“Hooked on Inspiration’s Blog’ (www.hookedoninspiration.org) – as most of you already know – was created by this author in 2012 with the single most important goal being to create for ourselves “a Better Tomorrow; a Better Future and a Better World.”
There are more than 150 blog posts on this site. Each blog has been posted in full public view of the world’s readers. Over the years, this blog site has proved to be highly popular – you can see on the site, in full visibility, the blog stats for yourself, that amply prove this point. Many people, from all over the globe, have found these blogs to be more-than-a-little useful in their day-today interactions with the people surrounding them. These blogs make use of intriguing and unique ways to provide highly interesting reading material for you all. I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
Today, the topic for discussion is how a single episode of a misunderstanding can impact our lives – either in a positive or a negative manner. No one is immune from experiencing a misunderstanding in their lives, at least once – if not more often. The question is how to manage the situation.
So, what exactly is a misunderstanding?
- a failure to understand something correctly: “a misunderstanding of the government’s plans”
- synonyms misinterpretation, misconstruction, misreading, misapprehension, misconception, mistake, error,
- misjudgement, misbelief, miscalculation, confusion, mix-up,
- the wrong idea, false impression, fallacy, illusion, delusion
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Misunderstandings can happen to anyone, even to the best of people. It is like a smoldering fire that is just waiting for a single catalyst before it explodes into a full-blown argument &/or quarrel. It is much more than a difference of opinion – it is a statement that has been largely misinterpreted and misconstrued to such an extent that it completely spoils an ongoing personal relationship or friendship. It tends to have far-flung effects on personal relationships – depending on how skillfully the situation is dealt with, it can either make the relationship stronger than ever before or it can cause widespread, irreparable, long-standing damage. The choice is ours.
There is a choice for everything – either we choose to do something, or we choose not to. If we choose to be vague and ‘sit on the fence’ and delay what needs to be done, then please understand that the very fact of not being able to decide one way or another is, in itself, a decision. Each decision – whether good or bad – has a consequence. The choice is always up to us. We need to learn to live with this decision, whether right or wrong, whether good or bad – it is the only way to move on peaceably with one’s life.
Let me see how I can help you here. These projections come from my personal experience and I have found them helpful. I find it pertinent to share these thoughts with you all today:
- Once a terrible misunderstanding has occurred, it is important to note that it has largely succeeded in tearing an entire personal relationship apart. It basically means that the relationship itself is almost completely severed – it is hanging loose on the barest and most fragile of threads – then, ask yourself – is the relationship worth salvaging or not? Most relationships are worth making the time and the effort to repair. Yet, one should be equally aware that sometimes things might never be quite what they used to be – the scars might heal over time, but they never really fade away.
- Firstly and most importantly, learn the art of an unconditional apology: learn to say ‘the magic words’ that make a world of a difference in the larger scheme of things – “I’m so sorry. I made a mistake. Please forgive me.” If you must apologize, do it with sincere feeling and unconditionally without laying any blame on the opposite party’s doorstep. Do not say, for example – “I’m sorry but you instigated and provoked it.” This will only add more fuel to an already smouldering fire – it will only help in making matters worse than they already are.
- Wait for an opportune/good moment
- depending on what has happened, decide to strike while the iron is still hot: allow me to explain. Always remember that words once spoken and wrong actions once undertaken can never be undone.
- If a grievous wrong has been committed, it is much, much more than a simple misunderstanding – in that case, things are likely never going to be the same ever again – in such a case, just maintain a low profile and let sleeping dogs lie (leave things as they are till the furore settles down.) It is always advisable to sleep over the matter and to wait patiently for a calm moment before trying to make amends. Never try to make a reconciliation in the heat of the moment. The offering of lengthy explanations will not help either – it only aids in compounding the misunderstanding further.
- If it was a stupid or inconsequential error of speech &/or action that caused the misunderstanding, then always act before too much time lapses – an apology or peace- offering that comes several days or many months later completely loses its value.
- Learn to swallow your pride and ego, for the greater good: it takes several years to build up the foundations of a good, solid, fulfilling and worthwhile relationship; don’t let a single moment of misinterpretation spoil the many years of hard work, toil and painstaking effort that it took to prove to the opposite party that you are exactly the type of person who you claim to be. If the relationship matters, then, in the longer run, your pride and ego should not interfere in this equation and create murky waters.
- Learn to Look at the Bigger Picture: some people refuse to look at the bigger picture of what truly matters – they will take the example of the single mistake you made to hold a lifelong grudge against you. Why should that be the case? Is it necessary? Is it wise to do so? Of course not. Try to make a special effort to think of the positive points of that person; recall and retain the memory of their sterling qualities. Unless a person is radically evil, each person has some goodness within themselves – learn to believe in this universal truth. The trick, then, is to mine that benevolence, nurture and nourish it. Just because a person misunderstood you and chose to diminish your worth, it does not mean that it lowers your value as a person – in fact, it is largely a reflection of the opposite party’s character – not of yours.
- Learn the Art of Humility: be humble enough to accept that sometimes the fault could be partly (or fully) your own too. We should not consider ourselves to blameless in everything – how can that be the case? Think about it. After all, we are mere mortals and all of us are human beings – each one of us can be wrong at times. If we ourselves have made mistakes, what gives us the right to stand on judgment of other people? Do you know of a single individual on our Earth who has never made any mistake at all? I myself do not know of any such person or people – we are all fallible and we have all made mistakes at one point or another in our lives. Understand and accept this fact. It largely implies that “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” We should not judge other people when we are not blameless ourselves.
- Learn the Art of Unstinting and Unconditional Forgiveness: the latter does not imply that the other person is right and that you are wrong – forgiveness is an act of self-healing. It is important for the sanctity of our being and for the enrichment of general peace of mind. Learn to forgive others willingly and without conditions and stipulations attached – forgiveness should come voluntarily and with the utmost sincerity. Be generous in your act of forgiveness – let no bias, grudge, grievance, anger or bitterness spoil the purity of this action. This act should come freely from within – nobody should need to remind you of it. Do not remind a person of his/her faults when you state that you have forgiven them. For example, try not to say – “You are the worst bast***d that I have ever come across but I forgive you.” Forgiveness is not a favour that you are according to someone; it should either be freely, willingly and unconditionally bestowed, or not at all. Do not make a mockery of it.
- It is important to note that some people are not capable of love or forgiveness – as hard, difficult and heart-breaking as it might be, it is prudent to accept that whatever you do, it will never be good enough for such people. In the latter case, make your peace-offering – if it does not work out, it’s okay – at least, you tried. No regrets to face up to later in your life.
- Some bridges are best left broken: not all relationships were meant to last forever. Some toxic relationships are best left as they are. If any individual tries to constantly diminish your worth as a person, there comes a time when it is best to break ties with such negative people and to move on with your life. If you feel that you always need to keep trying to prove your worth to such people, it is just not worth the effort of prolonging an already dying relationship.
- People enter our lives for a Reason; a Season or for a Lifetime. Treasure the Lifetime-kind of people; put down to a learning experience the others and move on – such people are just not worth your time and effort.
In the end, what can I say? It all boils down to CHOICES. It is about what you choose to say or do – or not. Never say that I did not have a choice – there is ALWAYS a choice. Each choice has its own consequence – positive or negative; good or bad. Make your choice and learn to live with it, is all I can honestly say.