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Mind-Reading Is Detrimental To Your Relationship: 5 Actions You Should Take Instead

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Mind-Reading Is Detrimental To Your Relationship: 5 Actions You Should Take Instead

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships” ~Henry Winkler

Most people realize that it is unreasonable to expect others to read their mind, yet they still feel hurt and outraged when their innermost, unexpressed thoughts go unheard. In intimate relationships, there exists a fallacy and erroneous expectation that mind reading [1] is not only a legitimate supposition, but that a partner who fails to adeptly interpret thoughts and to take appropriate action is unloving.

Mind Reading: Don’t try this at home

Effective communication that is clear, concise and transparent is the best way to avoid the missteps and pitfalls of faulty assumptions. Communication often goes awry when partners expect each other to pick up on hints, innuendos and veiled messages.

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Here are five common mindreading mistakes and things to do to avoid making them:

1. Saying something without actually saying it.

You know people who do this–they use words that are veiled and vague to communicate something to you without directly saying it. You are supposed to “get” the message. And most times you don’t. People believe that saying something without directly saying it is a gentler way of communicating something that may be considered rude, politically incorrect or even hurtful. The truth is–it’s not. It leaves people confused and left to come up with their own interpretation of the message and could be much worse than intended.

If you have something to say–say it. No mixed messages, no hidden meanings–be honest and have the courage to say exactly what you mean as clearly as possible.

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2. Equating romance with mind reading

These two are not synonymous. This ideology originates from romance novels, romantic comedies and fantasy land where unicorns are the official mascot and it rains pixie dust year round. Kill that type of thinking. A spouse or partner who deeply loves and cares about you cannot guess your innermost desires. The truth is determining your own thoughts and desires is difficult so expecting someone else to do it is plain ludicrous.

The most romantic thing in the world is telling your lover your exact desires at that moment and having them hear you and give you what you verbally expressed. It doesn’t get any sexier than that.

3. Believing that an attentive spouse knows your needs

This is an easy mistake to make. You believe that as you and your mate grow closer and your relationship solidifies, your significant other knows you–inside and out. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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As humans, we are constantly evolving and changing–daily. Life experiences, maturity, and the accumulation of wisdom change who we are and how we think. There is no way your partner can know exactly where you are emotionally and intellectually, anticipate your needs and deliver precisely the right thing in that moment. You must articulate what you need–every time–and then assist your mate in making it happen.

4. Dropping hints

If you want something–ask. It is so simple, yet so hard for many people to do. We believe that asking for things is somehow wrong and being direct is unattractive. Do you know how much time, energy and brain strain you could save your partner if you simply took them to the store and pointed to the exact item you wanted–and said I want that exact thing right there? Being direct saves so much hassle for everyone and frees you to move on and tackle bigger things.

5. Assigning meaning to their actions

You have no idea why they did what they did. None. So, instead of manufacturing your own reason, which is always much worse than the truth, just ask. Then be open and accepting to the response. Most things are not as calculated and intentional as we believe they are. Your mate’s mistakes are probably a simple error in judgment or an oversight of some sort and not a well-organized conspiracy to hurt you.

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Your mate is not a mind reader. Your mate’s ability to read your mind is colored by their own emotional state and perspective–and therefore is inherently flawed. You are responsible for telling them exactly what they need to know.

Reference

[1] Mind Reading: Psychology Today

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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