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Love Doesn’t Make You Telepathic

6 May 2009 No Comment

I’m not telepathic, I never have been and I doubt I ever will. I’m not ruling out the possibility entirely, as evolution (or the Creator, if you prefer that explanation) has worked wonders so far … but I’m not going to bet any money on it.

There are times though, when I tend to treat people as if they do have the power to read my mind, especially in my intimate relationships.

I have noticed that sometimes I hope and wait for, in this case my wife, to  notice I want something. It could be as simple as a hug, a small attention or maybe just a smile and a kind word.

I expect her to know what I want and if she doesn’t, then I have a few choice punishments up my sleeve such as the ‘frosty-silent’ treatment or the ‘hurt-Ian’ tone of voice.

She probably thinks I’m just in one of my bad moods and fails to realise (again!) that I’m expecting her to use her finely developed skill of telepathy to read my mind.

Love = Telepathy

The reality is I’m equating love with telepathic skills. The unspoken message is:

I shouldn’t have to tell you. If you really loved me, you would KNOW I want a hug right now !!

She’s my wife, after all. Didn’t she get some brainwave make-over the moment she said, “I do” enabling her to read my every wish?


What was the point in getting married, then?

Of course, it’s quite ridiculous, but how many arguments, fights or violence start from this misguided premise?

Empathy is not telepathy

In some stages of a relationship it seems we’re so much in tune we can almost read each other’s minds.

I think it’s possible to build this quality into a relationship, if we allow it and pursue it. It means to become so connected, so open to another human being that we are able to read each other. It’s not telepathy but a quality of mutual empathy and understanding that joins us beyond the superficial.

Certainly I’ve experienced this very intensely in the early stages of a relationship when I’m so open, so trusting that I can reveal anything. I can express my deepest, darkest thoughts and experiences without fear.

It almost seems like telepathy.

But it’s not.

And yet somehow we still hope.

Getting used to each other

I’ve noticed a tendency in myself (and others) to believe that when I’ve known someone for a long time, that I know all about them. When I get used to someone there’s a risk I start making assumptions about them and develop habits and patterns. I stop experiencing them as a constantly flowing, ever changing creature.

I was recently working with a group of couples and one exercise I did was to get them to sit in front of their partner and look at each other for about 15 minutes while I guided their attention in a similar way as I described in ‘Do we REALLY see people‘.

One couple had been married for many years and for them it was an important exercise.

They had simply stopped seeing each other.

They were so used to each other, had known each other for so long they just didn’t notice the depth in the other any longer. That depth was still there and all it took to find it was a few minutes of looking for it.

Telepathy would probably ruin relationships!

While I think that real telepathy might solve some problems, I suspect it would make things worse most of the time.

Can you imagine if other people, especially those close to you, were able to read your every thought?

When thoughts are in my own head I can at least exercise a certain amount of discretion. I can choose which to believe, choose the ones to turn into words – and choose the words I use. Most of what comes out of my mouth has undergone extensive editing and self censorship from the original thought.

Trust me, it’s necessary!

For example, I just got up to prepare some food and my wife moved from the floor where she’d been working, and took my place on the comfortable sofa. Yes, the floor was her choice and no, I do not force her to sit there.

Where was I?

Oh yes, I poked my head around the corner and saw her spread across the sofa (in MY place!) and her papers spread across the remainder leaving no space for me!

This is not a big deal, but the thought that flashed through my head?

That’s it. I’ve had enough of this relationship. I’m leaving.

As long as that thought stays in my head I can see how crazy it is, laugh at it and peacefully press ‘delete’. There it goes to my internal waste basket and joins all the other crazy flashes of so-called ‘thought’ that pass through my brain.

Now, just imagine Mona was able to read all my thoughts. Without the same filters and censorship I have for my own thoughts, I could have a disaster on my hands.

On reflection I’m feeling extremely grateful that we have a regular, non-telepathic relationship.

I just need to learn to ask when I want a hug.

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