I Might Be Overthinking This…

Overthinking.

We’re all guilty of it. But no matter how much of a habit it may be in your life, you need to make every effort to end it now to avoid detrimental repercussions. Most twenty-somethings these days analyze every period of every sentence of every text sent to their crush. When they receive a reply, each emoji is interpreted for any hidden meaning, and if the task is too much to handle alone, the group message of best friends is typically consulted. There’s a panic of “what does this mean?” or “how should I reply to this?” and the conversation just becomes fake and unnatural. There’s a reason that person texted you and not your best friend; that person wants a reply from YOU, not some compilation of input from the 12 people who received your screenshots. Be genuine. Next time you begin to analyze and dwell on meaningless details, think of what you’re really doing to yourself.

You are no longer yourself. When you pick apart every detail of a conversation or every moment of your last encounter, you become something you’re not. Don’t read into body language or mentally replay every second of a date or job interview; all that will do is increase the stress you put on yourself trying to be flawless, and that will come across as uncomfortable and unnatural.

You waste enormous amounts of time. One of the dumbest (yet strangely popular) trends in texting is feeling the need to wait a certain amount of time to reply. Sure, you don’t want to seem overeager and send the wrong vibe, but if you like the person what’s so bad about letting them know you’re interested and committed to the conversation? Even more time is spent reflecting on the past, or preparing for every possible future scenario, and quite frankly, it’s exhausting and useless.

You live under the weight of regret. The past is the past and there’s nothing you can do to change that. It is utterly pointless to waste time wishing you could rewrite history. Stop dwelling on previous decisions and learn to live in the moment.

You become swallowed by self-doubt. Each time you type, erase, and retype a text message, you’re questioning your judgement and chipping away at your self-assurance. When you second guess yourself and become reliant on the approval of others, the self-doubt multiplies until you can’t find enough confidence to simply be yourself.

You avoid thinking about your feelings. Wait, overthinkers avoid thinking? You heard me. Overanalyzing your behavior or the behavior of others distracts from the real issues at hand. Stop trying to figure if that text was flirtatious and instead decide how you feel about that person. Stop replaying the embarrassing moment from your job interview and think about your feelings toward possibly working for that company. If you’re going to spend your valuable time thinking, at least think about things that matter.

You stress yourself out over the future. In some ways, overthinkers live in fear of making the wrong choices. Put an end to the “what if” scenarios playing on repeat in your mind and spend your time and thoughts more productively. There is a difference between being prepared for a situation and having a scripted mental image of exactly how the situation will play out.

Feeling an overwhelming sense of pressure or doubt with others can be a result of overthinking, and can sometimes be a red flag to warn you that you’re not comfortable in that relationship, friendship, or work environment. When you overthink, you stop being yourself; you put up a fake front to mask your insecurities and ultimately end up deceiving those you desire to get to know. How can anyone truly get to know the real you if you don’t act like yourself or speak your own words? Put an end to the overthinking and let your true colors shine through. Be confident in yourself and your decisions.

-V

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