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Are Teenagers Misunderstood?

Are Teens Misunderstood

Table of Contents

Summary

Do you feel that you are treated like a child, yet expected to be an adult in challenging circumstances? Do you think unrealistic expectations are put on you to make difficult decisions during challenging times? Are those choices too scary or too overwhelming, causing you to shut down emotionally and mentally? 

Overwhelmed and Under-Supported

Teens are overwhelmed

Do you feel that you are treated like a child, yet expected to be an adult in challenging circumstances? Do you think unrealistic expectations are put on you to make difficult decisions during challenging times? Are those choices too scary or too overwhelming, causing you to shut down emotionally and mentally? 

Well, you are not alone. Most teens today are feeling overwhelmed and under-supported as they navigate the “new normal” that is upon us. If you are already struggling with a mental health diagnosis or substance abuse-related issues in your life or within your family, having to adjust to life on life’s terms may be even more daunting. 

With an increased uncertainty of what the future holds, you may be even more insecure about making the right life decisions or feel more pressure to avoid making the wrong decision that you think may negatively affect your future. When you cannot find the right words to express how you feel because of the mounting stress and pressure to “get it right,” you may then feel misunderstood entirely. 

Social Pressure to "Be Perfect"

Another factor in teens’ being misunderstood is something called social perfectionism

Another factor in teens’ being misunderstood is something called social perfectionism. Social perfectionism may create an increased level of anxiety as it seems that so many of our peers have perfectly manicured lives. 

The increased pressure of having to maintain a happy and positive attitude for your parents, family, and friends may cause you to feel additional social anxiety and emotional stress. Lacking the verbal skills to express how you may be feeling can add to the intensity of feeling misunderstood. Forcing yourself to be happy when, in fact, you’re not will only leave you feeling unauthentic, emotionally drained, and mentally exhausted. 

When you’re not able to be authentic, the weight of hiding your inner conflict may take a toll on how you may view and interact with the world around you. You may be quick to get angry, become increasingly restless, experience sleeplessness, and become overly irritable. Being “okay” to please others is exhausting and may lead to feeling even more disconnected from your true self. 

If you deny your voice, you can fall into a negative life cycle and begin to isolate, which will further prevent you from reaching your goals under challenging circumstances. 

Learning to Ask for What You Need

Asking for what you need may feel scary at first, but having compassion for yourself while learning to communicate better is a great skill that will help you for years to come.

Asking for what you need may feel scary at first, but having compassion for yourself while learning to communicate better is a great skill that will help you for years to come. Being able to communicate more efficiently will help your parents and others, actively listen to you and help you find suitable solutions rather than trying to solve problems for you. 

If you show up for yourself in this way, it will make it less scary to ask for what you need rather than thinking that others can read your mind when you are at a loss for words. Assuming that our parents, peers, friends, family, or caregivers already know how we feel can cause stress when particular needs go unaddressed, which may cause you to feel ignored and unimportant. 

Here are a few tips that may help guide you in finding solutions. When you have a more in-depth understanding of what help you need, you can then learn to communicate your needs more effectively.

  • Journal your thoughts until you feel clear and confident about what you need to help you through whatever is causing you to be unhappy or that which is causing you additional stress.
  • Use “I” statements as you seek help, “I am feeling stressed due to being misunderstood about _____.” or “I feel unsafe right now, could you please help me find someone to talk to?”
  •  If you don’t feel confident to speak up in your environment, use talk-text lines or confide in a trusted friend or counselor to help you find the best possible solution and seek immediate help.
  •  Please don’t assume parents, family members, friends, peers, or caregivers know what you are experiencing. It is always best to be clear and repeat yourself until you feel heard and validated.
  • Most importantly, you are not a burden. You are worthy of help and support. It is not “too much trouble” to ask for guidance, suggestions, and help. Be kind and gentle on yourselves. It is a difficult time for everyone. You are not alone.  

Core Take Away

you are not alone in the quest to be understood and understand the world around you.

Nobody is perfect, and nobody has all the answers. What you do have is an inner guidance system that acts as a GPS to help guide you throughout each day. When you can learn to listen to your inner voice and trust yourself to make wise decisions, you can then build your self-confidence for a more fulfilling journey as you navigate roadblocks and celebrate accomplishments. 

And remember, you are not alone in the quest to be understood and understand the world around you. Asking for help along the way is a sign of strength, not weakness. Be bold and brave as you navigate your path ahead. Please, don’t silence the part of you that knows you’re capable of learning new and exciting ways to empower yourself.

About The Author

Picture of Rebecca L. Edwards

Rebecca L. Edwards

Rebecca L. Edwards is a sober author, speaker, and passionate advocate for the voiceless. She aligned with her souls purpose after a spiritual awakening that came from hitting rock bottom due to her own life experiences with childhood trauma, family drama, and substance abuse. She continues to thrive in recovery by creating heartfelt content for teens that inspires them be the best they can be. Her message is a powerful reminder that, no matter where you started in life, you have the ability to claim your inner power and rewrite your life story. She teaches that when we can transform our pain into our purpose, we are free to authentically love ourselves despite our past and our mistakes. She is living proof that the soul knows the way home to happiness, joy and abundance if you are willing to do the work.

Her upcoming book New Evolution in Thinking for Teens--The NETT is to be released at all major book retailers on 9/05/2020. She is currently a contributor to Recovery Today Magazine, Sober Nation, Thrive Global and her personal platform at www.rebeccaledwards.com

About the Author

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