I’m sure at some point in your life you may have felt unheard or misunderstood. Whether people actually didn’t ‘hear’ you and misunderstood you, or whether it was just your perception, I’m sure you’ve felt this at some point. But then there are some of us who might have felt this more than just ‘at some point’ in our lives. Those of us that might feel like it happens daily or weekly. Something in our core experience states “people don’t hear me, they don’t understand me and I can’t seem to do anything about that.” I know, because I have felt this many times in my life, and this is currently one of the key aspects of myself I’m integrating.
I’ve long known that this programming and feeling of being unheard is not something that results from things people are doing wrong to me, but that within myself I have a story running that creates a lens through which I see my daily reality. In that sense, in times where I truly am heard and understood, I don’t see it, and instead, my brain looks for ways to prove that I am not heard.
This is the basic format in which the brain will search our daily lives to reinforce rampant stories we might have running in our minds. All this happens through the brain’s reticular activating system (RAS), a useful system where all senses are connected. It’s like a filter that helps the brain so it doesn’t have to deal with more information than it can handle.
Where this gets a bit more important to our navigation of self is understanding that the RAS is like a gatekeeper of information that is let into the conscious mind. That is to say, the RAS will filter in information that is established in our subconscious, or deeper belief systems. It will also let in something we are really focusing on in a given moment. What this means in context to my story of not being heard, or any story for that matter, is that my RAS is literally operating to reinforce that story already within my subconscious mind. Any information that doesn’t reinforce that story, is likely not going to be let in as easily, hence why even when I’m heard, I don’t acknowledge it as deeply as when I’m feeling unheard or finding ways to reinforce that story.
Example: I might have factually had 10,000 people read an article I wrote, but that doesn’t become something I pay attention to. Instead, I notice the people who didn’t read the article, didn’t understand the article, or the person who left the singular negative comment.
Enough on the technicals for now.