Monday, 4 March 2013

If you love me, you should know what I'm thinking...shouldn't you?

It can feel very reassuring when our partners 'get' us. We can feel understood and perhaps closer in our relationships. But how far do we want this to go? Should we even need to say what's on our mind? Shouldn't they already know...if they love us?

Stepping stones across the water.Firstly, I don't think it's possible to always know what is in someone else's mind, however much you may care about them and would like to think you understand them well. After all, simply the fact is that you're not them! That's not to say, we can't understand each other better,  but that's different to expecting others to always know what we're thinking, where we're coming from. Inevitably there are going to be times when we get it wrong. Actually asking them what they think, how they feel, not presuming we already know, can be far more helpful. It also shows our interest in them.

Secondly, would we really want to know what others are thinking without having to ask them? We would be in their heads, not our own. We need our sense of separateness as human beings, our own individuality, as well as our sense of connection with others. To be human is to want to express ourselves as individuals; and to feel connected to others. There's often a tension between the two, but they are both important aspects of ourselves as human beings in the world.

Doesn't that make life more interesting though? Imagine if you always knew what others were thinking? There would be no surprises - a bit of a conversation killer. Would any of us want a partner who thought exactly the same thoughts as we think? Difference can be good - interesting and stimulating.

Lin Travis Counselling Services

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