How to avoid misunderstandings

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2011, 12:00am


Have you ever been misunderstood? Or have you ever misunderstood others? I certainly have.

When you are misunderstood by people who are very close to you, you might feel sad, angry - even helpless.

Equally, however, we may also misunderstand others. We might think that such misunderstandings are not important, yet we can easily hurt other people's feelings by getting the wrong idea about their intentions.

The reason why we tend to misunderstand each other is a lack of proper communication. We may think that other people understand our meaning, even though they may not. That can lead to a serious mix-up, and the result could be an angry confrontation.

If we want to avoid such misunderstandings, we should open our hearts because that is the essence of true and honest communication.

If we are willing to communicate honestly, we can avoid many misunderstandings.

Wong Tsz-shan, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Tsz-shan. Many conflicts - from wars to arguments with your sibling or best friend - are the result of not understanding another party's point of view.

It is so easy to jump to conclusions when someone says something that you think you disagree with. It's less easy to bite our lip and make sure that what we think we heard was what that person really meant.

It's important, whenever you feel angered by what you think someone is implying, to take a moment and put yourself in that person's shoes. Try to understand why they are saying that.

You don't have to agree with them. But you should realise that just because people have different opinions, doesn't mean they're wrong. And it doesn't mean we have to fight them.

Karly, Deputy Editor