I am an overthinker.
My overthinking habits include:
- taking a situation and turning it into millions of scenarios, often negative.
- worrying what others think of me, and everything I do.
- struggling with following through on a single project, either by procrastinating or thinking of all the ways it’ll take too long or go wrong
These are just a few, I could overthink this freaking intro for days so I’ll stop here.
If you’re mind is already whirling about, thinking some of these habits describe you too, or maybe was I thinking about you when I wrote this, or does anyone think you do this because oh shit if they do, you are definitely a WEIRDO.
You may just be an overthinker like me.
Overthinkers tend to go into mental chaos like that pretty quickly. It sucks but it happens.
For instance… Let’s say I want to text a friend and tell them I can’t make it to a dinner we had planned.
Maybe I am tired and don’t want to leave the apartment… Maybe I feel ugly or bloated… Maybe I just don’t want to fucking put on pants.
Despite these being understandable reasons for not wanting to go out, I become anxious, thinking about how I can explain this to my friend.
Let the overthinking commence.
What should I tell them? I ask myself.
Excuses run wild in my brain.
Do I just say I’m not feeling like it?
Will they get mad at me?
Is this considered flaking? Oh GOD, am I THAT person?
But I really, REALLY don’t want to go to dinner tonight.
Fuck, I am so uncomfortable right now.
This goes on for what seems like hours in my head, minutes in reality.
I sit there, phone in hand, in my Notes section, trying to devise the perfect text that will get me out of this situation but not upset my friend, and make myself feel like I am OK and not the monster I’m starting to feel like.
With every idea that comes into my head, I already figure out how it is going to crumble and fail… how this friend of mine will demonize me, hate me, and abandon me forever because I couldn’t sit for a few hours and chat over cheese fries.
This it but one of many ways an overthinker can take themselves down.
We tend to expect the worst outcomes.
In some sick, twisted way, thinking about negative things is a hobby for us.
In a situation, its easier to think of the worst so we can be surprised when it all goes right. Why feel the pain later when you can imagine it now, prepare for the burn, and be happily surprised when you’re friend replies, “Dude, no worries. Maybe next weekend?”
In the example above, I noted how I will overthink both what I am going to say and what my friend will say back. This touches on another characteristic for an overthinker.
Overthinkers *really* pay attention to their surroundings and how people interact with them. Facial expressions, text messages and emails… how you say what you say, how long it takes for you to reply.
This could be a positive, if we allowed it to be. Overthinkers are amazing listeners. We pay attention to your story, the highs and lows… the build-up, the climax and the finale.
Unfortunately, we find a way to make this go south really quick… as we start to investigate everything you’ve said and done, wondering what it all means and how its connected to us.
Overthinkers have to know WHY.
We need to know why things happen. Personally, I crave it. I become insatiable, having to know every detail, path, route and possibility.
If someone seems upset with you, you have to know WHY. What did you do to upset them? Can you fix it? You can’t rest until you get the answers you need.
Because answers put our minds to rest.
And rest is what an overthinker’s mind needs, because WOW do we put ours to work.
Even if NO ONE ELSE is involved, we still find a way to overthink.
Second example? I’ve got a day to myself. A whole entire 24 hours to myself.
In the morning, I’ll wake up to a laundry list of ideas, projects and tasks in my head. Grocery shopping, organizing my closet, updating my portfolio, finally working on that blog I’ve been wanting to make forever but never take time to start on.
However, all of this becomes overwhelming REAL QUICK.
Overthinkers are good at coming up with projects and plans, but we spend so much time THINKING about them… that we never end up doing any of them.
In those 24 hours to myself, I’ll have come up with an idea for a book, a new business, hell maybe even how to run for President of the United States.
But I somehow end up sitting on my couch, watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey, stuffing my face as I wait to see if Teresa and Melissa are ever going to fucking make up.
I think to myself… yes, these are all amazing ideas and I have all the time in the world to do them. But I’ve spent so much brain power coming up with these ideas that I feel I deserve a rest… or secretly, I am too overwhelmed to execute any of them.
I admit I had that issue with this blog post alone. I’ve had this on my task list for weeks to write, along with about 50+ other ideas. And I can’t seem to start on any.
I keep coming up with pitches, titles and story ideas… but the moment I have to fully write anything, I feel exhausted… anxious… tired… and I give up.
But I didn’t today.
Today, I decided to not let the negativity sink in… to not let outside opinions and thoughts weigh me down… and most importantly, to not let my OVERTHINKING take me down.
Instead, I took it one step at a time. I wrote this post, and have a bunch of others to work on. And that’s OK, because its better than nothing.
For overthinkers, we have to remind ourselves that we are capable of so much more than we know.
We do so much of the above because we really, really care. We give great advice and really hear you when you vent or are upset. When we try, we’re able to think up millions of positive scenarios or way to make others laugh and smile.
We care so much about ourselves and others around us. We tend to pick up on little things that others don’t notice, and this can make life more fascinating and entertaining. A movie scene or a quote in a book becomes an in-depth, insightful experience for us.
And when we take a moment to let the chaos of our minds settle, some incredible work can come from that.
LET’S CHAT IN THE COMMENTS
- So… are you an overthinker?
- What do you overthink about?
- What worries you the most?
- What makes you happy?
- What’s a project you’ve thought about doing but haven’t started on?
- What is an AWESOME quality you like about yourself?