Dive into the nuanced differences and definitions of innerstanding vs overstanding vs understanding. Learn how to use them in conversation and life.
Lately I’ve noticed that every time I turn around, there’s a new term or phrase popping into our lexicon, each more convoluted than the last.
Especially when it comes to understanding… or should I say, innerstanding? Or overstanding?
Confused yet? You’re not alone. So was I when I first heard each of these terms. So let’s dive deep into these three versions of “standing” and see if we can’t un-muddle the waters.
If you’re unsure which is what – and when to use them – I’m here to share what I learned!
I am a bestselling author and writing consultant (who loves words). Plus I’m a notorious research geek (who loves finding answers). So I did some research and I am excited to share the definition for each word!
Strap in! We’re about to take a wild ride through the wildly twisty land of innerstanding vs overstanding vs understanding!
Understanding is like vanilla ice cream. It’s the standard. You get it. You’ve tasted it. No extra sprinkles, no fancy caramel swirls. Just plain ol’ comprehension.
Let’s say you’re learning to cook. When you follow a recipe step-by-step and end up with something edible (and hopefully delicious), you’ve understood the process. You read, you processed, you succeeded. Bravo!
In life, understanding is essential. It’s the baseline. But sometimes, understanding alone doesn’t cut the mustard (or add flavor to that vanilla ice cream). That’s where our fancier terms saunter in.
Picture this: You’ve just watched a movie that’s made you sob, laugh, and question your life choices. It resonates. You feel it deep down, even if you can’t quite put it into words. That, my friend, is innerstanding.
It’s not just grasping a concept. It’s feeling it. Like when you listen to a song and it feels like the singer ripped the lyrics from your very soul. You don’t just understand the lyrics! You innerstand them.
As a tool in life, innerstanding helps us connect more deeply with experiences, people, and our own emotions.
Next time someone shares a heartfelt story, don’t just nod. Genuinely empathize. Dive deep. Feel their story. And when you get it, you can say, “I totally innerstand you.” But fair warning: You might have to explain the term (or just share this blog).
Overstanding is like viewing life from a mountain peak. It’s the big picture, the larger context, the whole enchilada. If understanding is grasping the plot of your favorite TV show, overstanding is appreciating the cultural and historical nuances behind its creation and its impact on society.
Imagine explaining the internet to a medieval knight. Sure, you can make him understand it’s a tool for better communication to reach people far away (akin to, I don’t know, yelling really loudly). But to make him overstand its global impact and significance? That’s a whole different level.
In life, overstanding helps us appreciate deeper contexts and rise above trivialities. It’s like that moment you realize your annoying coworker isn’t just a pain, but perhaps they’re struggling with their own issues. It doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it gives you a broader perspective.
The next time someone vents about, say, social media, you can chime in with, “Yeah, but when you overstand its historical and societal implications…” Just be ready to sound a tad bit pretentious.
Look, life’s a smorgasbord. Sometimes you want vanilla ice cream (understanding). Other times, you’re in the mood for something that hits you right in the feels (innerstanding). And occasionally, you’re yearning for that philosophical, birds-eye view (overstanding).
As tools for better thinking:
But always remember: It’s not about how fancy the term is. Instead it’s about connecting, in various depths, with the world around you. And maybe, just maybe, confusing a few people along the way with your new jargon.
Language is a peculiar beast, isn’t it? It grows, it morphs, and sometimes, it downright confounds. Just like that twisty TV show plot or the latest dance trend, we might find ourselves a step behind, asking, “Wait, what?”
With understanding, innerstanding, and overstanding, we’re equipped with a trinity of tools to navigate the beautifully messy tapestry of human connection. Understanding lays the groundwork, innerstanding plunges into the emotional depths, and overstanding provides that invaluable bird’s-eye view.
And if you want support in writing a powerful bestselling book or viral blog post, I’ve been there and done that! So I encourage you to explore hiring me as your writing consultant. Set up an exploratory call with me here.