Do you yearn to feel understood? Do you sometimes find it a challenge to be true to yourself when you are misunderstood, perhaps feeling it's easier to simply be what everyone thinks you are, or ought to be?

I ache to be understood but rarely do I feel it. I often feel a primal need to protect myself and to live by the sad reflection of Elbert Hubbard: 'He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.' Now there was a fellow who must have known what it was to feel Alone. And yet, the sad truth is, is that often trying to explain how one feels does indeed, lead to further loneliness.

Trying to explain feelings can lead a friend to go away and put your tears, depression or feelings down to X, Y or Z and yet for me, it never feels quite as simple as that. Can anyone know what you're feeling if every tear we've ever shed becomes part of what we weep for today? And can anyone know why so we're happy or excited, perhaps over something seemingly simple, when every tear, disappointment, sadness, laugh or joy is an integral part of who we are this moment? No. The answer has to be no. If a friend acknowledges this, I feel less alone. Often though, friends like to box up your sadness and pigeonhole it neatly and concisely.

I find this an interminable challenge; to open up or not to open up. I never seem to get the balance right and often feel it's easier to simply withdraw altogether and never reveal my true self to anyone, ever again.

I suppose the key then is to know ourselves and to learn to take care of our own feelings. This is dashed hard, no doubt about it. When I give a quiet, gentle nod of acceptance to how I'm feeling, however, I'm less needy for the understanding of others and it's less likely that I'll make the mistake of opening up to someone who can't understand. That in turn, can free us up to be ourselves, even if we are misunderstood.

A Moodscope user.

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