The Meta Model Distortions

Mind reading – Jumping to Conclusions

Mind reading is assuming you know what the other person is thinking or feeling without checking. This pattern causes a great deal of interpersonal difficulties and is another of the important Meta model problem solving strategies.

Most of us at some time attribute intention to other people’s behaviors or absence of behavior. We think we know that someone is interested in us, doesn’t like us or is trying to hurt us.

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. We all jump to conclusions about other people’s behaviors at some time. We usually judge other’s behavior by the effect on us, and judge our own behavior by our intentions.

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

Recovery Questions

The Meta model questions aim to uncover how you know what you think you know about what is happening in someone else’s brain.

Some examples are

I know you don’t want to come
… How do you know?
You raised your eyes upwards.
… I was checking for rain.

The boss doesn’t think I am management material
… How do you know that?
She doesn’t invite me to lunch.
… She doesn’t invite anyone to lunch.

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