When people get upset, some of us just naturally think people know what we’re upset about. It’s not uncommon to believe that if we get our feelings hurt, the person who hurt them knows what they did. We also sometimes believe that everyone else might know what happened too. Our thoughts, especially when we get our feelings hurt, are very strong and convincing.
Sometimes, We’re Pretty Sure About Others’ Feelings, But…
I have felt this. I was at a meeting recently and I wanted something to happen. I said something particular that was directed at getting a specific response from one person. She was sitting across the table and a few seats down when I made this statement which actually went to the entire group. I was directing it at one lady. But I said it for everyone to hear. I thought she got the message because she looked right at me.
Then in the next moment she got up and left the room, and the meeting. I felt really bad. I felt she didn’t like what I had said so she left. I was sure she was mad at me. I worried about this for over an hour. And then I decided to call and apologize to her.
Those Interpreted Feelings Might Just Be in Our Heads
She answered the phone and was happy to hear from me. I said, “You left the meeting early. Were you mad at me for what I said?” She started to laugh and she replied, “I didn’t hear what you were talking about. I was meeting someone at my house so I had to leave early.”
She asked what I had said and I told her it wasn’t important and she was preoccupied so she didn’t push.
I laughed and she laughed and there was no ill-will between us. And then I felt better, but I had spent over an hour feeling guilty, and I had even told someone else too what I thought, and none of it was true.
We and Our Partners Can’t Read Each Other’s Minds
This made me realize how common we think things are the way they are, and often they are not. How often do you think your partner should know what they are doing when they hurt you? And how many times are you just waiting for your mate to get that you are unhappy or sad?
Something funny happens when we become close to people. We become convinced that they know what we are thinking. Since we don’t utter every thought in our head to find out if what we think is true, we sometimes believe what goes on in there to be real. Like I did with the woman in the meeting.
Take Time for a Reality Check; You’ll Feel Better
I saved myself from further distress by calling and asking if she was mad at me. So this is the guidance. Before jumping to a conclusion that your partner did something deliberately to hurt you, or should know exactly what they did to make you feel bad, how about asking if what you think is true?
Did they forget you on purpose? Did she mean to cut you off like that? Did he really want to invite someone without asking you? Ask the question before getting mad or feeling bad. See if it makes a difference.
That’s not a habit most of us have, but it’s one that can save a lot of grief. Ask for confirmation before jumping in all the way. It just might save you some anguish, just like it did for me.
Communicate Clearly with Your Partner
Read a Book About Communicating in Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how to communicate in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you prevent misunderstandings and stress less, by keeping your communication channels open and clear. Give it a read.
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