MIDWAY: Guessing game

It doesn’t take much to misunderstand someone — an out of context remark made here, an innuendo thrown there. Any statement or action might be the cause. It depends on the mindset of both sides. I believe it’s inherently human to misunderstand someone or, in rare cases, to pretend as if one has been misunderstood.

Highly suspicious people are prone to misunderstand others, as well as to cause misunderstanding. A husband with a beautiful wife might not feel at ease whenever she goes out alone. And this unease, when coupled with a mindset that doesn’t take people at face value, leads the wretched hubby on a path of suspicion, which, in turn, gives rise to misunderstanding.

An innocuous phone call asking for his wife might be interpreted in a completely different light by the hubby. And unless his restless mindset is placated by a torrent of soothing words, he will continue to suspect and misunderstand her.

Pessimists too are prone to the habit. Tell him the best of news and he’ll be able to dig up the smallest of glitches and fret over it endlessly. Hence, he ‘chooses’ to create misunderstanding by his negative bent of mind. The optimist, for his part, might let fly an off

the cuff remark; but try telling that to a pessimist who indulges in the luxury of nitpicking.

By the same token, people who grow up in a healthy environment are less likely to throw in their lot with the pessimists, the suspicion-prone and the category of “misunderstanding-misunderstood” people.

At the heart of all misunderstandings lies doubt about others’ intent. While the “misunderstood” might never have intended to produce doubts in the first place, who’s to stop the one “misunderstanding” from picking out a cloud of gloom from the sun-lit azure sky!

Lastly, one can always blame one’s faulty physiological makeup for every kind of psychological gaffe. Indeed, experiments show that the pessimists and the ne’er-do-well have a low level of ‘feel-good’ hormones as compared to their ‘healthy’ brethren.

All the same, if perfect reasons were sought all the time, there would never be any misunderstanding. But, as we all know, to err is human, and to misunderstand, even more so.