We talk as if we know what other people are thinking and feeling. We say things like. He's mad! Or, she thinks if she gets coffee for the boss every day, she'll get a raise. But we're not really reading their minds. We infer what they think and feel from the way they talk and act. There are really very few mindreaders and empaths amongst us.
And even if we knew exactly what someone else is thinking and feeling, it wouldn't do us any good. It's almost impossible to start a constructive conversation by telling someone, "You're thinking . . ." Although it's pretty easy to start a fight that way.
Think of the person you know the best. If he or she came into the room looking worried and unhappy, would you try to guess what he or she was thinking? Even though you would have a better chance of guessing what might upset him. No, you wouldn't try to read his mind or her mind. You would ask because you want to know for sure exactly what the problem is. And because that's how you start a conversation so that you can start helping him or her figure it out. That works with everybody, not just the person you know best.
What do you think?