It’s Not About You; Avoid Misunderstandings In Your Relationships

It’s Not About You; Avoid Misunderstandings In Your Relationships

One of the things that often causes misunderstandings in relationships is perceived slights. These are small things, but if you are not communicating openly and honestly, these presumed slights may slowly turn into a mountain of accumulated wrongdoings.

The sad thing is that these supposed wrongdoings are nothing more than misunderstandings that could have been handled and cleared up as they occurred. The good news is, you can clear these up yourself with a little exercise and the will to understand rather than misunderstand.

Most people are ego-centered to some degree or another; often thinking that what someone else is saying, or doing, or reacting to, is about them. It is easy to take offense or feel hurt if you think that what someone does is a comment about you.

Here’s a little story of something that happened the other night as Phil and I were having dinner. I looked at the tuna roll I was eating. It had a little label on it I had never seen on one of these rolls before. It said where the Romaine lettuce inside was from and said it had to be eaten by the 15th, a date that was, in fact, the next day. I mentioned this to Phil, as it was so uncommon. He took a look and said it wasn’t the 15th it was the 16th. Hmm, I thought, well I’m wearing my glasses and he’s not. I looked again and said, it says the 15th. Then Phil got up and went and got his glasses and looked again, confirming it was the 15th.

When Phil got up to go get his glasses, I took it as a comment on me, that he didn’t believe me. I felt insulted (only very slightly, as I was also a bit amused). But still, here could have been a real misunderstanding in the making. So I asked him why he didn’t believe me, and he was totally surprised. He explained that he had to see how it was and why he misread it to be able to change what he saw in his own mind. He had no thoughts of me at all, and was rather taking actions to readjust his seeing to reality.

It's not about you; avoid misunderstandings in your relationships #relationships #quote Share on XHowever quirky each of us may appear in this story, at base it is about how easily you can assume something is about you and even take insult at what you imagine. So, what is the remedy to this kind of little pitfall, before it grows into a wedge between you and another? First, you need to remember that perceived slights may not be what they seem. More often, this is a dynamic going on within the person and is about something they are working out and has little or nothing to do with you.

When you feel this kind of a misunderstanding growing in you, when you feel slighted, find out right away by a series of questions. Ask yourself:

  • Is this about me?
  • Should I be taking anything personally in that?

If you want more information in order to let it go, then in a non-charged and non-defensive way, ask the other person:

  • Is this about me?
  • What is happening for you right now?
  • What did you mean by what you said?

There are enough real issues to work on in relating. You can avoid creating more by reminding yourself that it’s not always about you!

Photo credit: Phil Mayes
Photo note: The package described in the story

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8 Comments on “It’s Not About You; Avoid Misunderstandings In Your Relationships

  1. The blog made me laugh today.
    People so often don’t see beyond themselves.
    Kind of the state of the world.

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