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Cognitive Distortions: Mind-Reading Edition

Mark was deep in the weeds as he described a situation with a new relationship. His story was peppered with language describing how the other guy felt and what he thought. It took me a minute before asking, Wait, did he TELL you this?

Well, no. But I’m SURE because …

Nope. Sorry, you just can’t be sure. You work in technology. I’ve known you for a bit now and you’ve never mentioned a side-gig as a psychic.

Intuitives and empaths are particularly susceptible to this particle distorted thinking habit. Because they are so good at sensing the needs and feelings of others, they fall into the trap of thinking that they know what other people think and feel about THEM.

A good rule of thumb is if you think you know what someone thinks of you, it’s likely not intuition. It’s mind-reading. You are very likely wrong and who wants to be right at this game? Naming the beast, catching yourself mind-reading is the first step. Ironically, some of us CLING to the idea that we are actually right. That’s a little like throwing fertilizer on pyracantha. Though it boasts beautiful red berries, it’s a fast-growing thorny evergreen with deep and tangled roots.

A quick fix is to simply check out what you are thinking, if the relationship allows. However, if the habit of mind-reading is fairly established. You will need to bring out bigger guns. End of Words is a great option, to disrupt this habit. However, if its roots are established, a more layered approach may be needed. 

Have you had any success working with mind-reading habits? What works well? What doesn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

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