The Crucial Importance of Being Understood for Those Who Are Hurting

In the last eight years of his life, our son Lee’s spinal disease accelerated and so did his physical pain. At the same time, he was battling the emotional pain of a divorce and having limited time with his daughter. There was also the pain of his diminishing functionality which led to limited work and income. He was battling on all fronts physically, financially, relationally, and spiritually.  But, perhaps his most intrusive pain was the emotional pain of being Misunderstood

Being misunderstood feels incredibly frustrating, especially when we’re already hurting or grieving from a painful experience. It’s like adding salt to an open wound – the pain becomes even more acute. When others don’t grasp the depth of our emotions or misinterpret our intentions, it’s as if our feelings aren’t valid or our pain significant.

In the vast landscape of human emotions, pain, and grieving are universal experiences. One often overlooked but crucial aspect of dealing with pain is the need to be understood by others. The power of being understood is a transformative and deeply human experience that touches the core of our emotional well-being. It goes beyond mere words and gestures, creating a profound connection between individuals.

This misrepresentation of our thoughts, feelings, and actions distorts who we really are, making us feel like we’re not truly seen. There were times Lee felt that even God didn’t see or understand him. It was disheartening. The breakdown in communication that comes with being misunderstood only exacerbates our already fragile state. It’s like we’re speaking but nobody can understand what we’re really saying or who we really are..

The emotional disconnect that arises when we’re misunderstood adds another layer of pain. We long for that empathetic connection where someone truly comprehends what we’re going through. Being misunderstood heightens our sense of isolation and loneliness, making us feel even more cut off from the support and understanding we crave.

Misunderstandings can even lead to conflicts that we’re in no state to handle. It’s frustrating because we’re dealing with our painful circumstances, and now we’re forced to deal with additional stress.. It feels like others aren’t willing to make the effort to really understand what we’re experiencing.

All of this chips away at our self-confidence, and self-esteem causing us to recoil and isolate. 

The Power of a Soul-To Soul Connection: 

When someone makes the effort and sacrifice to understand what we’re going through, it can change everything. Being able to tell our story to someone who genuinely cares validates our painful story, emotions, and experience. This validation assures us that someone sees us hurting and that our feelings are valid. Validation doesn’t mean agreement, it means someone understands how we got here. There is a huge emotional release that happens when we get to share our painful story, from our perspective, without being misunderstood, or judged.

The emotional relief that comes from being understood positively impacts our overall well-being. It reduces stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil, contributing to a greater sense of inner peace. Having the truth be known is liberating and healing.

Understanding breeds empathy—the ability to step into another person’s shoes and genuinely share their feelings. When we grasp the depth of someone’s pain, we become better equipped to respond with compassion and kindness. This empathetic response can be a powerful catalyst for healing and emotional recovery.


In a world that can often feel overwhelmingly painful, the significance of being understood for those who are suffering cannot be overstated. For people who are hurting, being seen and understood is a fundamental human need that touches the soul.  Making the effort to see and understood someone’s pain is a sacrificial gift that addresses their psychological and emotional needs. The benefit of being understood extends beyond words and is a testament to the beauty of a soul-to-soul connection and its healing power.

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