Can you read minds?

Magicians and charlatans throughout time have claimed the ability to read minds. We all know this is a ludicrous assertion or is it? The way we communicate, judge intentions and interpret body language is subtle methods of reading another’s mind. Let’s look at some of the pitfalls to this alleged talent.

The problem with mind reading is it is based more on history than the present. As humans we live our lives in patterns. We brush our teeth, bathe, eat and have many routines that are eerily similar everyday. When we interact with people at work, church, stores and sometimes in our neighborhood, we sometimes perceive things the wrong way. The tone of someone’s voice, the way they stood during the conversation, even their eyes shifting away to look at something other than the speaker. When these things happen, human nature kicks in and we begin to assess the person in areas for which we are not qualified. Wrong assumptions can be made, some drastic enough to affect relationships. If I could give any advice, mostly to myself, do not read into a situation. If you have a question ask it, if you are confused by something that is said talk with the person. Essentially, give the person the benefit of the doubt. You never know truly what a person is experiencing on any given day. Don’t assume to know what they are thinking.

I know people, I might be one of them, that make snap judgements of people based on very flimsy evidence. The house they live in, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin are just a few examples. We believe we are non-judgmental, this is just untrue in many cases. Perceptions, are hard to shake. These perceptions have been ingrained in our memory over many years and involve biases, prejudices and misunderstandings of human behavior. We are not clairvoyant, we do not know what another person is thinking. The next time you have a perception of someone, ask yourself is it based on facts you know are true.

Living in the world of 2020, many of us have a distrust in people, organizations and governments. Some of these trust issues are valid, many of them have been exploited to an unreasonable level by the media and social platforms. Imagine a world where the standard default position is to trust people. Some will consider this naive and if taken to an extreme they would be right. I am talking about believing the best in people until they clearly give you a verifiable reason not to trust them. Maybe we think we can read people’s minds, I think we don’t even read our own minds very well. As 2020 winds down, maybe one resolution we can all make is to trust people more. If you have any feedback on this article please post your comments. I have no idea what you are thinking unless you tell me, maybe that is the way it should be.

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