What Do You Think I Think of You?

The Thinker-Rodin

Source: Andrew Horne English Wikipedia

How do you know what someone thinks of you?

At dance the other day, I ran into Paul, a friend of mine. He did not greet me with his usual positivity. Had I offended him the last time we talked? Only way to know is to ask.

We can’t ask every time we want to know. Some relationships don’t tolerate questions like this.  The question may seem intrusive, too intimate and possibly challenging. The person being asked has to stop, activate their self-observer, scan their mind for their representation of you, and then decide whether or not the answer will offend you.

You need a trusting bond to withstand these implications. Paul and I are close enough that I think he would answer the question truthfully. Maybe Paul is mad at me. If he does answer truthfully, then I may need to apologize.

What do I think, he thinks of me?

Mind-blindness

The concept of mind-blindness emerged from research with autistic people. Simon-Baron Cohen proposed that they lack the normal ability to develop a theory of mind. They have difficulty grasping the thoughts, beliefs, emotions and intentions of others. 

To varying degrees, mind-blindness applies to all of us, not just people with autism

As I write this, I try to keep in mind a concept of your mind comprehending these written words. Who are you? Why are you reading this now? What do you hope to learn from it? 

A 34 year old unmarried woman became absorbed in the possible meaning of a series of romantic coincidences: “I really loved him, like no one else I have ever loved. We seemed to be able to communicate telepathically without being in the same room. When he was in the same building, I could feel his presence. I melted into his arms. His mother’s name was the same as my sister’s. His father’s name was the same as my brother’s. I could tell how he was feeling when we were apart. I told him these things because they seemed like evidence that our love was meant to be, that WE should last for all time. After about two years, our relationship was over. The coincidences were meaningful only for the time we were together. They didn’t mean forever.”

She emphasized her fusion with him but nothing about him as a person. She didn’t see his selfishness and unwillingness to care for her. She was blind to his intentions. She sadly realized that sustaining a loving relationship takes more than remarkable coincidences. (For more on coincidence inspired romance, see this post, “Do Coincidences Signal it is Meant to be?”

I asked Paul by text, if he was mad at me. He replied, “Nope, I’m having knee problems and I am not myself.” He was not thinking about me at all. He was caught up in questioning how well he could dance. I had projected my own self-doubt into the unknown of his mind.

When you wonder if someone likes you, you are wanting to know that person’s image of you. When you can, ask! The 34 year old woman caught in the throes of amazing coincidences, needed to do more wondering about her lover’s mind. 

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