What Does Mentalizing Mean?

Mentalizing is a skill with two parts.  One part is the ability to see yourself from the outside.  This means accurately recognizing how others may see you in an interaction.  The other part is the capacity to see others from the inside.  This means to have a good sense of why someone is acting the way they do in an interaction.  For example, if you are able to accurately figure out that a person may be feeling defensive for whatever reason, then you are in a much better position to help the discussion move in a positive direction with good feelings.  Developing a strong mentalizing skill is a life long project.  We have to be willing to recognize when we are wrong and learn from our mistakes.   Just like a sport, it takes a lot of deliberate work to get good at mentalizing.

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