Mindwise by Nicholas Epley has a very long, but compelling, subtitle; “How we understand what others think, believe, feel and want”. At first glance, it seems to promise a lot. Until you realise the book is about how we try to understand but usually fail. Don’t expect to come away a mind reader. Rather you will be humbled by your own ineptitude.
Renowned psychologist Epley shows us that we are pretty much incapable of understanding anyone, even ourselves. It seems we are fantastic at convincing ourselves that we know another person or people, but most often we do not. A particular example highlights the disparity between how much you know your partner and how much you think you know your partner. Eye opening to say the least!
My favourite quotes
“Nobody waves, but almost everybody waves back.” (Strive to be an initiator in life!)
“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do.” From David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.
I really like Epley’s writing style. He combines humour and research studies in a way that I did not think was possible. Reading this book can make us a little wiser.