Often I don’t foresee any disconnect between what I say and what others hear, and feel assured that my words are being perceived in the same context that I intended them to be. So, it troubles me when I have to clarify misconceptions about my intentions. What saddens me is not the misunderstood content, but the thought, “Is that what you have been thinking about me all along?“. Such conflict in perceptions vitiates or nullifies for me any previously laid foundation of kinship; and I can’t help viewing any past conversations or interactions through the distorted perception of the other person.
Even when the doubts get cleared, all future interactions get tainted with a nagging fear of being misunderstood again. I don’t hold any grudge against the person who misunderstands me, such conflicts are fairly common, and quickly forgiven. But they contribute to self-doubts and heightens my awkwardness in dealing with people. Being an introvert, it takes me paramount effort to establish new friendships and connections, and misunderstandings generate questions about what I am doing wrong. I rely on my instinct to decide the people I feel safe enough with to rely on, open up to and consider as friends. When the instinct proves false, I get the impulse to go back to a shell, surrounded by my books.
I am quite upfront and not used to carefully measure my words, but when misunderstandings occur, I hesitate with what I have to say. They restrain me, and I can’t just be myself, and that is never a good feeling. What hurts me though is that I lose the opportunity to continue getting to know some wonderful people, but I have no idea how to overcome my fear of being misunderstood again. I am not averse to giving people second chances, I am afraid of taking up second chances myself, lest it leads to even greater distress and anguish. I isolate myself due to that fear, but I don’t want to.