Mind Reading

When one is hurt or betrayed by a loved one, it's understandable that one may feel angry, sad, anxious, or be obsessing. As a result, negative thoughts or thinking distortions usually occur in the way things are interpreted out of the wound that was inflicted. These then affect one's feelings and capacity to move forward.

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.