Mindreading by any other name?

joeylittle

Administrator
there is a lot of work on the reading of peoples faces looking for flashes of what are sometimes called "micro emotions" that most of us are incapable of hiding. We all have similar facial expressions in a state of stress, some of us may only show it for a spilt second. People that are tuned to it like yourself may have a high degree of accuracy in reading these subtle clues and not even realize that they are doing it. There was a study once upon a time in a long-forgotten article that put police officers, detectives, teachers, nurses and if I remember various members of the clergy including the dali lama himself through a series of tests and the more empathetic oriented career members scored highest. I think because over time they got more feedback on their daily dealing with people and their states of mind and their own impressions based on a 'gut' feel they had whether they knew it was from seeing micro emotions or not.
Yes, this. It's the science behind 'intuition'.

The 'typical' sensory. perception tests for what is usually meant by the phrase 'mind-reading' - is whether someone can 'know' someone else's thoughts without observable context...that's not something science has ever validated.

But when we say "I can't read their mind" - colloquially - we are tending to refer to being able to intuit what someone is thinking, based on conscious OR sub-conscious/subliminal cues.

@grit - can you remind me, are you a native English speaker? I'm not trying to be insulting, just wondering whether there's a layer of meaning in what you're saying that gets lost in translation...
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Yes, this. It's the science behind 'intuition'.

The 'typical' sensory. perception tests for what is usually meant by the phrase 'mind-reading' - is whether someone can 'know' someone else's thoughts without observable context...that's not something science has ever validated.

But when we say "I can't read their mind" - colloquially - we are tending to refer to being able to intuit what someone is thinking, based on conscious OR sub-conscious/subliminal cues.

@grit - can you remind me, are you a native English speaker? I'm not trying to be insulting, just wondering whether there's a layer of meaning in what you're saying that gets lost in translation...

before I fell into therapy talk of living, I used intuition thinking as mind-reading and considered this as form of adult meta-cognitive communication...nothing more or less.

I realized in therapy circles and the culture we live in, if I say to the therapist "you think" of this or that...right away that sort of communication is shut down and changed to I am projecting or this says more about my mental state than the therapist's etc. However, in real life situation, if let us say there is no hostility or threat and a friend/partner/a person says you think I am naïve etc...people do not go crazy but either acknowledge the thought expressed from the other or correct the message and say something like...nooo I do not think you are naïve maybe innocent etc. or completely just say gently and nonchalantly that was not what I was thinking at all or more if one is in the right context like therapy/analysis what makes you think I think that of you?....and life goes on.

Writing this I am recognizing what makes therapy special is topsy turvying of the normal adult-meta-cognitive-communication to make it one sided for the boundary of the relationship. I should not have access to therapist's mind but allow her to have access to mine...maybe that is my confusion. When that "as if" fails slightly then what? pretend there are no two adults sitting there. Maybe humor will help!

I think for one to say I will not mind read others when in relationship is probably too rigid and just as problematic as believing your reading of mind is gospel and the truth! but somewhere in between, I would say most people in relationship with others, do this to some extent and denying that I think makes me feel little weird and confused.

PS. @joeylittle Yes English is my 3rd language to learn and my first in daily basis.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I think for one to say I will not mind read others when in relationship is probably too rigid and just as problematic as believing your reading of mind is gospel and the truth! but somewhere in between, I would say most people in relationship with others, do this to some extent and denying that I think makes me feel little weird and confused.
Honestly, I think you are talking about small, unconscious communication signals - not the psychic phenomenon called "mind reading". And I agree, people read those kinds of signals all of the time.

And, there's probably some difference in translation as well.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Yes it’s mind reading at least partially and people get caught up in calling it that but it is. It’s also non verbal cueing but we don’t even know the things that actually make up communication. Some people are more sensitive and intuitive. To others nobody else has any feelings. Reading others accurately is a gift. It can be used as a positive or negative. It sounds like a positive in your case. I think it can be developed. I would listen to that voice. : )
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I see it this way. And this is what I've learned from therapy and this site.

There is a big difference in reading body cues (expressions including micro expressions, voice, body stances and such) and actually mind reading.

Here is an example. I work for a call center. So me and the customer are talking. I do internet, PC, VOIP phone, and TV app tech support. There are a lot of confusing terms and concepts for a person who is not tech savvy (which is most people). I can tell when a customer is confused by the tone of their voice even if they are saying "ok" or are saying they understand. Their tone does not match what they are saying. I probe and say "you sound like you are confused about something. What is that so I can explain it better?" That isn't mind reading. That is reading someone's tone of voice and then making an assumption based off said tone that they are confused even though they are saying they aren't. If I said "oh, you must be confused at XZY and then start explaining XYZ, that is mind reading. Two very different things.

It is the same for facial expressions or body stances or the way the body moves. We all read these things from others to communicate. It's how humans work. Some lucky people can read micro expressions and make an educated guess on what they are thinking or at least feeling about what they are saying. But that science isn't 100%. It's 70% at best if done in person and given the chance to probe and ask more questions which then answers some of those things that would be mind reading. If that makes sense. But even then, one still needs to asking probing questions to make an educated guess on what they are thinking and be more accurate but it's all still an educated guess.

My therapist can read micro expressions and it seems to me most of the time that he is a mind reader. But really he is making one educated guess after another, after asking me probing questions. So even then, I am basically telling him what I am thinking be it verbally or be it more micro expressions. So it would be micro expression, probing question, micro expression, probing question, etc. It just seems that he is reading my mind but in reality, I am telling him what I am thinking. He just becomes more and more accurate each time because he is asking probing questions and reading more micro expressions based off the probing question over and over.

Not sure if that makes sense. Mind reading would be assuming what someone is thinking or feeling not based on any of that. Not based on tone of voice or how a person is standing or moving, or their facial expressions or micro expressions. Just basically assuming they think XYZ based off of nothing but your own feelings on XYZ. And that is the issue. That is what's not good to do. But they are most certainly different.

Not sure if any of that made any sense or not.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @lostforgottensoul.

I have no idea what it means to assume or think or read a person's mind without knowing anything or basing on anything other than if one is clairvoyant or psychic. and definitely not interested in that. My intention of this post is between two people where a relationship or real interaction is in place. But will keep an open mind.

What I meant which is expanding the more people respond is that, I think I am getting confused now about my own clarification, is that when we are in relationships (and this is really the key for most part but not all the time), we are reading or making as you put an educated guess when we finish each other's sentences or call someone and they say yes I was just thinking about. There is intangible connection of communication between humans.

That sort of extreme subtle and intuition is some thing most people have but too much therapy talk sort of eradicated this out and I think this is sort of dealing with trauma (which I will get to).

When I see a lot of people on this site super confused about their feelings (including me at many times) and those of the predators' at the time the trauma was occurring. I read it this way.

To me, when we (speaking from general space not to anyone particular) are being abused and all our senses are at animal level, so focused or so dissociated but other senses are highly aroused (life and death situation), we, as humans, probably feel extremely attune to the other person (the only other human that is also harming us) so deeply (another word is trauma bonding) and we are so into each other obviously one doing the harm and one at extreme self-preservation. I would not dismiss that at that moment of extreme attunement to the situation at that level of trauma and harm and extreme state of mind, the victim did not read the abuser's mind (to gauge some self survival thing) and saw exactly what they were doing and because the victim was offline to survive, they record the predators' intention as their own thoughts and feelings; hence, most of traumatized people feeling guilt and shame when objectively it absolutely makes no sense to feel guilt and shame for being raped. But because as an example, the victim read the rapist's mind and that reading got tattooed to in the victim's mind, so de facto, read their mind and after survival, cannot relinquish that ownership right away - hence trauma! to make it more palpable, now I am walking around feeling guilty, shame, hatred, and angry and out of my mind cause I was raped.

For example and made up scenario , now I go to therapy, and I said well I have all these feelings after my rape and they say ooh you are traumatized. Ok we all accept but after months and years of working I am still so f*cked up about these feelings. I am because they are not mine...they are feelings transfered to me when I was being raped, shamed, hated, and was being hostile at....if I was not being traumatized but was being harmed, I would not be reaching to the point in human consciousness where I was so broken to attached myself to the rapist mind. I would be (these are personal opinion and do not reflect all humans just so I am not triggering anyone here). If I was being harmed I would be scared, afraid, powerless, helpless, hopeless but not completely lost the "self" into the perpetrators mind. losing the self at that instant at the harm of another person. I am focused on relational trauma here because the human aspect makes a huge difference in my mind.

This is now going to metaphysical levels of thinking and conceptualizing that maybe if I feel guilty and shame after rape, my rapist was feeling guilt and shame doing that to me and maybe in processing that now, at least, and bear with me as I leap too far that at least, he was not enjoying it or at with the enjoyment was feeling guilty and shame. and maybe that gives me some reassurance that all humanity is not lost.... Where maybe if I get raped and start to rape others as a result, then it may be sort of be that my rapist was not only predator but much higher pathological level in human spectrum and his stains keeps living off me until hopefully I find my own humanity unique to me before it was stained by him or recover my own unique humanity regardless of the trauma.

I think therapy talk, IMHO, absolutely hates to believe mind-reading in trauma cause there is no any other way to explain why a traumatized person becomes or acts in some cases like the preparators if not in action then in the mind - self hate. IMHO, after trauma having extreme self hate that one wants to even commit suicide, tells me one lost self into the rapist/perpetrator or whatever....by directly communicating when the trauma was taking place.

Now, it is almost impossible to read others' mind in everyday situation obviously but the mechanisms are there just like men have nipples but do not produce milk. Also this mechanism works well with mothers and babies as good (maybe better actually) also in therapy or finishing off each other sentences...the person is focus on us so they are so focused on us to almost see what we are thinking but of course because we are not in extreme situations, they often ask questions to just make sure we are all on the same wavelength. this is respecting our autonomy and boundary and those who cross that most people think of them as intrusive whether they're right or wrong about the mind reading does not matter. In the traumatic moment, we are attuned to level so unbelievable for us to imagine so our senses are also unbelievable level of consciousness where, IMHO, mind reading takes place for one to survive...I would say the perpetrator probably does not have that though I do hear sick people who got off by the fear of someone dying or almost close to death. I hope i do not cross paths with those.

I guess my point was and maybe I was just trying to understand it myself and this is what I needed to make sense for me - that reversal of feelings with the predators in my own life and understand why i would have certain feelings that absolutely make no sense for me like guilt or shame or self hate. But actually having those feelings also again tell me at least the information I picked from my perpetrator is that they were feeling guilt and shame and self hate to do what they did to me. If there were no guilt and shame again, probably I would have lost any love for humanity as they were and lost hope...again maybe that is what separates a traumatized person who becomes very traumatized adult versus one who becomes a killer or a serial killer. The extreme mind reading took over the whole self and no way to switch back.


sorry very long and gosh so winded and I am very confused about the whole thing but I got some stuff off my chest.
Thank you,
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
they record the predators' intention as their own thoughts and feelings; hence, most of traumatized people feeling guilt and shame when objectively it absolutely makes no sense to feel guilt and shame for being raped. But because as an example, the victim read the rapist's mind
I'm not sure this is related to reading someones mind.. IME it is very much shoulda learnt from experience, or the duh cues in the room.
maybe if I feel guilty and shame after rape, my rapist was feeling guilt and shame doing that to me
I get why someone would wanna think that, but IME it's simply not true, although I'm sure in other situations it might be.

It seems like you're trying to call guilt n shame after abuse a type of transference? And maybe that is your experience, but I *strongly* disagree that it's everyones experience. I dunno if it's a language thing, or you working out your own personal experience. But it's not universal, and yeah, I know I was walking into bad situations all the time, not cos of mind reading, but cos I'd been there, done that, still didn't have options.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
my rapist was feeling guilt and shame doing that to me and maybe in processing that now, at least, and bear with me as I leap too far that at least, he was not enjoying it or at with the enjoyment was feeling guilty and shame.
How do you know what he/she was feeling? That is mind reading.

My therapist and I have done a lot of guessing about the mindset of my perps. They were cult leaders. My step dad was most likely a psychopath that got off on hurting me. He LOVED it. Would have an orgasm to it. He enjoyed every second of it and never likely felt any guilt and shame due to it. Even on their deathbed neither one would admit any bit of it. Why? If they felt so much guilt and shame?

I on the other hand took full responsibility for it and still feel guilt and shame for it.

See, when you reverse engineer this concept, it doesn't hold up. Unless I am misunderstanding.
 
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grit

MyPTSD Pro
I appreciate the discussion. I am not setting new grounds here just speculating some ideas mostly arising from my own subjective experience of course. There are a lot of nuance in trauma, consciousness, how and what happens in extreme situations. IMHO, we are all right in our own minds and understanding on any situation.

It is hard for me to express something as it is getting more into philosophical and epistemological level rather than psychological so we may lose the meaning of the topic.

But when there is a trauma, normal systems do not work and this is not again earth shattering comment so how things get mixed up between the victim and perpetrator or on the "reverse engineering" how who one resists the other in the matter of the mind are all interesting to me and I do not have all the information and knowledge but yet...each one of us can do their own intellectual exploration of breaking it down to the basics if desired....of what the experience means internally and structurally for them.

My abuser is my mother. I have obviously 50% of her DNA but she does not have 50% of my DNA that alone I am more like her than she is like me and when trauma gets in the mix I may have felt her shame in abusing me or I projected shame (the feeling originated me) to sort of ward off her in a metaphysical way of communicating since all other way of defending has failed or probably never developed for obvious reasons (mindreading the word itself is useless in what I am trying to convey anymore). I am obviously speculating beyond what I can provide a real evidence but again this could be my own subjective implicit feeling from my experience and I am more speaking metaphorically than literarily reading a person's mind as if one is watching a movie and narrating. I am I guess more thinking being quite often (not all the time) accurately assessing another's mind and of course taking that with a great distortion and misunderstanding as well as accurate understanding. It may as well be a positive experience at one time and deadly or stupid in another time.

I actually believe deeply learning about my own experience is a great way to learn others experience and that comparing and contrasting also opens the door to other healing channels that I would not know alone.; hence how therapy also helps....the "other" in any situation. I no longer feel guilt or shame about my childhood. It was not I own it or dispel it; it is more I gained more understanding and strength in my own structural and developmental level and becoming aware fully who I am and I realize in a way I cannt put my finger on that the shame and the guilt were not my original feelings when I was being abused but a cloud that followed as I woke up to the reality. I have no reason as deep as I worked as of today, that I have no feeling of guilt and shame and yet I had it for a long time. So what gives? I am an organism that lives in environment. I am not going to completely disregard the environment and its impact on me and deep embodying experience that also take place. I am not completely off the environment but also I am not the environment. That being and not being together is a gap I cannot explain or describe in language. and when that gap is mixed with brutal violent consistently, I guess I do not have to spell out the outcome.


ps-- a bit added....I want to make very clear I have absolutely no idea what my mother was thinking when she abused me and I used the rape in my earlier posts as examples not as a real story of mine. I did not nor could read my abuser's mind but I could make a meaning of my story as I recover and this is my story. I felt shame and guilt feelings as I woke up from the trauma (the terror and fear and extreme powerlessness - these were my subjective feelings mind and bodily) and obviously it felt to me the shame and guilt were shared feelings...who they belong was a confusion of identification in my trauma for a long time.

I really thank you all for expanding and yet keeping personalized of this topic and I am for sure learning more about my own thinking and what this meant for me and also what it means for others and the culture/environment I live in. What we are doing here is ironically the antidote of mindreading!💙

Thank you,
 
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