Posted in Inspired By Anime, My Thoughts

What Does It Mean To Understand Someone?

As I was reading Oregairu light novel volume 5, Hikigaya’s monologue in which he was contemplating whether it is really possible to truly understand someone really made me think. Thus, this post.

Interacting with other humans is an inevitable event all of us experience. Some, more so than others. The more we interact with specific individuals, generally, the better we get to know them. With each interaction, if we deem them as people we would be comfortable getting closer to, we would naturally learn more about each other. From the most basic information such as their names, schools and hobbies to more private information that said individuals would usually rather keep quiet about. Even so, is there ever really a point that we can say with certainty that we understand the other person?

In the first place, while we may know what we think of the other individual, what they honestly think of us is unknown to us. It is impossible for us to know. Even if they say that they are telling us their honest opinion of us or what kind of person they are, we never know if what they say is really the truth. However, I am not necessarily saying that we should question their sincerity. It may be a simple matter of fact that they themselves are unable to accurately explain who they are as a person. This may be due to a simple lack of vocabulary or the inability to express themselves. Or it could be because they actually do not understand themselves either.

This is exceptionally probable when we come to question why people act in a particular manner. We may think that we are doing it for a specific purpose or feelings. No matter how sure we are of our motives, our subconscious motivations may be hidden even from ourselves. We act based on what we are thinking and feeling. But what we are thinking and feeling could possibly be nothing more than a result of what our subconscious wants us to do, but for different reasons that our conscious mind can conjure.

Given these uncertainties, I would believe that it is impossible for anyone to fully understand someone else. Why? They may not even be able to understand themselves completely. To be honest, with everything I have said so far, I do not think that it would be wrong to conclude that we cannot understand any individual completely. Even if we feel like we fully understand the individual, we will never know for sure. The truth that we see may be nothing more than a “perspective truth”, not an “absolute truth”.

After all, what we perceive of others is nothing more than a fragment of who they are. A piece of an incomplete picture that is ever-changing. No matter how hard we try to figure out what the other person is like, our efforts are futile. We cannot figure out something that complex that is at the same time, ever-changing.

The image others have of themselves, and the image we have of them together would still fail to accurately represent a person as a whole. The missing pieces are the image of themselves without the false lens known as “perception”.

Despite saying all these, I do still think that we should make an attempt to understand others. Even if we cannot completely understand them, at least having a certain level of understanding can help make communication with each other easier. Not just verbal communication, but also emotional connections.

Even if we cannot completely understand or be wholly understood, being able to understand others and be understood by others a little would make everyone a little grateful. Perhaps then, it would be easier for us to all get along…

Or maybe, it would be better for us to just accept others as they are and ourselves for who we are. The best way to understand ourselves and others may be to simply accept them completely while acknowledging that we do not completely understand.

Original Picture from Pixabay
Edited by me using Phonto

After reading “My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected” by Wataru Watari, I honestly want to write an English light novel. It seems like it’ll be fun. 🙂

To be honest, I’m already working on it haha XD

Hopefully, I can keep up my posts here while working on it ^^”


My thoughts are always fleeting. Writing is the only way I can remember all the things that once crossed my mind.

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