The Two Words You Should Never Say

14 02 2015

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

We often utter these two words under the guise of empathy and compassion.

We say them almost automatically when something said triggers a memory in ourselves.

But when we say these words, we are not being empathetic. Or compassionate.

We are being egotistical and worst and narrow-minded at best.

Assuming that we know more and that others’ experiences parallel our own.

“I understand.”

Those two words are dismissive and minimizing.

Rather than provide comfort, they lend an air of superiority that leaves the “understood” one feeling invisible rather than appreciated as it reduces an entire lifetime of experiences and reactions to a mere sketch comprised of conjecture.

“I understand” is built upon a foundation of assumptions.

It assumes that everyone perceives as you do.

Feels as you do.

Responds as you do.

But they don’t.

You can relate. You can identify.

And you can certainly empathize.

But you will never…

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14 02 2015


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