Over-thinkers Anonymous: WHY ME WITH ALL THIS THINKING???
Have you ever wondered why you are an over-thinker? What hyperactive glitch in the neurological system caused you to be this way? Is it genetics, parenting, or because of that time you shut your head in the door?
I’m sure you’ve thought long and hard about how you have become the person that you are (and if you haven’t, you are cured - CONGRATULATIONS). Perhaps you have grilled family members on their capacity for many-layered-thoughts, or tracked back to a traumatic childhood moment that seemed to change you from a simple thinking radish to a complex bag of onions.
The bad news for those who love a simple answer is that there are undoubtedly several influencing factors that have contributed to how your brain functions. Of course there are genetic elements. You were born with just the right variables then had just the right triggers. And naturally we can lay some blame on parenting (can’t we always?!), life experiences, and the negative reward system our brain inexplicably devised to motivate our endless ruminating and analysing.
Regardless of how each individual developed their thinking patterns, there are a few characteristics that are common between over-thinkers. If you are an over-thinker:
You remember thinking deeply about things from a young age.
You have a good memory. Not necessarily for names, dates or places but people often say they can’t believe you remember certain moments, details or conversations from so long ago. When people go ‘OH MY GOD THAT IS SO FUNNY, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU REMEMBER THAT!!” it’s fab but sometimes holding that many memories is torturous. Don’t wish you had a neuralyzer (Men In Black) that could wipe out all those memories of regret and trauma because THEY NEVER GO AWAY?!
You notice more of what is going on in a room than most people. You get surprised at a restaurant when no one else on your table has realised the couple in the corner are having an argument, or that the waitress seems nervous around the boss, or that your friend just got offended by an off-the-cuff comment someone made.
Sometimes people stare at you blankly because they don’t know what you are talking about even though it seems all quite clear and obvious to you.
You seem to be either reeling in empathy, taking on all the feels everyone is having around you, or made of ice (because you are completely over-thinking the situation and can’t connect to the emotion of it).
You have a high-sensitivity for people’s facial expressions, tone of voice, or hidden meaning.
You have been described as sensitive, analytical, observational, and a good listener. You have probably also been described as a bit nuts, high maintenance, a pushover, or wound up real tight (people are such assholes!).
You find it hard to get to sleep, or you wake in the night and stay awake for hours. You can experience elaborate dreams or terrifying nightmares.
You are prone to anxiety and catastrophising.
You are prone to procrastination…and perfectionism.
You can find relationships difficult.
You toggle between wanting to be more stupid and less stupid.
You wonder if you would be more successful if you were not an over-thinker, but then you wonder what ‘more successful’ means and according to whom.
The last common trait of the over-thinker is this:
You are frickin amazing. I know all the self-help books and articles are telling you that over-thinking is a hindrance, an anchor, a handbrake, an obstacle to achieving your dreams etc etc but, think about this, what if it’s not?? What if all these traits are your strength, and you can use them with wisdom and clarity to achieve whatever you want??
I know when you look at the world’s leaders right now it seems over-thinkers (or even sometimes-thinkers) are not highly valued by the general population. But don’t all these powerful brainless goofballs just make us look good?
Now is the time to stand proud, over-thinkers. You solve problems with empathy, understanding of all angles and consideration of others. You can foresee risks and dangers, and can read a room like no one else in it.
I value you. Value yourself and each other and let’s make shit happen…or at least let’s all value ourselves while we start to think about the shit we want to happen...
Read more on Over-thinkers Anonymous….