The last thinking trap that I posted about was Jumping to Conclusions (embed) – Now, to delve a little deeper, I would like to talk about mind reading. It’s a sub-section of jumping to conclusions and very popular when reacting to a certain situation.
What is mind-reading? When we assume what others are thinking and feeling without having any evidence to support this idea.
Example: Walking past a group of people who are whispering and laughing, thinking that they’re talking about you.
A mind-reading superpower would be completely beneficial in this instance, so you can confirm if your response to this assumption should be true or not. It’s highly likely that it’s not true, but our minds are funny this way
Since this superpower is non-existent, we need to challenge this thinking trap that we put ourselves into.
Ask yourself these realistic questions:
What evidence do you have that this is what the person/people are thinking?
Have they said this to you, or are you imagining what they might be thinking?
It’s effortless to assume what others might be thinking, but if you don’t investigate your assumptions, you’ll be prone to think negatively with every interaction. Withdrawing from this situation might seem valid, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
In this instance, I’m not saying to go up to this group and demand to know if they were talking about you. My god, that alone is anxiety-inducing in itself! (If you can do this, honestly, KUDOS to you!)
All I’m saying is to think critically in these situations, and don’t jump the gun on what others are thinking or feeling.
BUT if you do somehow gain this superpower, please give it to others with anxiety!