Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Mind reading is one type of thinking distortion. Psychiatrist and author, Dr. David Burns described it as "drawing conclusions without testing them out." You assume someone is responding negatively or in specific ways without checking it out. You erroneously attribute insincere motives to the other person or believe you know the contents inside his or her brain.
I remember a betrayed wife who got so mad because her husband was not responding to her text messages one afternoon. When he came home, he violently threw forks and plates on him, only to learn later on that his cellphone lost charge and he experienced a car accident on the road. After checking with the police and his cellphone, she finally became convinced of the reason behind his husband's situation.
Mind readers resort to instant conclusions without verifying reality first. Of course, in certain instances, you can be correct in your reading or suspicions. It is more productive, however, if you check out the accuracy of your assumptions before you react. In this way, you protect the health of your heart and mind, and avoid unnecessary further wounding of your relationship.