Are You A Mind Reader?
Have you ever wondered how much easier life would be if you could simply read people’s minds? If you were, in fact, a Mind Reader. I remember as a child visiting a Walden’s bookstore in the town my parents lived in. I remember seeing a book titled, Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus. This set the stage early on for my social-conditioned beliefs about relationships.
As I matured and started having relationships with women, I quickly discerned that there were in fact quite a lot of differences between the two sexes. I didn’t know anything about relationships besides what I observed from others. I didn’t understand, for example, why women want to be with men who happen to be the alpha male of their tribe, or anything like that. All I knew is that whenever my partner told me something, it almost always seemed that I was taking what they expressed as matter-of-fact. The problem was that every time I took them at their word, I almost always regretted it, and an argument ensued. Let me explain.
I want to teach you something I learned, which has really helped me. I was studying NLP some years back, and I was studying the Milton Model in particular, and I learned about a particular phenomenon that happens in conversations all the time. It’s actually called: The Mind Read Pattern. The mind read pattern is something most people do naturally, without even realizing they’re actually doing it. It’s when we say that we know how someone else feels, or tell them what they will actually do, when in truth we have no basis for making this claim. Here’s an example of what I mean: I know you’re going to continue reading this relationship advice article. I know this because you’re here to learn something profound. Stop!
Why did I have you stop?
The reason I had you stop is because I just used the mind read pattern on you. I was actually presupposing you were going to keep reading this article. Let me assure you now that I don’t have any type of psychic powers and I can’t predict that you are going to continue reading this article. I don’t even know you personally.
I said this mind read statement boldly. I said it straightforwardly. And, the truth of the matter is people do exactly what I just did to you, all the time in relationships, without even realizing they’re doing it.
I remember this one relationship I had with this girl. She told me she hated flowers and not to get her any for Valentine’s Day. As a man, I really did appreciate her honesty. Honesty is something that I really embrace these days. I have to admit, I haven’t always been honest, and none of us are ever completely honest.
What did I just do?
I just did another mind read pattern on you, and you probably didn’t even realize it. I said: none of us are ever completely honest. I don’t know you. I don’t know what you’re all about. I have no clue about you. Yet, I’m making a boldface statement declaring that everybody tells lies. I haven’t met everybody, but from the people I have met, I might decide that this inference is true; even though, I don’t have any way of substantiating it, do I?
So back to the story …
My girlfriend at the time, got chocolates and a teddy bear instead. When she got the chocolates, she threw them at me, and said, “You know I don’t like these.”
How in the world did she know what I know?
Truthfully, as I recall, she never mentioned anything about not liking chocolates. It was the flowers she forbade me to buy for her; not the chocolates.
She actually lied to me when she made that statement, because I didn’t actually know she didn’t like chocolates, or else I wouldn’t have bought them for her. (I would have eaten them for myself!)
So here’s the deal …
Watch out in relationships when people start to use these mind read patterns on you. The way you avoid these traps is by asking questions like: How do you know what I know and don’t know? Or, you might ask, “Are you a mind reader?”
Be nice when you ask these questions, and urge that they answer them. Most people you’re in a relationship with will buckle and not want to take responsibility for the claims they make about you, asserting that they know how you think, feel, and will act in a certain circumstance (presumptuous).
The more specific you are and insistent that your partner be held accountable for the words they use, the more they will respect you. You definitely don’t want to be a door mat that gets walked all over, because your partner will never respect you if you do. Let me suggest it will not be a long-term relationship if you don’t stand-up for yourself and communicate how you feel, and insist people don’t pretend to know what you’re thinking, or anything else that they truthfully can’t possibly know for sure.
Likewise, be careful you don’t become the mind reader, constantly judging the other person, and assuming you know what they believe, think, and feel, when actually you don’t. If you follow this advice, it will surely improve your relationships and you’ll be rewarded indirectly with peace of mind, more self-confidence, and an overall happier relationship.
Are You A Mind Reader?