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?

Do You Go To Reunions?

Whether it is for school, family, or work, people like to get together to see how friends and loved ones are doing. As well as to relive past glories and experiences. Have you been to a reunion of some sort? Do you intend to go to one in the future?

Share why if you wish.

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 Have Your Parents Influenced You?

The parent-child relationship is an important one for most people. Can you think of ways you have been influenced by your parents?

The first relationship that we have is with our mother, followed shortly by our father. For most people, they remain of primary importance throughout our development and into adolescence.

Because of this, the relationship we have with our parents helps to define who we are, what we believe, and often how we think and what we like.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’


Of course, that fact might also lead to problems. There is a reason that many therapy sessions deal with understanding the way we were treated growing up, and how it might impact our behavior as adults. Additionally, many people end up with romantic partners that have behaviors similar to a parent.

Some people have a complicated relationship with their mother and/or their father. Even if you don’t, you can probably trace some of your likes and dislikes, as well as some of your beliefs, to one or both of your parents.

How have your parents influenced you?

Related questions: How are you just like your parents? Why do we like what we like? What makes you you? What is your favorite childhood memory?

Mother Figure Or Father Figure?

Of the important people in your life (friends, mentors, teachers, etc.), do you tend to gravitate toward a mother figure, or a father figure?

Share why if you wish.

Mother Figure Or Father Figure?