by xirtaidem acebron

Editor's Note: Xirtaidem Acebron is a 14-year old student at Pedro Guevara Memorial National High School in the town of Sta. Cruz, province of Laguna, Philippines. She writes stories when inspired, and so, below is one of them. Her goal is to finish Junior High School with high grades while enjoying life and having time to hang out with her friends.

I am 14 years old, and I get misunderstood a lot, especially by my family. (I belong to a family of four--my Mom, my Dad [an Overseas Filipino Worker who’s out of the country most times], and my elder brother.) We would start by voicing out our different opinions, then it would turn to a debate on who is more correct, then it would turn to a misunderstanding. The only two choices I usually have are: 1.) Back down and not be able to fully express myself, or 2.) Defend my opinion, get misunderstood, and be seen as someone who forces her opinions on others.

Whenever I choose the latter option, I would always end up in my room, silently crying because I just got misunderstood again. I really try to be polite and calm, though. I try not to sound angry or like I am forcing my beliefs on them, but somehow it would still come out the same way — me getting misunderstood.

My worst argument with my family was probably when I told them how tired I was from school and that I felt like the pressure had been too much on me. They scolded me for being whiny and weak. I almost broke down in front of them but I managed to hold it until I entered at my room where I cried silently and thought of what could be wrong with me that I am taken the wrong way every time I open up.

My Mom always reminds me and my brother that we could tell her whenever we feel tired or troubled or anything like that. But that one argument, it left a scar on my heart and I felt afraid of opening up. I did not want to get called whiny or weak again.

Because I was sick of getting misunderstood, I stopped voicing out my opinions and my feelings to my family. I only kept them to myself, bottling everything up to the point where I felt like I could not trust or open up to anyone anymore because no one would understand me. When my family finally found out about how I just kept everything inside, they asked me why I did that. I could not tell them the real reason. I did not want them to feel guilty.

I think the thing we lack here is comprehension and consideration. See, we voice out our thoughts and opinions, but we only tend to focus on ourselves and what we think, so we fail to understand each other completely. Communication is a good thing, but it can lead to more problems without comprehension and thoughtfulness.

To the adults reading this, please do not use your age as an excuse to prove that you are more correct and that you make more sense. Try to accept that children can also be more rational and sensible than you. Whenever a teenager tries to open up to you, please avoid saying words that can hurt them. Teenagehood is a sensitive age where children would need your guidance and understanding the most.

And to my fellow teenagers, let us try to be polite all the time. It is important to voice out our thoughts and opinions but we should remain calm and respectful while doing so. Do not bottle everything up to yourselves instead, try to open up to someone who you think can understand you. Once again, comprehension is key. Let us avoid shouting and try to stay composed and understanding to each other. Communicate and understand. Think also about the person you are talking to, not just about yourself.

These days, my family and I have been doing better after I have suggested to them to try and be more polite and considerate during conversations. Every person has feelings and it surely hurts to be misunderstood, so try to see things from their point of view before you judge them and decide who is more rational. Be careful of what you say to others, words can scar a person.

Communicate. Understand. Be kind. Be thoughtful.