If you are like most people, you think you know how others see you and you think you can read people really well. It is rare for someone to say "I don't have a clue what people think" or "I have no idea what my spouse is thinking".
Nope. Everyone is a mindreader, correct?
This should both help and shock you.
According to "Mindwise" a research journal slash entertainment rag (what a combo!), most people do know how a group perceives them. So, if you feel most people at work don't like you or do like you, you might be right. If you feel most people at the diner don't' care about you or, find you interesting, you are probably correct.
However, if I asked you what an individual thinks of you, your response would be as a solid as.. a guess.
How about email or text? Do you know how to read someone? Probably not. Most people have no idea when someone is being sarcastic or real with them.
The most shocking result of their study, was that most people make up explanations for why they believe they know something, and once they do this, they believe the, well, belief, to be true.
For instance, they showed individuals photos of someone, and then another photo, and asked them to choose the better looking photo. Not only did they choose one but they insisted on the reasons why they did, for instance, "her hair was shinier in the second photo" or "She had a more relaxed smile".
Guess what. It was the same exact photo.
What does this mean for you?
Try to not make assumptions. Ask questions, clarify and explore what someone is saying to you, to avoid misunderstandings.
Above all, don't assume you know what others are thinking, as you can be drawing from insecurities or past issues, and create blocks to intimacy or friendship.
We are not living in center stage, so don't assume people think that much about who we are or what we are about; oddly the study showed that most people assume other people think about them or judge them much more than they do.