They’re not mind readers

Jun 29, 2021
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Families, groups, and teams have unspoken rules about what can or can not be expressed, and as a result, people communicate covertly with deletions, substitutions, and incongruent messages.

A man says to his wife: “The couch is full of fleas.”

She’s left to wonder if his anger about the dog has resurfaced.

Or, maybe he’s angry at her for insisting they get a dog in the first place.

Maybe he wants to go biking Thursday night instead of going out to dinner with her.

Maybe he’s angry she bought that hideous, expensive carpet, the one the dog just peed on.

We don’t know, and neither does the wife.

The problem was that the man deleted his feelings and needs from his statement, forcing his wife to guess at what he really wants.

If you’re forcing other people to read your mind, they’ll be wrong pretty much all the time.


Subscribe to the Daily 2 Minute Communication Tip

No spam, but we will tell you about upcoming workshops.