Based on the level of engagement and agreement (and okay, occasional disagreement) with my last post, “7 Things Only Chronic Overthinkers Will Understand,” I decided to write a Part II –because why not overthink some more about why and how we so often overthink?
So, my fellow overthinkers, on the lighter side of overthinking…
- Multiple choice or true/false on tests is brutal. Multiple choice is self-explanatory because…well, because choices. But true/false is another battle completely. “What if only one word in the sentence is wrong? That could completely change the whole meaning. Wait, what type of scenario is this referring to? What if it is something we didn’t cover in class?” And suddenly the minutes are dwindling away and we haven’t answered any of the questions confidently.
- Netflix is a scary, scary place. There are so many options, it is immensely overwhelming. Especially in the documentary section. Oh God, don’t get us started on the documentaries. We spend more time deciding which one to watch, weighing the pros and cons, than we spend actually watching them.
- The world stops when someone says, “Hey, can I talk to you later?” A normal person’s response: “Sure.” Our response: “Uhhh no. Talk to me now. Tell me what I did wrong. Please. Tell me why you are mad. Please. I swear I didn’t mean to do whatever I did. Please. I’m sorry. Please still love me.” And oh God, if they actually make us wait until later in the day, it’s torture. We spend every minute wondering what we possibly could have done, creating awful scenarios in our heads. Nine times out of ten, the fiasco they want to address (which we have created in our minds) is actually something miniscule or completely unrelated to our actions.
- If we email or text someone about something relatively important and they don’t respond in a timely matter (aka, almost immediately), we begin rethinking the words we used, how we phrased things, the time of day we sent the message, etc. Especially if a read receipt is visible, or the person has been on social media and likely saw the message and chose not to respond. Typically this is because – *gasp* – they actually have other things to do in their lives. Still, we can make their silence into many other scenarios.
- Shopping (this one by popular reader demand). Even when armed with a list of exactly what we need, we pass certain items and find ourselves thinking that maybe, just maybe, we will need them sometime soon. Making the choice to stray from the prepared list is difficult. Then there is the matter of choosing which brand of a product to buy. Spend less money, get a crappier product, or splurge and be happier with the quality?
- Clothes shopping is in an entirely separate category, for women at least. There are so many sizes, styles, colors, price ranges. We find a good deal only to convince ourselves that we can find a better one. We need multiple people’s opinions on how something looks – even if those people are strangers. We talk ourselves out of buying something, only to regret that decision when we have nothing to wear at a later date.
- Any change in routine can be immensely stressful. This isn’t to say change isn’t a good thing, it just takes a while for us to adjust when something we are used to is suddenly different. This could be relocating to a new city, losing a friend, a lifestyle change, etc. Whether it is in our control or out of our control, we still tend to think about all the possible scenarios. We become worried we are not making the right or best choices, even though we likely made the choices we did for a reason.
There may be days we want to pull our hair out, slam our heads into a wall, turn our brains off. But in the end, we need to remember that we know ourselves better than anyone else. We need to have faith that we are doing the right thing, making the right choices – because our instincts exist for a reason.