I recently read a post by Emily Stone over at StoneWritten on the subject of mind-reading.  She gives a deep psychological post that is well worth the read.

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We have discussed this before, but it bears repeating.  I frequently have conversations with a family member along these lines.  She “knows” people are thinking ____________.  {Or she projects that ____________is going to happen. (another post to come, so you can predict that it will happen :) }

No one can read another person’s mind!  No, not even you!

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Nederlands: Introvert gedrag.

Nederlands: Introvert gedrag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are made by God to have the ability to communicate via body language and other cues to what’s going on inside a person.  However, not all of us can actually read these cues well.  As an introvert, I often sit by myself, wishing to talk to others, but waiting on them to come to me.  I’ve made progress in this area, but people tend to think I’m snobbish instead of bashful.  Are they right?  Not at all, and if they would take the time to get to know me, they would know that is far from the truth.  Did you know that even people who appear gregarious can sometimes be compensating for shyness?

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Birth order can affect human psychology, thoug...

Birth order can affect human psychology, though many supposedly formative effects of birth order are instead related to other factors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each of us is unique.  Generalizations (and stereotypes) may apply to some people, but they do not apply to all.  We each have different upbringings (even twins and siblings).  This happens because such things as personality, abilities, birth order, friends, extended family, and other things tend to play in to the upbringing, even when it is exactly the same otherwise.  My sister and I are only one year, one day and one month apart, but we viewed our childhood very differently.  The example I usually give is in regard to our poverty.  I saw the hand of God through it all and didn’t know I was poor.  She knew we were poor and was embarrassed by it–same circumstances, same parents, different views.

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In another circumstances, my sister then took that and asked for what she wanted and took it upon herself to make sure her needs were met.  I retired to the background, often wanting the same things, but unable (or unwilling – I thought they should read my mind!) to do so.  I spent a lot of time ‘hiding’ in corners wanting attention, my sister got it–one way or another.

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What does that have to do with it?  It helps illustrate my point.  If you knew my sister, you might think she is highly selfish.  However, she is also very generous.  Her ‘selfishness’ was an attempt to get her needs met.  After all, children are not born knowing how to get what they need (except by crying).  If a child’s needs go unmet, he or she will go the way of my sister or myself or anywhere in the continuum between.  I appeared unselfish, but that was not the case in total.  I gave way because I was used to doing it for my siblings.

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I didn’t mean to go into a childhood spiel, but there you go.  The only way to know what a person is thinking at any time is to ask.  Assumptions cause the majority of problems in the world in my book!  I won’t share the saying that goes along with what happens when we assume (you probably know it anyway).

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Linkware Freebie Image use it however you like...

Linkware Freebie Image use it however you like all I ask is a credit link to : thegoldguys.blogspot.com/ or http://www.lumaxart.com/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My personal task right now is to practice this in my marriage.  I’m sure we’re just like other couples.  He says or does something, and I read all kinds of things into it.  In the past, I have gone off to lick my wounds and pout.  Now I say, “what did you mean by that?” and keep at it until I understand exactly what he was saying.  It’s seldom what I was hearing.  It’s amazing what happens when you actually take the time to not only listen but really hear what another says.

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Are you guilty of trying to read another’s mind?  Or, do you ask clarifying questions when in doubt?  Do you have a story to share, here or on your blog, about a time when an assumption turned into a comedy/tragedy?  On the other side of the coin, do you make sure others understand your words/actions, or do you assume they got it?

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