Thinking about thoughts, desires and feelings allows individuals to understand themselves (metacognition) and others (mindreading). The present dissertation investigates the ability to read other people's minds from the stance of a third-person observer of naturalistic social interaction. Furthermore, it examines mental state communication (mindspeaking), introduced as a concept reflecting communicative manifestations of first-person metacognition and second-person mindreading, i.e., individuals actively listening and talking to each other about their mental states. The general aim of this work is to advance an integrative research perspective on social-cognitive abilities and their role in interpersonal functioning, particularly social fear, avoidance, distress and conflict, across adults with (different) psychiatric disorders and typically developing adults. Study 1 (Wacker, Bölte, & Dziobek, 2017) considered social psychological, biological, and developmental perspectives to characterize gender- and age-related individual differences in mindreading performance using the ecologically valid Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (Dziobek et al., 2006) in a large sample. By demonstrating that women performed better (specifically in reading the mind of females), and that age had a non-linear negative effect on mindreading across the life span, the results of this study contribute to a better understanding of interindividual variation in typically developing adults. Study 2 (Buhlmann, Wacker, & Dziobek, 2015) investigated mindreading deficits with the same measure in adults with pathological social evaluation fear (social anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder) based on a transdiagnostic approach. Both groups showed a lower performance in understanding other people's mental states in social situations as compared to a clinical and a typically developing control group. The results confirm cognitive-behavioral models of social anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder emphasizing that biased interpretation of social information is a maintaining factor. Moreover, they show that mindreading difficulties generalize to situations in which individuals take a third-person observer perspective. Study 3 (Wacker & Dziobek, 2018) evaluated the effects of a 3-day training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC; Rosenberg, 2015) on mental state communication skills, perspective taking, empathic concern, empathic distress and social stressors at work in typically developing adults in health professions. A pre-post design including a newly developed NVC questionnaire and an established coding system for the observation of communication behavior was realized in the field setting of a public health organization. The training reduced empathic distress and prevented social stressors and conflict with colleagues and supervisors via increased verbalization of negative emotions in naturalistic social situations. This intervention study demonstrates that mental state communication can be effectively promoted in typically developing adults in professional roles demanding good socioemotional skills. The insights gained through the empirical studies emphasize that being able to understand other people's minds and (verbally) reflect upon thoughts, desires, and feelings is not only an issue for adults with social-cognitive difficulties, but also substantially relevant for typically developing adults, given that it plays a pivotal role in interpersonal functioning in particular professions such as healthcare. The dissertation closes with suggestions for interventions and future research with regard to social-cognitive bias modification in socially anxious individuals, conflict communication in heterosexual romantic couples, and empathic distress fatigue prevention in helping professionals.