Welcome to no. 4 in the series of common thinking traps and how to avoid them. This post will be brief but no less helpful both for you and for people who do this all too commonly.
“She should know! We’ve been married long enough!”
How often, I have heard these sentiments. The simple fact of the matter is that you (thankfully) are not them and they (again, thankfully) are not you. For many reasons all of which no doubt play a part in affecting our beliefs, attitudes and resultant actions the point is that they don’t know. They are not a mind reader. True, spending a significant time with someone else, such as in a relationship with a loved one or with a family member, should make us more aware of their idiosyncrasies. The reality is: nothing like as much as it should.
The point that I want to make though is that there should be little or no expectation that the other person will know what we want. And, therefore, it seems to make perfect sense just to tell them and not expecting them to guess. How we tell them is all important of course; no one likes to be patronised. How we hear the ‘what they want’ matters just as much too; just get on and do it! If, both in the sharing of what we want and in the hearing of what they want, is not with a supportive and valuing attitude on both sides, then effective communication breaks down.
Perhaps, the familiar Challenge, Opportunity, Reflection and Saying will succinctly clarify this for us.
Here’s the summary:
Challenge – She (and He) should know! (How often do we hear that?)
Opportunity – According to whom?
Reflection – So called Mind Reading is for magicians – not for relationships.
Saying – Claire Voyent is not the name of my wife. So, I won’t act as if it is.