Round Research #5: How is misunderstanding produced and exerted?

In the round research 5, I'll mainly discuss how to fix a relationship. Most people refuse to have a further communication when misunderstanding happens, how are we going to cope with it?


  • Be attentive to what one your partner is saying. Show concern and compassion. Remember times that make you both laugh. De-escalate conflict. Don't bring up the issues from the past. Have a basic level of trust. Be accountable for your actions and don't blame one another. Turn your negative energy into something loving. (1)
  • Relationships can be great sources of stress relief by apologizing. Apologies help us put the conflict behind us and move on more easily. (2)
  • If something you've done has caused pain for another person, it's a good idea to apologize. This is because apologizing opens up the doors to communication, which allows you to reconnect with the person who was hurt. It also allows you to express regret, which lets them know you really care about their feelings; this can help them feel safer with you again. (2)
  • Apologizing allows you to discuss what the "rules" should be in the future, especially if a new one needs to be made, which is often the case when you didn't hurt the other person intentionally. (2)
  • Identify the Event. Acknowledge the choices. Appreciate the consequences. Clean-up the mess. Alter the patterns. (3)
  • Many people confuse an apology with the statement that they are sorry. Similarly, we may confuse forgiveness with an offer to forget all about it. (3)
  • "Using an I statement means someone is taking full responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and/or actions," Eck says. Instead of blaming, you very clearly emphasize your thoughts and feelings to the listener, Vera  Eck says. (4)
  • Generally, people tend to be more receptive to hearing how you feel, than taking blame or criticism for something they allegedly did — which is how a "you" statement can come across. (4)
  • “I” statements enable speakers to be assertive without making accusations, which can often make listeners feel defensive. An “I” statement can help a person become aware of problematic behavior and generally forces the speaker to take responsibility for his or her own thoughts and feelings rather than attributing them—sometimes falsely or unfairly—to someone else. (5)



Many people choose to refuse further communication because of misunderstandings. However, in fact, the key to resolve the estrangement is to maintain the communication.

Even if you are angry with each other, the first thing is to find out whether you really want to fix the relationship. If the answer is yes, then the communication is inevitable. Compared to the relationship itself, it doesn't matter who takes the initiative to communicate.

Second, learn to apologize. The action may be very subtle, but it will allow the other to see your sincerity. When you are clarifying or communicating, try to use 'I statement' as more as you can, such as 'what I need is...' 'I feel...'. 

Believe the combination of "direct", "real" and "sincerity" can actually help something. When you did something wrong, say 'sorry'; when you are unsure about the fact, say 'I don't know'; say "I want" when you need it. Misunderstandings will be easier to solve. 



  1. Gunther, Randi. “8 Things All Couples Can Do To Fix Their 'Broken' Relationships.” YourTango, 14 Dec. 2017,
  2. Scott, MS Elizabeth. “Do Apologies Really Matter?” Verywell Mind,
  3. “Discipline #8 - Apology and Forgiveness.” Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, www.creativeconflictresolution...and-forgiveness.html.
  4. Stieg, Cory, et al. “The One Thing You Need To Say To Get Through An Argument With Your S.O.” I Statement Relationship Communication Couples Fight,
  5. “"I" Message, "I" Statement.” Therapy Blog, 14 Feb. 2018,
Original Post

Nice post Charlotte! 

I learnt a lot about communicating over unsettled disputes between people from reading your research. I like the fact that the “I” statement makes sure you are not implying anything about the other person, but just stating how you feel! How do we react when we get accused of something? Do we automatically go into a defensive “mode”? (I know I might do that sometimes lol). Sometimes confusion between two people can lead to a bigger problem than what it really is. It’s important to know how to approach someone and talk to them in a certain way. Your research tells us just how to do that!

Hey Charlotte,

What a great topic! I love this so much. I think it's so cool that you look into why or how misunderstandings occur. In this post, you talk about how to mend relationships and get past misunderstandings. Do you think part of the solution includes reflecting on your own actions and then changing yourself as a person to better avoid such misunderstandings and silly conflicts? I think it would be great to look into the importance of adaptability and improving oneself for the sake of one's relationships and sociability. There are also people who may disagree and stick with the notion of "never change yourself for anybody; be yourself". Why do people think each way and how does their way of thinking affect their social lives and relationships?

Great work! I'm super excited to see what you have!
Erica Won.

Hey Charlotte, 

Well done! Your research was really informative and easy to read. The overall format was good and I learned some new things. Reading your research, I was reminded of the scout vs. soldier mindset we had watched the TED talk about. I think that when there's a lack of communication in a relationship, often, people consider their partner to be at fault and they are not usually open-minded. Sometimes, this can lead to further damage in a relationship and your research made me think about the scout mindset and how it would be useful to adopt in this situation; to have an almost-indifferent perspective about it and to judge the situation based on information rather than emotions. 

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