I Am Responsible For What I Say, Not What You Understand

I Am Responsible For What I Say, Not What You Understand
Raquel Aldana

Written and verified by the psychologist Raquel Aldana.

Last update: 14 December, 2021

People have a natural desire to feel connected emotionally with others. With this intention we relate to one another, but within these exchanges there’s always the possibility of multiple interpretations that can give way to misunderstandings.

Interpretations are different and unique to each person. This can generate anger, arguments and emotional breakups.

“Between what we think, what we mean to say, what we think we say, what we say, what we want to hear, what we hear, what we want to hear, what we think we understand and what we understand, there are nine possibilities of not being understood.”


The longest distance between two people is a misunderstanding

Sometimes others do not understand us even if we explain things a thousand times. The fact they don’t see it does not make them bad, stupid or indifferent. They are just another person who has a stance that is different from our own.

It is natural to seek to reaffirm our feelings, opinions and beliefs, but these emotional needs should not be excessive and, of course, should not hinder our goal of promoting understanding.

We must remember that when communicating we must be mindful of pride, life situations, tiredness, distrust, interpretations, feelings and all kinds of emotions, beliefs and thoughts, both circumstantial and established.

Correctly assembling this puzzle can be tricky. In fact, the most difficult thing is maintaining respect and consideration of oneself and others. So, be firm and maintain dignity while trying to undo the damage.

woman covering her face with her hair

We must be responsible for what we say but do not carry the responsibility of what others understand

The possibility of anger and misunderstanding is proportional to the degree of emotional involvement that we have with people involved in communication. That is, that the more united we feel, the more important that we make ourselves fully understood.

Similarly, the other person will also tend to manage their words based on our relationship, expectations and interests, as well as the status of your personal situation.

However, we must not feel bad about misunderstandings.

serious woman black jersey

Sometimes, for whatever reason, someone is more susceptible than usual and our comments, words or actions we can strike a nerve. This jeopardizes the stability of the communication.

As we see, there are numerous factors to consider in an exchange. It is impossible to control everything, among other things because we are changing and ambivalent by nature and, therefore, our interpretations are varied.

However, whatever happens in a conversation and a relationship, we must take responsibility to analyze what we can improve and what we are good at or what we have done well.

woman dignity

If we find ourselves in the middle of some malicious behavior or comments, all we can do is provide as clear of a vision as we can. Acting in a well-intentioned, assertive and calm manner is the best way to safeguard good communication.

We assume our responsibility for what we say and we’ll try to do it in the best possible way, but interpretations are not borne of what we say, but rather of the other person’s own feelings, opinions, beliefs, and other factors.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.