Why Misunderstandings Can Strain Your Wellbeing

By Paul Larson

MILLBRAE – Do you remember watching “Three’s Company” on ABC or in re-runs on local TV? This type of show is known as a “Comedy of Errors”. The premise of just about every episode would be centered around a confusion. For example, Chrissy would overhear an out of context conversation between her room-mates Jack and Janet. Chrissy’s misunderstanding of the facts would in-turn create a comic situation based on her misconceptions. The episode would conclude with Chrissy finding out that her false impressions were a mistake and the characters would all have a good laugh.

Real life situations with regard to “misunderstandings” can be a bit more sensitive. Have you ever been cut off by another driver who then honks at you as if you did something wrong? Or have you stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross, given them an OK waive, and in-turn receive a dirty look (or gesture) asthey walk in front of your car? These situations can be frustrating because your courteous actions are misunderstood as something else entirely.

People are complicated animals, and so are their brains. On a daily basis we should take into consideration that some of those we interact with, whether we know them or not, may have pre-existing anxieties, pain or may just be on medication. It is more often than not that people we come across have been through a recent traumatic situation such as a work conflict, a financial downturn, a divorce, health complications, a death or troubling matters of a personal nature. Un-detectable emotions may exist under the surface which can alter their perceptions of what is going on around them. Many people keep their feelings bottled up on the inside so it is very common to mis-read a person’s true state of emotional health.

On the other hand there are times when a misunderstanding is on our part. It can be aggravating when we are sure we were somehow wronged. With our emotions in mind it is OK to ponder the possibility that we ourselves may have mis-read an innocent conversation, interaction or situation. Simple misunderstandings of the truth, at no real fault of either party, are how arguments are started, friendships are lost, marriages come to an end and World Wars begin.

At the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS I deal regularly with families who are in a great amount of emotional distress, and experience has taught me to do a lot of listening. Listening is helpful. Bottled up feelings can be relieved when someone listens. People are not always looking for advice…just somebody to listen and understand what they are going through.

The same is true with misunderstandings. Listening, understanding and acceptance can be more helpful than trying figure out any original reasons for a misunderstanding. Forgive, forget, let go and treat people the way you want to be treated yourself.

If you ever wish to discuss cremation, funeral matters or want to make pre-planning arrangements please feel free to call me and my staff at the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS in Millbrae at (650) 588-5116 and we will be happy to guide you in a fair and helpful manner. For more info you may also visit us on the internet at: www.chapelofthehighlands.com.