As much as I consider myself to be a good communicator most of the time, I am a total victim of the crystal ball mentality. I'm pretty sure I just made that up, but I bet you're familiar with it.
It's when you assume people will know what you want and need without you actually saying it.
As you might guess, this not only puts the other person in an awkward position, it can lead to a whole lot of disappointment. So I'm working hard, maybe even starting on my New Year's resolutions early, and ditching this way of thinking once and for all.
I'm pretty sure that much of this belief is because I'm an empathetic person and I have a good sense of other people's feelings as well as their wants and needs.
Sometimes, I'm more in tune with other people and not enough with myself. But hey, that's a whole other story. And a few thousand dollars in therapy.
But when it comes to my own needs and wants, I guess I just assume that people are like me and will just know without me saying it. Also, I think I just feel a little embarrassed being so forward about certain things when, really, there's nothing to be embarrassed about at all.
I tell my kids all the time that it can't hurt to ask. I remind them that if they want or need something, that they just need to say it rather than whine or assume I can read their mind.
And yet I do it all the time. Kettle, meet pot.
I admit that part of me really wants people to just get it rather than me having to say it. Somehow, that feels like they're more invested and shows that they care.
Shouldn't they know already? I mean, I do!
And another part of me feels a little forward, bossy even, when I express myself that way.
Hello, gender stereotype much? Hey, guys do this stuff all the time -- so why should I feel weird or shy about doing it?
The truth is that those two things are completely unrelated. Just because someone doesn't read your mind or know how you're feeling about something doesn't make them any less caring or interested.
It just makes them human. It makes them unlike me, which is perfectly fine and normal and okay.
I'm pretty sure this is not something I'll be able to resolve overnight. The ability to be assertive and express your feelings and emotions without hesitation isn't easy.
But it's a step in the right direction. A really big step.
Are you guilty of crystal ball mentality?
Image via katerha/Flickr