“I found that my unquestioned assumptions were the cause of all war and all peace in my world.” ~ Byron Katie
Mind-reading is a cognitive distortion many people are not aware of. Here’s how it looks like:
We don’t express our wants and needs clearly, expecting others to guess what we want and meet our needs. “If he loves me, he should know I like yellow roses.” As no one is a mind reader, the other person (could be a life partner but not necessarily) does not always understand what we want. As a consequence, we get disappointed. We might also shut down for communication, stop talking and let the other deal with our “silent treatment.”
The other person gets confused and asks if everything is fine. Again, we hope they’d understand something is not okay and fix it. But here’s what many of us might not be aware of:
In reality, other people can’t know exactly how we feel or what we think simply because they are not us.
I confess: I used to do this in the past, especially in romantic relationships. I was expecting my partner to read my thoughts and emotions, applying “the silent treatment” whenever I was unhappy or disappointed. I used to pretend everything was all right when, in fact, it wasn’t.
Keeping clear communication with others is essential in maintaining harmonious, healthy relationships. That’s valid in our private life and at work, as well. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. In fact, it’s very simple.
Here’s how to do that:
What I mean is…
My intention is…
You can never control what people do, say, how they act, feel or think. But for your actions or feelings, you are in charge.
No one can upset you, stress you or depress you without your conscious (and often unconscious) consent.
“Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
Keep your communication simple, be clear and assertive, and watch your relationships flourish!
Sara Fabian is a Women’s Empowerment & Career Coach and inspirational speaker, on a mission to help professional women to discover their unique strengths, gifts and talents, boost their confidence, find their calling and live a meaningful life of purpose. For weekly inspiration, subscribe to her free newsletter at www.sarafabiancoaching.com or follow her on Facebook.