Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mind Reading or ‘What Do They Think of Me?’

Mind reading is a habit. It originates from childhood. It had been formed in hostile or aggressive surroundings to protect your life. It seems as if you were born in the wrong family or community.  Mind reading or ‘What do they think of me?’ appeared  as a defending mechanism to survive in unfriendly social environments without your permission.

You were young and inexperienced. Your naivety and absolute trust to parents, caregivers and educators gave rise to what we call in psychology “inveriority complex” and “self-doubt”.  They would tell you, that you are not good or normal, etc. And you accepted this as reliable truth.

I have good news for you.

It is not YOU, who is not good.
It is THEM who were ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is them, who had installed their crooked mentality into you… and you believed them…

I bet you were fighting their dirty opinion all your life, and had been proving to yourself and others that you are great, worthy, admirable and valuable. Right? You achieved splendid success in every sphere of your grown-up life.

As a matter of fact, you are wonderful, very human, intelligent, worthy, delicate. You are a great and reliable friend. You had never betrayed anybody. You help others and you understand their needs. You fight for somebody else’s rights, forgetting about your own. You never ask anybody for your own good. You do and organize things yourself. You are noble.

Actually, your nature is so extraordinary, that it pushed you to leave people and  places and where you felt awfully in the earlier period.

The horrible information about past times is good for you. Surprised? It is the negative model of how people and relationships are not to be in your own life!

Yet, the habit of reading somebody else’s thoughts remained. Unfortunately, you do it almost unconsciously, when you find yourself in novel situations with as great people, as you are! Nevertheless, you try to find out if you are really good or worthy.

This habit is also trigged automatically  by comparing yourself with other real or imagined people.

The word ‘com-pare’ consists of two parts. Latin [com] means ‘together with’. [pare] – ‘match’ or ‘pair’. Comparing on the deepest level is the process, by which we make ourselves equal to somebody else, as if we check our matching with others.

There is another negative side of this ‘comparing process’ and ‘mind reading’. When we try and ‘read’ people’s thoughts, we get directly into their unpleasant past, where their worst events, sufferings, opinions, critics and attitudes are kept. You get into ‘rubbish’ – sort of painful memories - people actively avoid and escape themselves.

Guess what ‘answer’ we get from this mind reading about ourselves? – Exactly! – The worst!!!!!!!!!!

And what conclusions do we arrive at? – Most unfavorable!!!!!!!!! And we believe them! Taking this ‘received’ information for granted, as the truth, we feel awful.

Comparing yourself to others and competing with them, probably is good in sports and in pure men’s groups. Competition and being the winner in racing, skiing, firing and other popular men’s activities produces testosterone – male’s hormone, which makes men as real men – strong, handsome, sexy and attractive.

Biologically, we have apparatus for reading people and animals. Thanks to scientific discovery of ‘mirror neurons’ existence in our brains, we can read only intentions, understand and imitate actions (Rizzolatti, et al., 2008, 2014; Heyes, 2014; Fogassi et al. 2005; Iacoboni et al., 2005).

Mirror neurons distribution in brain

Mirror neurons are also active when people experience an emotion (disgust, happiness, pain, etc.) Thanks to these neurons we can join others in co-experiencing and understanding empathy.

You can easily get access to the process of imitation and experience pleasure when we see romantic, erotic and porno films as if it is happening in reality!  Maybe one day I will tell you more about these neurons.

Mirror neurons may provide the neurological basis of human self-awareness. These neurons can not only help simulate other people's behavior but can be turned 'inward'—as it were—to create second-order representations or meta-representations of your own earlier brain processes. This could be the neural basis of introspection, and of the reciprocity of self awareness and other awareness (Ramachandran, 2009).

This skill of reading intentions of others is very useful in professions connected to risks: police, army, rescue, etc. But reading and interfering with thoughts of other people during communication or even at distance is not a good thing in everyday life. It is a special skill used for special goals in intelligence and influencing population.

Ask yourself a question:
What can I do to get rid of the habit of mind reading and wondering “What they think of me”?

We shall discuss the outcomes tomorrow

If you have any original ideas, leave a comment. Do not be shy. I know, that my articles are addressed into your depths, hidden from others. People consider them very personal. As people,  we all have a lot of in common, from typical idiotism & fears to uniqueness & divinity in us.

Natalia Levis-Fox
On-line consultations
License No 314265119000560

Scientific references

  1. Fogassi Leonardo, Pier , Ferrari Francesco, Gesierich Benno, Rozzi Stefano, Chersi Fabian, Rizzolatti Giacomo (2005). "Parietal lobe: from action organization to intention understanding". Science308 (5722): 662–667. Bibcode:2005Sci...308..662F. doi:10.1126/science.1106138.PMID 15860620.
  2. Heyes, Cecilia, Tinbergen on mirror neurons. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences  Volume: 369   Issue: 1644   Special Issue:SI     Article Number: 20130180   Published: JUN 5 2014.
  3. Iacoboni M, Molnar-Szakacs I, Gallese V, Buccino G, Mazziotta JC, et al. Grasping the Intentions of Others with One's Own Mirror Neuron System. PLoS Biol 3(3): e79.  2005.
  4. Oberman LM, Hubbard EM, McCleery JP, Altschuler EL, Ramachandran VS, Pineda JA., EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectral disorders, Brain Res Cogn Brain Res.; 24(2):190-8, 2005-06.
  5. Oberman, L.; Ramachandran, V.S. (2009). "Reflections on the Mirror Neuron System: Their Evolutionary Functions Beyond Motor Representation". In Pineda, J.A. Mirror Neuron Systems: The Role of Mirroring Processes in Social Cognition. Humana Press. pp. 39–62. ISBN 978-1-934115-34-3.
  6. Ramachandran, V.S. (January 1, 2009). "Self Awareness: The Last Frontier, Edge Foundation web essay". Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  7. Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fogassi, Leonardo The mirror mechanism: recent findings and perspectives. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences  Volume: 369   Issue: 1644   Special Issue:SI     Article Number: 20130420   Published: JUN 5 2014
  8. Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado; Anderson, Frances (Trans) Mirrors in the brain: How our minds share actions and emotions. New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press. (2008). xiii 242 pp.

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