The other day I saw on a favorite facebook page a picture with the text: “I’m indecisive because I see eight sides to everything.”
Over thinking things can be paralyzing. Over thinking things can be guilt inducing.
Over thinking can make it hard to interact with other people. Over thinking can mean worrying that what you will say because you can see the many ways that it could be misinterpreted. It can also mean saying something thinking it is clear as can be only to discover no one listening can understand it because they haven’t thought about the three steps it took for you to get to that clear-as-day thought.
How much should I let others know I over think things, or how much should I keep that hidden? If I’m trying to keep it hidden, do I need to over think things to disguise the fact I over think things? It is scary to say “I think I think differently than most people.” It sounds like a judgement on myself or other people even if it isn’t meant that way.
Over thinking things can make life stressful, but it isn’t something easy to to turn on and off. Here are a few of the things I have found do help:
- Work slowly on developing just a few friendships. With each friend it takes a while to feel comfortable.
- Give myself plenty of time and space between group events.
- Remind myself constantly that I don’t have to be perfect. It is okay for me to make decisions that I know by certain standards are wrong decisions.
Being a mother homeschooling at least one serious over-thinker, I’m torn constantly between wanting to correct his social blunders and being scared that doing so will be passing on to him the anxiety issues I suffer with. I know I need to help him learn social norms, so he can function within society, but when social norms aren’t clear cut easy for me to understand and he’s someone who challenges every boundary and thinks out every implication and loophole it is hard.
Having community is helps. A friend saying “stop” or “please don’t do that” is easier for the over thinking child to deal with then to try to wrap his head around why something is or isn’t right. Having friends I know will be around tomorrow and the next day and the day after helps assure me that even though I can see how I am constantly, in some way or other, wrong on something, it doesn’t make me a bad person.
Having community around helps to deal with the over-thinking, even while the over-thinking makes it harder to have community around.