· By Case Kenny
What it means to be understood
You deserve to be with someone who understands you.
I'm sure you agree, right?
But what does that really mean?
What does it mean to be understood in 2022?
Certainly I think there is a soulful, deep level of understanding that your person will have. Your person will have an intuitive sense of YOU.
They will understand WHY. It will come from long discussions together, deep questions, experiences and observation. It will also come from that "click." That’s what makes them your person.
BUT that can take a long time. Heck, it can take YOU a long time to understand yourself.
So, it can take even longer for your partner to understand you on that deep level.
In the immediate it’s less about them understanding WHY and more about understanding THAT.
It’s less about them understanding WHY you’re a certain way or WHY you feel a certain way and more about them understanding THAT you are a certain way and THAT you feel a certain way.
It’s a small thing but I find this delineation to be really obvious when you look for it and it’s something you can turn to when deciding if someone understands you or is capable of understanding you.
Does your person understand you? Well, look at if they’re willing to understand THAT you feel a certain way at face value.
Do they offer straight forward empathy THAT you feel a certain way?
They don’t need to know in the moment why you feel that way, they don’t need proof of why you feel the way you feel, and they don’t need a detailed thesis of why you rationalize feeling that way… they simply accept through empathy and observation THAT you feel that way.
Understanding starts with someone understanding THAT… and eventually it can progress to understanding WHY.
- They understand THAT you feel insecure because they don’t ever talk about your future together.
- They understand THAT you have built up guilt or shame from a previous relationship.
- They understand THAT you prefer words of affirmation over gift giving.
- They understand THAT their words hurt your feelings. Is your partner willing to - at face value - understand THAT?
Are they willing to listen without feeling the need to respond? Are they willing to listen without needing evidence of supporting facts? Are they willing to simply accept that you feel a certain way?
A deep soulful WHY level of understanding comes from that.
But without this first level… you’re putting the cart before the horse. You deserve to be with someone who is willing to understanding THAT.
The opposite of this is pretty glaring.
- That's a refusal to simply understand THAT as a starting point.
- That's a refusal to understand that their words hurt you - no matter how small or trivial they were.
- That's a refusal to understand that you need certain things in a relationship - even if they don’t need the same things themselves.
- That's a refusal to understand THAT your upbringing gave you certain habits or insecurities - even if they can’t relate to it at all.
It’s like that quote - "If someone hurts you… that person doesn't get to say they didn’t hurt you." The second you say it made you feel a certain way, it’s gospel. THAT.
This is the basis for the deep level of understanding you deserve in a relationship.
It’s literally just empathy at face value. It's empathy at face value for what you tell them.
If you say they hurt you, they agree they did - even if they don’t understand why right now and even if they kinda don’t agree.
If you say you need certain things, they agree that you do - even if they don’t understand why right now or even if they think it’s silly because they don’t need that thing themselves.
That is what understanding is - empathy. THAT.
You deserve someone with empathy who listens and accepts what you say at face value.
So ask yourself: is my partner willing to understand me? Are they willing to understand THAT?
You deserve empathy at face value.