A massive communication barrier is assuming that your partner is aware of the obvious.
Maybe it seems obvious that you love spending time with your significant other. It’s obvious that you enjoy his or her perspectives and outlooks on life. It’s obvious how much you admire his or her courage. It’s obvious that you love him or her.
Isn’t it all obvious? And if it’s obvious, then what’s the point in saying anything about it?
The key here is that these things are only obvious to you. What is obvious to you is not always obvious to other people!
Mind Reading: The Assumption Behind Your Partner “Just Knowing”
Making the assumption that your partner “just knows” implies that they should fully understand your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants without any direct and explicit communication on your end. These so-called “mind reading expectations” can have seriously detrimental effects on your relationship.
Having these expectations leads you to believe that your partner should be so sufficiently empathic and in tune with you that they should enact supportive behaviours without being told how and when to do so.
Numerous studies have been conducted regarding the empathic accuracy of couples — i.e. how accurate they were in detecting their partner’s needs and emotions. The average findings only come down to around 30-35% — meaning that assumptions are inaccurate almost a whopping 70% of the time!
Okay, So You’re On The Same “Wavelength”
People who view themselves as empaths are probably more susceptible to mind reading expectations as a result of beliefs around their accuracy when sussing out the emotions of other people. Consequently, empaths expect the same from other people in return.
What’s more, is that couples who feel as though they know one another more than anyone else in the world run the risk of becoming complacent.
It’s clear to see how this contributes to higher mind-reading expectations; which, in turn, adds pressure to the relationship.
Waiting around hoping that your partner will eventually just “get it” is the easy route — but is sure is not helpful.
So, what’s the solution?
Make A List Of What’s “Obvious” To You
The first step is to acknowledge and pinpoint those blind spots where you assume your spouse “just knows”. Make no assumptions! Be 100% open, honest, and curious. Do they truly know? Have you ever outrightly expressed this to them before?
State the obvious, for example: “Look, this may seem obvious, but I genuinely value your company and time.” Try it and see how often your partner is surprised by such seemingly obvious statements.
Okay, this doesn’t have to be excessive though. It might be a little odd if you spent all of your time stating the obvious. Your friends might worry about you if, every time you meet up for a drink, you can’t stop saying things like: “We’re really great friends! This is the reason we’re meeting up. I sincerely like you. Did you know that? It’s obvious, right?” 😜
Bridging The Gap Between The Unspoken And The Expressed
The whole purpose of stating the obvious is to bridge the gap between the unspoken and the expressed. I’ll say it again: never assume that people “just know”. Bridging the gap will help others in your life feel seen, valued, and appreciated.
One day there won’t be an opportunity to express the obvious. The person you love dearly might not be around to receive the obvious truth they were oblivious to.
Bearing that in mind, I’ll leave you with this simple challenge: express one truth to someone you love. Today. Even if it feels obvious. ❤️😉