The Myth of Mind Reading

Mind Reading - it’s something we wish all of our partners could do...

I’ve seen many arguments in relationships stem from this hope that our partner could read our minds:

“He should have known I was angry with him!”

“She should have known I would feel disrespected by that comment!”

Maybe someday we’ll have the technology to read each other’s minds, but sadly that isn’t our current reality. The problem is that even though we know this, in many situations we still expect our partners to be able to read our minds and anticipate our needs. And you know what? It would be nice if the people we love most could look at us and instantly know what we’re thinking, feeling, and needing… but that’s just not the way relationships work.

There certainly are times when our partners are in tune with us – when they can sense what we’re feeling and needing from them. Those are the special moments that make us feel seen and cherished in our relationship. But the majority of the time, our partners won’t know what we’re needing from them until we actually tell them.

Expecting your partner to read your mind is not only unfair to them, but it’s also unfair to you.  When you’re relying on mind reading, you don’t give your partner the opportunity to meet your underlying needs, whether it’s the need for attention, validation, or intimacy.

When you rely on mind reading you end up disappointed, and your partner ends up frustrated.

 So the next time you’re tempted to fall into the mind-reading-trap, try something different (and maybe a little bit scary) instead: tell your partner what you need!

It’s ok to admit that you need a hug or a compliment, or whatever it is you’re needing at that particular moment. It doesn’t mean you share less of a connection with your partner if you have to tell them what you need. It just means that you’re willing to prioritize honesty and openness in your relationship, which will lead to a healthier and more satisfying relationship in the long run.