You’ve likely heard the words: Don’t make assumptions. What’s going on inside this piece of advice?
Mind reading is when we make assumptions about what others are thinking or feeling. The problem is, these presumptions can put us in a position of believing we know what is true, when in fact we are guessing. We can then attach ourselves to stories that we are creating and see them as reality rather than assumption. Mind reading can essential get us into trouble so it’s important that we catch ourselves when we are doing it and work to correct course.
Don’t Make Assumptions: Lessons in How to Stop Mind Reading
- Mind reading occurs when we make assumptions about what someone else is thinking.
- So don’t make assumptions: Two ways move away from this.
- Catching yourself when you find yourself mind reading.
- Circling back to the individual that you find yourself attempting to mind read and asking for clarification on what it is you may be assuming.
Mind reading is when you make assumptions about what somebody else is thinking. It’s trying to read their mind. The thing about it though is that it’s a completely pointless exercise because unless you’re a psychic or a medium that actually has those abilities, we can’t ever know what somebody else is thinking and unless we ask them what they’re thinking right now.
Yes, you may have friends/family/a spouse and a general idea of what they’re thinking most of the time, some of the time maybe right? But generally speaking we have no idea what’s in somebody else’s mind; when we make assumptions about it and engage in mind reading, it can actually put us in positions to impact our behavior and affect our feelings in ways that aren’t helpful.
So let me give you an example. Let’s say you’ve signed up for your first Spartan race. Awesome — way to go —but at work you decide to tell a colleague, a trusted colleague, and the first thing out of their mouth is, “Oh really?” And all of a sudden you start mind reading and you begin to assume that they don’t think you can do it based on their response. And maybe this impacts your training. It may be impact your performance in the race because you’re thinking that whole time: My friend at work doesn’t think I can do this. Right? That’s mind reading when really you don’t know actually what your colleague was thinking.
So what’s a good way to handle this?
First, recognizing when you’re mind reading. Putting yourself into that space of, ‘Oh, I’m mind reading again and catching yourself and owning it, but the second thing you can do is circle back to those individuals with which you engage in this behavior.’ So in the example that I gave you, you could circle back to that colleague and say, Hey, when I told you I was signing up for that Spartan race and you responded with, Oh really? What did you mean by that? That gives them an opportunity to clarify right, and to let you know what they were thinking, but it also gives you an opportunity to clear the air and to clear your mind of junk that’s sitting up there because you’re assuming because you’re mind reading, so those two things, catching yourself and owning when you’re doing it, and then circling back to those individuals that you’re trying to mind read with, those are ways that are going to get you out of that mind reading and allow you to engage in other things so you’re not wasting time.
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Production Team: Heather Knox, Knox Creative; Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Host: Dr. Lara Pence
Synopsis: Dr. Lara Pence
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