You really can’t tell what’s going on inside someone else’s head. You can try. If you have access to enough information about them, and are able to talk to them face-to-face about their innermost thoughts and feelings, you might get an idea of what’s going on inside there… but all your attempts, with all the tools, techniques, and everything we know about the mind, expanded thought, the heart-mind connection, and spirituality, still it’s all but an educated guess, and that is being generous.
Really. Think about it; when someone notices you are somewhat non-present and they ask you if you’re okay, you respond with, “I’m fine.” In those brief moments before you were interrupted by the question uttered by someone noticing your mind might have been elsewhere, there was an entire lifetime of thought happening, in full color and with feelings intact. And even if you could articulate what your thoughts were in that moment, it would so pale in comparison to the experience taking place inside of you.
That’s you. In a single moment. Now, think about how that looks in every person you interact with or cross paths with, every moment of every day. If you ask, chances are, they will respond something similar to, “I’m fine.” But what’s really going on?
Do you care? Does it matter?
With the people who play significant roles in our lives, we do the best we can. But even the people we are closest to, your siblings, best friends, children, or parents… We still do not know what is going on in there in those moments of silence, let alone the moments when we are not in their presence.
We want to know because there are people who we rely on in our lives. For us it’s imperative to feel like there is a connection, and this feeling of connection includes an understanding, or predictable reliability, in how that person will react or interact with ourselves and others. So, we try…
Just as you see things from your perspective, anyone else will see things differently, sometimes wildly differently. Two people listening to the same joke can have two completely different reactions. For instance, two people are hearing a story about,
“a woman who pulls into the 7-11 parking lot and is screaming for someone to call an ambulance. While someone is calling, another person asks if he can help through the closed driver’s window. She screams that she’s been shot in the back of the head. He asks her to open the door or roll down the window so he can help her. She says she can’t because she’s holding her brains in with both hands on the back of her head. The ambulance and the police arrive, they open the door and discover that a container of pop-and-fresh dough that she picked up from the store earlier had deployed from the grocery bag in the backseat and hit her in the back of the head.”
One person laughs uncontrollably, while the other weeps, sobbing.
Same story. Two different reactions.
When we are surprised at someone’s action(s) or reaction as what we might have considered unpredictable, we are taken aback, consider this as unreliable, and begin to question how well we know this person.
It’s then that you realize that you can’t tell what’s going on inside someone else’s head.