Why Can’t You Read My Mind?
It’s an argument so universal that it has almost become cliché for couples. We all know the typical sitcom scene where an annoyed wife rolls her eyes because her husband can’t figure out why she is upset with him (Hint: It is usually because he forgot a birthday or anniversary). The reason this scene is rewritten and replayed again and again is simple: It’s funny because it’s true.
Psychologist Nikki Martinez of the BetterHelp network has worked with couples for 15 years and she says the most common argument she sees is the ‘read my mind’ fight where one partner expects the other to know what he/she is thinking.
“People assume that the other just automatically knows what they are thinking and feeling, and I’d say 95 percent of the time they are wrong,” said Martinez.
Whether we’re talking about housework, childrearing, or spending money, actual thoughts often do not align with what is communicated. This can lead to unwarranted resentment, which can rear its ugly head at seemingly out-of-place moments.
Martinez says that these fights are easy to avoid, but it takes a fundamental shift in the way couples talk to each other. Martinez gives the following tips for sidestepping the mind-reading argument and avoiding unnecessary tension in relationships.