mindtools personal development neuro linguistic programming nlp meta model nlp distortion nlp mind reading
In NLP Mind Reading is when you assume you know what another person thinks or feels in a given situation. And I know what you are thinking right now! Because you never completely or fully do, even if you think they or feel is a close representation of what another person thinks or feels. So, by its definition, any assumption about another person’s feelings or thoughts is mind-reading.

Mind-reading gets us all into trouble! The trick to avoiding mind-reading is to stick as closely as possible to sensory-verifiable experience in our thoughts. The moment we begin to assume we know what someone is thinking, we often ignore that such a thought came from inside our minds, instead of from outside us, in real life experience.


How to Use?

Most of us at some time attribute intention to other people’s behaviour or absence of behaviour. We think we know that someone is interested in us, doesn’t like us or that person tries to hurt us. We easily forget that one of the presuppositions of NLP is that “The map is not the territory.” We are masterful at taking a small cue such as a raised eyebrow, a lack of eye contact or a failure to do something we expected and believing we know what it means. Especially relevant is that we all jump to conclusions about other people’s behaviours at some time. We usually judge other’s behaviour by the effect on us and judge our own behaviour by our intentions. NLP Mind Reading.

We also expect other people to be able to read our minds. Since we think someone should know we are pleased or annoyed with him or her. Consequently we expect others to realise we are overwhelmed, open to suggestion or distracted.

So mind reading is assuming you know what the other person is thinking or feeling without checking it. This pattern causes a great deal of interpersonal difficulties and is another of the important Meta model problem-solving tool in your strategies toolbox.


An Example

An example you can take: “When you like that, I know you were not telling the truth.” Assuming you know the truth and you know when someone is telling the truth, you walk into a mind-read here. To challenge such a statement, you can ask: “What evidence do you have for a statement like that?”

As an exercise for today, write down 20 mind-read patterns. I already know you started, didn’t you? In NLP Mind Reading is part of the higher chunk called Distortion which is part of the Meta Model.

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Mind Tools provides NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner Trainings and Certifications. We educate you according to the renowned, latest and highest standards set by the Society of NLP. We will train you thoroughly in all the corners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and some extras we learned from Richard Bandler directly.

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