Author: Amy Di Francia, LMFT 105646
Mind Reading –
It’s something we wish all of our partners could do. I mean, wouldn’t it be so convenient if our partners (or friends or family too, for that matter) could just magically read our minds and know exactly what we need without us having to tell them?
As a marriage and family therapist, I’ve seen many arguments in relationships stem from this hope that our partner could read our minds. It might sound a little something like this:
“He should have known I was angry with him!”
“She should have known I would feel disrespected by that comment!”
“They should have known I wanted help with the dishes!”
“If he really loved me, he would know what I want for my birthday…”
The Expectation of Mind Reading Gets Us Into Trouble
We get ourselves into trouble in relationships when we expect our partners to just magically know what we need without us having to tell them.
Maybe someday we’ll have the technology to read each other’s minds. 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.
Your Partner Won’t Know What You Need Unless You Tell Them
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 and connected 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.
Unfair to Both You and Your Partner
Expecting your partner to read your mind is not only unfair to them, but it’s also unfair to you. When you rely on the myth of mind reading, you don’t give your partner the opportunity to meet your underlying needs. Whether it’s the need for attention, validation, intimacy, or any of the other needs that come along with being a human in relationships!
At the end of the day, 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!
Strive to Be Vulnerable and Honest With Your Partner
I get it – it takes a lot of vulnerability to be honest about our needs, and vulnerability is scary. When we’re open and vulnerable with our partners it means we open ourselves up to disappointment if our needs are not met.
But here’s the thing:
If we expect our partner to read our mind then we can almost guarantee we’ll end up disappointed. But if we decide to be brave and clearly communicate our needs, then we at least give our partner the chance to meet our needs! We give them the chance to prove that they can be trusted with our deepest needs. Is there a chance you might still end up disappointed in the end? Of course – because we’re all human and sometimes our partners will step up and meet our needs, but sometimes they’ll drop the ball instead (just like you will for them). After all, no one is perfect. But choosing to be vulnerable and direct moves us from almost certain disappointment to the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised by our partners!
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.
Couples Therapy Can Help You Find the Bravery to Be Open and Honest
Maybe it still feels really scary to think about being this vulnerable with your partner. This is where both individual and couples therapy can help you find that bravery to be open and honest in your communication. Individual therapy can help you identify the blocks to being vulnerable, It does this based on past relationships and experiences. Couples therapy can create a safe space for you to practice being vulnerable with your partner in the presence of a caring and competent mental health professional.
The good news? Our team of therapists is uniquely trained to work with both individuals and couples. So we can help you get over the myth of mind reading and start connecting on a deeper, more vulnerable level! Reach out today for a free consultation and start the road to a healthier, more satisfying relationship.
Are You Tired of the Mind-Reading Game in Your Relationship? Connect with a Couples Therapist in Couples Therapy in Burbank, CA, and Break the Cycle.
As a marriage and family therapist at Interior Design Firm, I’ve witnessed the strain that comes from expecting our partners to know our needs without expressing them. It’s time to break free from this cycle and embrace open and honest communication. Instead of relying on mind reading, take the brave step of telling your partner what you need. Yes, vulnerability can be scary, but it’s through vulnerability that true connection and understanding can flourish. If you’re finding it challenging to be open with your partner, both individual adult therapy and couples therapy can provide the support and guidance you need. Our team of therapists specializes in working with both individuals and couples. We help you overcome barriers to vulnerability and foster a deeper, more satisfying relationship.
- Learn more about our team here.
- Connect with a therapist here.
- Take back control of your life and well-being!
Other Mental Health Services Available at Interior Design Firm
In addition to Couples Therapy, we also offer other services to a wide range of individuals at any stage of life. These include Therapy for Teens and Parents, Adult Therapy, and Therapy for Anxiety. All of our services are also offered in an Online Therapy Format for ease of access and enhanced privacy as well. Please reach out today. We look forward to working with you.