How many of you watched “America’s Got Talent” this summer? Did you happen to see “Diddleman” do his mind reading acts? He was really quite amazing in the way he could figure out what the judges would be thinking when they did the tasks he asked them to complete. Each time he did an act, I thought to myself, there is no way he will be able to predict this one. But to my surprise, each time he accurately read the minds of the judges and astonished us all.
I remember thinking to myself how helpful it would be if we actually could read people’s minds. Wouldn’t it make life easier if we knew what people were thinking? Wouldn’t we eliminate miscommunication in relationships if we could see into each other’s minds? Wouldn’t we be able to really understand each other instead of guess at some of what is said or done?
It didn’t take me long to realize that this wouldn’t be such a great thing at all. Many times I am thinking about things that I need to deal with before any of them come out of my mouth. If my husband could read my mind then it wouldn’t give me a chance to edit my thoughts and deal with my issues before engaging in conversation. This could be disastrous to my relationships.
Keeping this in mind, how many couples try to read each other’s minds? Many couples have such automatic responses to each other that they think they know what the other is thinking or feeling before each of them says a word. Sometimes they get it right and this reinforces their thinking that they can actually read each other’s minds. However, many times they get it wrong and this ends up creating arguments. It also eliminates the chance of making changes in a relationship. When we are working with couples who are trying to do something new in their relationships, mind reading is a HUGE issue in moving forward. We actually keep each other stuck in the past when we think we know what our partner is thinking or feeling. Mind reading doesn’t give us a chance to change the way we would automatically respond to each other. In addition, mind reading doesn’t allow us to really hear each other and hearing each other is the key to healthy communication.
So, let’s leave the mind reading to “Diddleman” and stick to really listening to each other and hearing what we are saying. This is much more productive for those of us who really don’t have the ability to read minds. Take a minute today and think about how you interact with your spouse. Do you “practice” mind reading or do you really pay attention to the words that come out of your spouse’s mouth. Today’s a good day to resign from mind reading and really listen to your partner.