Do you know someone who expects you to read his mind and then gets mad at you when you repeatedly fail to do so? Yeah, me too.
So what do you do with a person like this? Here’s a quick suggestion.
Keep in mind that people in general are socialized to use a lot of innuendo, hinting etc and expect others to read between the lines.
It drives most of us nuts but we continue to do it, why? It isn’t because we want to drive each other nuts it’s because we don’t know how to do it any other way.
A different way
Between my difficulty reading nonverbal cues, my ADHD and my dyslexia, I filter the world in a pretty jumbled way to begin with. So seeing what’s on the lines is hard enough without also being expected to read what’s between them.
So what do I do? Whenever someone explains something to me, asks me for a favor or instructs me on how to do something I routinely ask the following question, “Is there anything else I need to know that you haven’t told me yet?”
What I’ve discovered is when I ask this question people are inclined to tell me the information they thought was implied, the between the lines stuff.
However, sometime they don’t. What then?
When they come back later and get on my case for not doing something correctly (usually waiting until now to tell me what I asked them for to begin with) I simply say, “Well when I asked you whether there was anything else I needed to know you must have forgotten that part.”
Getting in the habit of asking this question teaches people to get in the habit of explaining things to you with greater detail than they normally would.
It ultimately helps bypass many of those misunderstandings that occur due to the tendency to hint, imply and so on.
I have found great success with this simple, direct question and I hope you experience the same.
Thanks for being you.
About the Author:
As a cancer survivor, adult with Dyslexia, A.D.D., the father of three sons on the autism spectrum as well as someone who lives on the autism spectrum myself, I’ve learned something very critical. That success in life has nothing to do with circumstances but everything to do with strategies.
I’ve learned that Fear and Excitement are the same feeling, the difference being whether you decide the feeling means that “I can’t” or that “I’m ready!”
I’ve become a master of turning Problems into Possibilities and Obstacles into Opportunities and I’ve learned to teach my clients to do the same thing using what I refer to as “The Effective Factor.” A laser focused ability to make small shifts that create massive results in every area of your life.
I look forward to serving you,
Brian R. King LCSW