She said: You look amazing in that dress!
She thought: You should have lost 10kgs before putting that dress on!
Imagine a world where everyone could read everyone's mind. Wouldn't that be scary? But it would also help keep our ugly thoughts at bay, and be more honest with the people in our lives.
The world would be chaotic if we could read each other's mind, not that it is any less chaotic now. But if we could read minds, we would know our real friends and our biggest foes. We would also know our enemies, cleverly disguised as well-wishers. That way, we could avoid heartbreaks and betrayals. But would life be as exciting-adventurous? Perhaps not. There would be no secrets. There would be much more embarrassing moments than we could deal with. There would also be lots of apologies, because we tend to think ill of others all the time.
If we could read thoughts, we could easily find out that some of our friends and relatives always talked about us behind our backs. Even the person you thought loved you most had pent up negative feelings about you. People secretly in love would have nowhere to hide their feelings in a world where everyone could read everyone's mind.
If we could read each other's thoughts, we would easily know which compliments were genuine, and which were not. I would know who really appreciated my culinary skill and who only stomached what I cooked so as not to hurt my sentiments. Because ignorance is bliss, some of us would never want to be able to read another person's mind.
If we could read minds, then forget thinking twice before talking, we'd also have to think before thinking.
If we could read minds, we could easily know what was coming; a termination letter, a pay raise, an argument, an assault, bad news, good news. We would frequently miss all the fun that came with getting surprised, but then we could also avoid or prepare ourselves better for misfortunes.
But if we could read thoughts, there would be little use for language, both spoken and written. While the idea of being able to read thoughts may seem thrilling, such a world would be dull and gray. The momentary happiness that came from someone calling us beautiful, even if it is a lie, would no longer exist! Although the question remains, is a false compliment desirable at all?