It’s a distinctly human condition. Somehow, we just assume the people around us know what we’re thinking. Some even assume that everybody else thinks just like they do.
But keep in mind, we’re all human. We are individuals with vastly different backgrounds, experiences, proclivities, likes, dislikes, etc., etc.
In other words—stop thinking they know what you are thinking. They don’t!
All of us are guilty of this, especially in the early stages of a relationship. We have this romantic notion that our partner ought to know what we are thinking and feeling at any given time. How can they not?
But the truth is, most people aren’t even aware of themselves enough to even stop to consider what’s on their partners’ minds.
And really, how can we know? In the moment, we might think that our partner feels a certain way, but we can never be sure our assumption holds water unless we have direct confirmation.
The best way to let your partner know what is on your mind is to share your feelings. Makes sense, right?
Good Communication Needs Two Active Participants
Communication is the foundation for any strong relationship, this we know. However, most of us can’t reconcile the difference between what we think is happening and what’s actually being said.
Before you dive into a deep conversation, take a moment to map out exactly how you feel. You can’t control or project feelings onto another person; you can only be honest about yourself, how you feel, and what you see as your part in it.
It’s a shift in the way you approach conflict, but it takes a lot of the angst out of the situation because you own your part in it—which is really the only thing you can control.
This exercise may help you understand how you can fix this “issue” on your own. You might realize that it has nothing to do with your partner but that you do need their help or support to resolve it.
They Don’t Know What You Don’t Tell Them
I can’t tell you how many times I have sat and stewed about something, and what was initially not a big deal became something I could not stop thinking about.
Just the other day, there I was, stewing about why I do so much more around the house than my husband does. I was bothered that he doesn’t seem to notice or even comment on how much I do.
So, I gave myself a time-out. I got some paper out and started writing things down. Once I did that, it was easy to see what was really going on. I realised that the problem was more about me and less to do with my husband.
In truth, he actually does a pretty good job of helping out around the house. If I ask him to help me with something, he drops whatever he is doing to be there for me. All I have to do is ask.
By looking inward and working out the answers myself, I released my frustration and avoided an unproductive exchange that would have left us both feeling drained.
So, if you’re feeling frustrated about something and ready to place blame, take a moment to acknowledge your feelings and assess the situation. Objectivity often shines a different kind of light, and it also invites compassion—for the other person and us.
If we can do that, in most cases, at least, the big problem isn’t so big anymore.
Bottom line? Your partner is not a mind reader. You are not a mind reader. Try to understand your part in the situation before you open that can of worms. Sometimes, a slight shift in perspective changes everything.
If you want a problem resolved or if you need to talk to your partner about something, then you need to put your big kid pants on and start the conversation.