Are you an Over Thinker?

Posted on: 19/11/2009

 By Frankie Koehler

“But maybe he…” “What if she did that because…” “There has to be a reason why…” I bet you can recall saying something along those lines at one point in your life, if not nearly every day. People seem to over think absolutely everything. Why do we do it?

Who knows? All I do know is for some odd reason we seem to make the smallest things into the biggest deal.

The other day a friend was talking about a waiter in a cafe who she thought was drop dead gorgeous. She told me about him serving her. How as she left he said, “See you later.” She was shrieking for ages about it. “Well he obviously wants to see me later.” “Maybe he likes me.” “You don’t say see you later to people when you don’t want to see them later do you?”

Within a space of five minutes she had thought up what seemed to be 145 different reasons for him saying “See you later.” Just three words and her brain was working overtime. But she’s not the first to act in that manner, and no doubt she won’t be the last.

It seems to be in our nature. Simple sentences and even words, gain these complex meanings and they stop being simple; just because of the level in which our brains seem to analyse these minor events. The small things start to become larger than the bigger things.

I find myself asking has it ever occurred to people that there may not be a complex, twisted meaning to something someone says to them. That there isn’t some hidden meaning. That they aren’t using seemingly simple and innocent words to cover up the complex sinister truths hidden behind their words.

Has it ever occurred to us that when someone says something that it’s because they genuinely mean it? That maybe, when you get told that your crush likes you back, it’s because they do actually like you. And it’s not an evil scheme to make you look like a fool and to break your heart. It’s more likely that they fancy you, as you do them.

Think about it if it were the other way round? Let’s say that you told your crush that you fancied them, (or you got your friend to tell them for you if you are too shy) it would be because you wanted them to know that you liked them, not for some other illogical reason, right? So why’s it any different this way round?

Also, when someone compliments you, why do you instantly decide that there must be some evil reason for them doing so, or that they are up to something. They may just think you look nice that day, or you’re really clever or whatever they have said. People do say what they think sometimes.

The point I am trying to make is over thinking is a waste of time. We spend hours analysing in great detail second long events. But it’s not just things other people say or do which we over think to the extreme. It’s also what we could have done. “Could have, should have, didn’t.” That’s what always comes to my mind when I over think these things.

I could think up a million different scenarios that could have happened if I’d done something differently; something as small as if I had eaten something else for breakfast this morning. But the fact is I did what I did, so I can never know what happened if I’d done something else. For example, if I had eaten cereal rather than toast.

We could waste our lives thinking up ways in how our life could be different if we had made a different decision. But then, if you’re going to do that, think about this: What would life be like if you hadn’t spent those five minutes analysing what someone said that day; unwrapping it further and considering every aspect of it several times so it could possibly mean several different things? What if rather than mentally going over that two minute event which went horribly wrong, you had used that time to change the effects of what had happened?

Gets you thinking though. Well obviously… But I’m just trying to say that over thinking seems to go in this vicious circle and once you are caught in the over thinking web, you over think everything. I don’t think we can know exactly why we over think but we do. I guess it’s the way we people are.

Feel free to comment about your opinions on over thinking, but I would like to end this article on one last question. What would it be like if you had spent the time you have reading this article doing something else?

Add a comment below.


1 Response to "Are you an Over Thinker?"

Oh god; this article is pretty much the story of my life.
I over-think pretty much everything! Little compliments or looks from people, everything just seems to be deeper than it seems to me.

I know that people aren’t that deep in their actions, ‘most’ people just do things off the bat and act on their emotions. Us ‘Over thinkers’ just seem to be hesitant due to not knowing whether something meant one thing or another.
There have been countless situations through my life when I regret not doing something due to ‘disarming’ myself by just thinking something through so many times that it just seems like it was me over-thinking my original thought in the first place.

A smile or a look from someone. It first seems nice and you think they like you. It can quickly just be corrupted in your mind into something so plain as just a ‘Hello’ smile or that it wasn’t even aimed at you.

And to the question? What would it be like?
I’d have probably got some more homework done. But it always cheers me up to see some of the sense and ideas that people possess when they write articles such as these.
Sort of reaffirms my faith in humanity.

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