Quit drawing thought bubbles.
I have to remind myself of it often.
It’s one thing to be sensitive to someone, paying attention to the cues that help me understand what they’re experiencing, prompting me to be sensitive, compassionate, or even confrontational. It’s another thing for me to assume I know what someone else is thinking.
Here’s how I can often tell the difference between when my motives are pure or not, whether I can be helpful or not:
Is my thought process about what someone else might be thinking constructive or destructive? Do I begin to spin downward in my own mind, assuming I know what someone is thinking and imagining the negativity that will ensue? Or do I consider how I can help or respond?
We can assume a lot about what the other person is thinking as he or she writes a text, glances our way, or is silent. And we can be wrong.
Personally, I am often challenged just to sort through my own thoughts, let alone figuring out someone else’s. What about you?