Literally Or Figuratively?

Are you more literal in your life, or more figurative? Obviously we all use both all the time, but does one mean more to you?

Share why if you wish.

Literally Or Figuratively?

How Are You Misunderstood?

One of the most difficult things about being human is how isolated we are. No one truly knows us, and every day we are misunderstood — sometimes in big ways, sometimes small.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy for misunderstandings to arise. At work, at home, at school, our image of ourselves is different from what others see.

You mean one thing, but say something else, even if what you say is close to what you meant. Your actions are misinterpreted. Your motivations are misassigned.

No one knows what goes on in your head but you. No amount of exposition, no amount of explanation is sufficient for complete understanding.

Despite our best efforts, our inner monologue is something that is unknown to all but ourselves. Even the people that know us best — our parents, our spouse, our loved ones — often misunderstand us.

In what ways are you misunderstood by those around you? How do you act, what do you say, which of your written words are misinterpreted? What traits do you have that go unheralded or unappreciated? And what do you do to address this?

Related questions: How do you think others see you? How are you underappreciated? Do you feel lonely? How do you talk about yourself?

How Do You Describe What You Do?

Whether it is your career, your hobbies, or your private life, how you describe yourself can alter how the world sees you. What is your description?

Describing what you do, while important, can be very difficult. While it is true that what you choose to spend your time and focus on helps define you as a human being, an accurate description isn’t easy.

In fact, the manner and vocabulary you use to talk about what you do has many risks. You might bore someone else if you choose to talk about it in a clinical way. It is possible you could alienate someone who doesn’t share a common frame of reference. You might even offend someone.

And yet, sharing who you are and what you do with others is the essence of being in a community. If you have an interest in and a passion for what you do, you can convey that to someone else. And in turn, they may convey the same thing to you, if you are lucky.

How do you describe what you do? Have you given advance thought to what you might say to someone else? And do you listen when others describe what they do?

Related questions: Would you be friends with yourself? How would you describe yourself in ten words or less? How do you judge yourself? What makes a community?

How Do You Bridge A Divide?

As our society becomes more polarized, finding common ground can be difficult. For two people bitterly divided, how can they bridge the gap between them?

At times, it can feel like there is more dividing us than there is uniting us. Whether it is politics, religion, gender, age, income, skin color, or any number of other differences, the distance between two people can seem like a chasm.

And yet, there is a need for two people to bridge that distance and talk, no matter how far apart they might be. Doing so might be necessary to build a working relationship at a job. It might mean a harmonious atmosphere at a family dinner table. It may even lead to a political committee with adversaries accomplishing meaningful change.

Of course, finding common ground is easier said than done. What are the elements necessary for two people who disagree, perhaps even strongly, to build a bridge between their two viewpoints? Particularly if the environment they are in encourages or rewards polarization and divisiveness?

How do you bridge a divide between two people who are far apart in several different ways, and have little in common? After all, each one of us may find ourselves in such a situation.

Related questions: How can we encourage meaningful conversation? What is necessary to change your mind? How can you love someone who does something you hate? Why are we so divided?

How Do You Strengthen A Connection With Someone?

If there is someone you would like to bond with, how do you make that happen? What are the hallmarks of a deep and powerful connection?

Human beings are social creatures. As individuals, we crave connection with other humans, or even with other species.

As part of our social lives, we create and maintain relationships with dozens, or even hundreds of people. That might include, but is not limited to: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and pets.

Creating a connection is pretty easy. At a social function, you might strike up a conversation, share a laugh or two, and exchange names.

Strengthening that relationship, however, is a different matter. All relationships need work in order to thrive. The type of work might depend on the person you are dealing with, and the nature of the existing relationship. Getting to know someone you met at a party, for example, will be quite different from the way you build a bond with a sibling.

However, a connection is a connection. Can you think of some ways you can feel closer to someone that you just met, or someone you have fallen out of touch with?

One way to think about it might be to consider what someone else might do to make you feel a close connection. Once you can think of something, doing that thing for others may help. That might be anything form a random text message, to inviting someone over for a homemade meal. Or, perhaps, asking someone to a movie or a play, or playing a board or card game with a group of people.

Each relationship is different, but there may be some commonalities. Can you think of ways to strengthen a connection with someone?

Related questions: What makes a friendship? How do you make friends as an adult? What is your relationship with your pet? How could you show your appreciation for others more?