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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WHAT’S TO UNDERSTAND?

 (c) Kimberly Miller 2011 Do you now, or have you ever known, people who take the attitude that if they can’t or don’t understand certain aspects of your personality or your overall make-up, they tend to treat you as though you were less or even damaged because of it?  This has been happening to me quite frequently recently and at first I was dumbfounded by being treated so badly (which is what it felt like at the time) by someone I so desperately wanted to be friends with and in fact, considered to be a friend. 

I tried to justify it at first and rationalize that maybe I did something to piss this person off.  Sometimes people don’t understand the sensitive side of me, the artist and lover, the side that deals with tough situations through humor and sarcasm.  But then I thought, wait, why am I only looking at myself here?  There is no “blame” per se, more a lack of understanding, nay, empathy on both of our parts.  I finally realized that this was a person who was basically afraid of her sensitive side and saw it as a weakness, something she couldn’t and wouldn’t tolerate in her own life as well as in others, mostly because she doesn’t understand the concept.  Much like I don’t understand the concept of relaxation.  When someone tells me to relax I look at them like they are speaking in Tongues. 

I think we would all do well, if we are going to judge, to do so through empathy first, rather than rationality, which is usually or own version of sanity.  We so easily tend to write off those people and ideals which we do not understand and keep them at arm’s length because, as I’ve said in so many of my posts, we don’t feel that we have the time for such things. 

There are so many things to understand about people, especially if you want to form any kind of relationship with them.  Once I understood that this person views sensitivity in others as a weakness, I have a better relationship with her and can find subtle ways to explain my sensitivities in situations before she has a chance to judge and sentence.  Opening this line of communication has made our friendship stronger and has helped me grow as a person.  I now see how many people and ideals in the past that I shoved at arm’s length or just refused to associate with anymore because I didn’t take the time to understand the parts of them that confused me, the parts that add together with other parts that make them who they are.

What’s to understand?  A lot!

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