What is Mind Reading?

By: Chris Anderson Psy.D.

When we refer to mind reading, we are not talking about psychic abilities that allow you to read someone’s thoughts. This type of mind reading is about the ability to intuit people’s thoughts, feelings, and motives. This skill stems from reading cues conveyed by what people say, their tone, body language, situational context, and behavior patterns by history. Possessing empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, also lends itself to a degree of mind reading.

How is Mind Reading Advantageous?

Mind reading can help improve communication and relationships. Being able to intuit and perceive other’s thoughts and feelings aids in being able to understand, relate, and be supportive. Mind reading also enhances empathy, facilitating a deeper connection to people’s experiences. At a practical level, mind reading can increase efficiency. Many struggle to grasp and understand what people are saying or where they are coming from, which can protract the process and cause frustration. That efficiency can also aid reactions, planning, and anticipating the next steps.

How is Mind Reading Risky?

No one always gets it right, regardless of how good you think you may be at reading people. Unfortunately, some people don’t take the time to check out their interpretations and conclusions and end up reacting to their assumptions, which can lead to conflicts. Romantic partners often presume they know their partner better than anyone. Research shows they often don’t “read” their partner much better than others they know. The reality is people only correctly perceive things a little better than 50% of the time, which means there is a reasonable margin of inaccurate interpretations or failed mind reading. Our own biases affect that accuracy. These include our beliefs, personal experiences, cultural biases, and situational factors. Those who struggle with specific mental health issues are less adept and skilled at mind reading. Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, social anxiety, and ADHD often miss or overlook subtle and apparent hints that inform other people’s mind-reading abilities. As a group, they are more prone to making errors in evaluations and mind reading.

If you want to enhance and improve your perception and skills, don’t hesitate to contact IPC so you can schedule an appointment with one of our providers for a more thorough assessment. Please call us now at 763-416-4167 or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you, complete a comprehensive evaluation, and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.

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