Cognitive Distortions: Mind Reading
Think of a time you’ve been in a situation with another person and you’ve made an impulsive decision about what they think or feel about you. Maybe you imagined they were judge, criticizing, or negatively labeling you in your mind.
Sometimes we project our own distorted feeling and fears onto others and imagine we know what they are thinking. This cognitive distortion is called mind reading.
When mind reading, we irrationally jump to conclusions based on assumptions, fear, or confusion.
Try to avoid emotional impulsivity. It is important to tolerate uncomfortable feelings and remind yourself that you don’t know what the other person is thinking. If you need clarification, ask questions or communicate what you are feeling.
You can say something like, “it seems you may be thinking ____, is that accurate?” This gives the other person an opportunity to express what they are feeling and can give you the information you need to move away from irrational thoughts.
So, seek clarification, and live mindfully! Tell us your funny mind reading story and check out more videos in the Psych in 60 series.