then you have the right to walk away. You could agree to disagree, but if that's something you choose, that is your right, not your obligation. You are not obligated to stay in any relationship with any person at any time unless you're in a committed relationship, even then you are free to go or stay.

You have the right to expect those who are in your life to understand your point of view and to come to logical conclusions about your life, your experiences, your opinions and your meanings.

In fact, it's okay to make sure the people closest to you understand you. If they don't, then that is a sign that your relationship is not equal and that your deepest needs are not being met. The need to be understood is a core dependency need. If you were understood as a child, you won't settle for anything less as an adult. It would feel weird as an adult to hang around people who don't understand you if you felt understood as a child. That's okay, you can make adjustments in your life to get the understanding you need now that you're an adult.

It is a human need to be understood, that is, to be seen and acknowledged and reconciled with others. If you are in a relationship with someone who refuses to understand you, or acts like they don't, then you may be in an unequal relationship where the other person is taking advantage of your unmet need and willingness to prove yourself as a form of control.

I'll explain. As a child, I never felt understood. Nobody believed that I was being abused. Those who knew I was being emotionally and physically battered and neglected never stood up for me. There was nothing they could do. As such, I grew up feeling greatly misunderstood. What I felt, what I knew to be true in reality did not match the output that was coming back to me from my family of origin.

I was gaslighted to the point that all my perceptions were skewed. I didn't know who I was. I couldn't understand my own thoughts and feelings. Other people told me how to feel and told me that how I felt was shameful. They taught me to abandon myself and follow their way to live. They deeply misunderstood me.  I never got the original developmental dependency need met in childhood, so I've been searching for understanding all this time, all the while feeling a sense that I would never be understood.

Then Eureka! I was doing some shame reduction work and I got a bit of light that shined down on this right that we all have to be understood in our relationships. Up until now, I tolerated people in my life who misunderstood me. I didn't know I had the right to expect anything other than that.

People who are disordered, such as narcissists can use your need (which is an empty hole in our hearts) against you. Let's say you never felt understood your whole life, then all you want as an adult is to be understood, and you may go out of your way trying to prove your truth to others--or worse, you may have just given up being understood all together and settled for a bunch of gaslighting from your closest relationships. That's painful. You may be entangled with a narcissist right now who will not understand you. If so, this article may shine some light for you.

Being understood is a major need of a person, therefore, you have the right to expect to be understood by others and to walk away if they refuse, argue or act confused. You don't have to stand around and be gaslighted into believing that you can remain equal when the other person refuses to acknowledge information right in front of their eyes--that is, your truth.

When people close to you refuse to understand you, it can be abusive. It makes you feel unseen and unheard and invisible. It is not meeting your most vital need to be understood. It is a subtle abuse tactic often used by the covert narcissist in order to one-up you and gaslight you. If you're not aware it's happening, you may feel confusing, misunderstood, wrong or toxic shamed. This is a dangerous place to be because it causes you to lose your sense of self and lose self esteem.

You deserve to have people around you who UNDERSTAND YOU. Don't tolerate people who make you feel like you're hard to understand or who refuse to own up to the facts right before them. You have a right to get your needs met by those who wish to remain in your life. You are precious and valuable! If people want your presence, then they need to honor your needs.

We have the right to be understood and to have our reality respected by others, but most importantly, we must vow to UNDERSTAND OURSELVES. We must understand ourselves and stand by ourselves today in the way we needed way back when. It is only when we learn to finally be there for ourselves that we can get our needs met by others.

It's fine if you want to keep people in your life who play games and misunderstand you, just don't let them close to your heart. Letting people mess with your cabeza detracts from your self worth. You deserve better. 

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