Friday, March 18, 2011

Can You Read My Mind?

So apparently I'm not a mind reader.

Despite the fact that I like to think I'm pretty good at it.

Here's what I do. I look at all the facts and the signs.  I add to that the facial expressions and the body language.  I subtract past experience and personal knowledge and I come up with a very nicely packaged interpretation of what is going on.

Not surprisingly, I'm often way off base.

The problem is that, the closer I get to someone, the more assumptions I make.  With someone I don't know very well, I'm quite comfortable asking what they're thinking, asking for clarification and asking for confirmation.  As I get to know a person more, I begin to take that knowledge for granted and just assume that I know what they're feeling and thinking.

That can be very dangerous.

What goes hand in hand with that, of course, is that the closer I get to someone, the more I assume that they can read my mind too.  I assume that my subtle hints are clear instructions and my gentle looks are an obvious roadmap to what I'm thinking.

Again, very dangerous.

Sometimes it's funny.  Misunderstandings can breed hilarity.  They can also breed frustration.  It depends on the end result and everyone's mood that day.

I guess what I need to do is to learn to be ok with not knowing.  To be ok with asking someone what they meant by their words or their actions.  Because being a good listener, daughter, friend and partner is not about being able to read minds.  It's about showing how much you care by taking the time to really discover what that person is thinking and feeling.


  1. Wow! Isn't it so CRAZY how we should all know better but we still catch ourselves expecting others to read our minds? So simple, yet so dangerous indeed!
    Btw, you KNEW I was going to reply, right?

  2. John, as I'm writing my daily blog entry, I always know the ones that will trigger a response from you. Self-discovery and disclosure as well as a candid analysis of the inner workings of my mind never fail to get you writing :) Thanks for the feedback and support my friend.