Communication is not Mind Reading - Atala Writes

I believe that the secret to a great relationship is good communication. Usually, the way to do this is through simply talking. This works pretty well in the majority of cases. The trouble is, sometimes you – or your partner – might not be much of a talker, like Myne. Aren't you surprised?

Back to the subject. There might also be a difference in what you say to your partner and what you mean by what you say. Even more confusing is where you do say what you mean, but your partner interprets what you say completely differently.

Most of this is down to our different backgrounds and upbringing, and it is only through consistent communication and through living and learning together that a couple can tease out more about each other, and how they both think on different issues and situations.

For example, there were times in the beginning when I’ve assumed that Myne is thinking about one particular thing. Then I’ve gone ahead and acted on that assumption, only find out that I was wrong – she was thinking something completely different. The reasons for my mistaken assumptions are for another blog post, but if I had asked her about them first, that would have spared us a whole lot of confusion.

But these episodes have not been in vain. They've certainly brought home to me the importance of knowing – not just assuming – what someone is thinking. If you do know, you know exactly what to do to make them happy, and vice versa.

At times like these, it sounds like it would be a great idea to be able to read someone’s thoughts. Then all miscommunication would be at an end. No more futile guessing, no more unproductive questions – you would just know what they were thinking. So this would herald an era of peace, love and understanding in all relationships, right?

Erm... no. For one thing, reading your partner’s mind might tell you what they’re thinking, but it not provide all the context around that thought. So you might know that they are sad, but it might not tell you why they are sad, or the depth of the sadness. And there’s no telling just how off target your reaction to their thoughts could be without the rest of the information about their thoughts.

Then there’s the question of whether your partner even wants you to be able to figure out their thoughts so directly. Maybe sometimes, they want you to tease the thought of them out so that it serves as a reason to talk. Or maybe they are genuinely uncomfortable about sharing information right away, and would rather wait to share it in their own time.

So even if maybe one day, it will be possible to read people’s minds, it’s doubtful if people will willingly let their minds be read. I certainly won't want anyone fiddling with my mind.

And we’re back to good old-fashioned talking as a way to let your partner know what you’re thinking, and them letting you know what they’re thinking. It may be messy; it may not always be accurate; but I think that if you really love someone, you won't baulk at smoothening the edges of the conversations you have to find out what each other is thinking.

The beauty of it is that the more you talk, and the more you get to know each others feelings, personalities and dispositions; the more it seems you can read their mind for real. You find that you don’t even need to say so much, so that one day, your conversations go like this:

Myne: “Hm?”
Atala: “Mm-hm.”
Myne: “Hm-hm.”
Atala: “Hmm.”
Myne: “Hmm-hm.”

You want to know what that conversation was about? How should I know? I’m no thought reader!