What To Say Instead Of 'You Don't Understand'

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You’ve already explained yourself a dozen times - in perfectly clear language, no less - and still they’re not hearing you. Your partner, your best friend, your 10-year-old kid, whoever. You know you’re right; they just need to listen a little better, don’t they? As they go around and around in circles, still missing what seems to be an obvious point, it’s tempting to cut them off and say, “You don’t understand what I’m saying.” Or worse, “You’re not hearing me.”

While probably true (we’re on your side here), phrases like that in the middle of an argument or heated discussion only manage to put your opponent further on the defensive. And you’re not looking to continue arguing. No, you’re looking to communicate effectively. Reddit user u/Koum91 offers us a softer approach:

When in the middle of a heated discussion and you feel your point isn’t getting across, instead of saying, “you’re not understanding my point,” say, “I’m not explaining myself correctly, let me try again.” This is more likely to keep the other person engaged as they won’t feel offended.

“I’m not explaining myself correctly; let me try again,” puts the burden back on you. Your point is correct, we’re sure of it. You just need to take a breath and approach it from a different angle.

(Of course, it’s also possible they do understand you and you’re simply wrong. But probably not.)


Comments

    Or, more likely, they do understand and don't give a shit and are just being selfish and self-centred, like most humans are.

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