Great thinkers brought this world from the stone age to modern technology. These men and women were the movers and shakers of their time, and their influence is perpetual. A critical mind can be one of your greatest strengths, but being an overthinker can hamper your life.
Fourteen Behaviors That Reveal an Overthinker
Why do people believe that if you worry enough about a problem, it will bring resolve? Not only is overanalyzing and rumination unhelpful, but it can prevent you from solving a problem. Being a chronic worrywart can stand in your way of rewarding opportunities and enriching your life.
How do you know if you overthink? Are you making decisions and taking other situations far too seriously? Here are 14 behaviors that overthinkers display.
1. An Overthinker Will Fuss More Than They Act
If you’re an overthinker, you may spend more time worrying over decisions than doing things. Your mind is too preoccupied with gathering facts and weighing options that you can’t get anything accomplished. Each scenario must be played and replayed so you can explore the best outcome.
The problem is that some of your concerns may not be valid. Until you act upon your thought processes, you can’t move on and be productive. Action is just as crucial as analyzing.
2. Letting Go is Difficult for You
Your time is valuable, and you often use excessive amounts as an overthinker. Consequently, you usually have difficulties releasing ideas and assumptions, even though they’re not working for you. You form an attachment, and you may feel like it’s “giving up” if you let them go.
Even when you’re convinced that you’ve moved on, the nagging sensation may linger. What if you were right about your analysis in the first place? Constantly second-guessing yourself can make you weary.
3. You Read Things into People’s Actions if You’re an Overthinker
Overthinking not only compels you to question yourself, but it’ll also make you second-guess other people. In his article published by Psychology Today, Dr. Jason Plaks discusses the human tendency to “read things” into others’ actions. You often infer traits to people just by observing a single activity, explains Plaks.
You may also be prone to ruminate on what people say. Even the most innocent statement may get your brain’s wheels cranking. Were those words hidden meanings, or were they trying to fool you?
Let’s say a coworker says that they were impressed with a project you recently finished. Instead of expressing gratitude for their comment, you may mull it over in your mind. Were they trying to say that your project was subpar or that you don’t often do things successfully?
4. Finding Solutions Make You Ecstatic
Of course, everyone is glad when they’ve finally solved a problem. One of the reasons it takes you over the moon is how long you fixated before the answer hit you. Unfortunately, you may soon doubt the solution and create more problems in your mind.
5. An Overthinker Might Use Organization to Procrastinate
If you’re an overthinker, you may dread making essential decisions. In fact, making decisions may cause you stress and anxiety. So, you draw the thinking process out to delay the inevitable.
The excuse that worriers often give is that they need to consider all aspects of the problem. While making informed decisions is wise, they take it to the extreme. This behavior may be one of the procrastination tactics that you don’t realize you do.
6. You Always Need More Information
Many of life’s decisions require careful research and consideration. It’s like the old proverb admonishes you to look before you leap. The challenge for overthinkers is that they often treat all decisions as if their life depends on them.
For example, one of your friends invites you to a new restaurant in town. It’s not a life-or-death decision, but you may overthink it. You need to know all about it before committing as the unknown leads to excessive worrying.
So, you play a game of 1000 questions like who owns the place, how they cook their food or the type of clientele they serve. If you decide to go, you spend excessive fuss over what to order. Such overthinking is not only frustrating for you, but it also tries the patience of your family and friends.
7. You Need to Know Why
There’s nothing wrong with a healthy sense of curiosity. Without it, there would be no innovation and progress in the world. It’s good to not only know what you do but why you do it.
Questioning why it is beneficial to solve complicated problems or have difficult discussions. The meanings of these situations go beyond the surface. However, some situations are straightforward, and overthinking makes them more complicated than they should be.
An example may be how crucial it is to ask questions before signing a document. You don’t need the same scrutiny if you sign for a restaurant reservation. Asking “why” to everything may signify that you have difficulty prioritizing your decisions.
8. You’re Very Patient
If there’s one thing that mulling over everything has taught you, it’s patience. You may feel comfort in knowing that you’ve considered every angle. It doesn’t bother you to carefully check and recheck every fact and process.
Your over-diligence may be a virtue to you, but it can also be a stumbling block, especially when you need to make quick decisions. By the time you finish debating each point in your mind, you can miss out on opportunities. You’re afraid to take risks, but they can often be worth it.
9. You Assume that People Know Your Thoughts
As an overthinker, you may have constant chattering in your brain. Just because you can hear your mind weighing options doesn’t mean others can listen to it. You may encounter a lot of misunderstandings when you assume that people know what you’re thinking.
If you don’t communicate with them, they can’t read your mind. How can you be upset with your partner for choosing if you didn’t register your opinion? Over-analyzing things can create an illusion that everyone else is on your wavelength.
10. You’re Constantly Analyzing Others
Getting to know people is an essential part of socialization and relationships. You may wonder what it’s like to get into somebody’s head. Although, if you over-analyze people in your circle, it can be more damaging to a relationship than beneficial.
Part of loving another is accepting them. You don’t always need to know what they’re thinking or why. If the relationship is kind and mutually beneficial, let some things be a mystery.
11. You Want to Rest Your Mind
Being a person who fusses over everything can be mentally and physically draining. Even though you thrive on over-analyzing, you still long to rest your brain for a while. At some point, you’ll realize that the world won’t stop, even if you take a break from thinking.