Last week, I was overloaded with work and also at the same time had so many commitments to fulfill on personal front. When such situations arise, we do display our natural emotions frustrations, anger, disguise etc..
One of my colleague’s came up to my desk, he called me by name twice, I was deeply drowned into my work, his voice had little effect on me. He repeated in a more louder voice this time, “if you don’t mind, can I have a minute of yours ?”
I don’t know what was going through me, I just reacted with a higher modulated tone, “Look, I have a lot of work, we are two days away from the release, barely I am getting time to sleep, can you please keep your points crisp?”. I was almost straight on his face while I was uttering these words, though my fingers did not stop playing with my keyboard.
He was gentle in his tone, with enthusiasm, he started explaining what he did today as if it was an achievement.. I really get irritated with people who are irresponsible and he is one of them, I display no patience to listen to him because he wastes a lot of time in telling the same preface of the story a hundred times. There was only one thought on my mind, “Oh, What does he want me to recognize ? The fact that he is also working ???”, well, true that is something to be acknowledged for, for a lazy person like him. I snapped back, “Are we done ? I need to catch-up for my next meeting ?”, he asked if I could spend 10 minutes after my meeting. Well, by this time my anger was at the next level, I replied “may be”, and I completely left that matter.
Last Friday in a meeting with bigger audience, he has brought up the same topic again, I was paying no attention to him as I am well aware of his ‘prefaces’. What happened next is most interesting, he told the meeting attendees of the task he accomplished.
I asked him, “Who helped you do it?”,
He said, “I did it on my own”
“Stop joking, let’s get back to work, who has helped you, I would like to learn that too”
He reiterated, “It’s me!!”
“yes yes” …
I could not believe myself, but I was guilty at the same time to have said something that rude to him.
I never really paid interest the other day or now, that itself is disrespecting him no matter how his past history was, on top of it I asked the same question twice for reconfirmation. I apologized to have misunderstood his efforts to be of someone else’s.
All of us misunderstand or were misunderstood at some point of time because of a pre-formed opinion. Yes, in this case, I had an opinion that he was lazy, never really has an interest to work, always takes help from others and takes the credit onto his own. I have seen him behave so, so may be it was my immediate reaction.
I am very bad with communication and expressing myself, by nature I am straight forward, so the chances of me being misunderstood are really high and it hurts me deep. It hurts me deeper when I misunderstand someone because I have made them feel unloved or uncared in some way, I cannot really hold on to that feeling for long, unless I admit it.
The two main reasons I feel we are often misunderstood is because of bias and our past. We tend to forget the most important, the present and the future that can be totally ruined due to misunderstandings. Past may not be relevant in the present or define our future, even then, we continue to give it more value. Nothing, wrong it is wise to do so, but not always.
“It is absolutely fine to be misunderstood. Explain yourself only to an extent, to an extent until the other is ready to listen, ready to stand in your shoes to understand your point of view. Once, twice or may be more depending on how important the relationship is, but remember there is a point at which you need to stop this. If the person is happy to stay biased with their own understanding of you, then let them be…” – I told myself after a recent experience that nearly broke me to pieces… We cannot change anyone by force, similarly we cannot correct a misunderstanding because we know we are right, it can only happen when the other person gives us a chance.
“Misunderstanding – A “Missed Understanding” because of the human preference to Assumption over Clarification.”
― Drishti Bablani