There is no switch-off button in there — it’s a constant cycle of thoughts. Image: NBC.
We think there’s a hidden meaning in everything.
Look at that car. I like it. I mean the color could be a bit brighter. I wonder how much it costs. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to afford a car. How much money do I have in my bank account now? When is pay day? Oh look, that dog is cute…
Welcome to the mind of an over-thinker, otherwise known as someone who has too many tabs open in their brain at all times. There is no switch-off button in there — it’s a constant cycle of thoughts (note the plural).
Sure, as a human, we all have a brain, and we all use them (some more than others). But there are specific types of people that use their brain a lot. Too much. All the time. As one of these people — an over-thinker — it can be exhausting just being in your own head. So. Many. Thoughts.
Here are six things only over-thinkers will understand:
1. RSVP-ing ‘no’ is stressful.
You can’t just reply to an event if you’re not going to be able to make it. You can’t just hit the “not attending” button and go on your merry way.
If you can’t attend an event (even if it’s a friend of your cousin’s aunt), you worry. You wonder if the host is going to hate you, if you’re letting them down, if you should re-arrange your schedule so you can squeeze three events into one night — which you usually try to do, only to barely be present at any.
After the night, you’ll probably think about how you could’ve managed that better.
2. We need replies to all our messages.
Seriously, if we don’t get a reply within minutes of texting you, all the scenarios run through our head:
Are you dead?
Did we do something wrong to make you mad?
Did the text send?
Is my phone working?
Maybe I sent it to the wrong number. *checks sent message* No, I sent it to them, why haven’t they replied?
What have I done wrong?
3. We think there’s a hidden meaning in everything.
Your barista was less friendly than usual…Are you not on good terms anymore? Maybe something has happened in his/her life. You wonder what might’ve happened. Should you have asked them? Maybe they thought you were rude for not caring. Maybe they didn’t want you to ask because they just wanted to deal with it themselves. Maybe they were just really deep in thought and didn’t notice you were there. Maybe you should’ve seemed more upbeat. Your coffee wasn’t as good today either. Is that related?
4. Writing a message to anyone at anytime is torture.
You mull over every phrase, word, letter, and emoji that you put in a text, note, email, Facebook post — anything that is a message from you. Because people might take it the wrong way, or maybe they won’t get your sense of humor. If you put a smiley face, will that work better than a wink? Two kisses at the end might be too full-on; maybe you should just stick to one. Do you use proper punctuation? An exclamation mark might seem too keen. If they used an ellipsis, do they want a reply or are they ending the conversation…
Then we’ll probably delete the message and start again, because we’ve overthought it so much we’ve forgotten what we were trying to say in the first place.
5. Ordering from a menu makes us anxious.
Do I feel like chicken or steak? Do I feel like mushrooms or greens? What about creamy sauces or something with a tomato base? Let’s stop and try to listen to our taste buds — I don’t know. They want lots of things.
Do I want carbs or a salad? Maybe I can get a salad and then fries on the side. Should I get a side — maybe I want a drink instead? Do I feel like a filling drink or something refreshing…? Alcoholic or non-alcoholic? What does my brain want? What about my tummy? I know I’m going to get food envy; I wish someone would share with me so I didn’t have to choose.
6. We (morbidly) imagine people’s death.
Honestly, if we get too much time in our own head, this is where our thoughts lead to: loved ones dying. You wonder what would happen if [insert loved one] died. They’d have a funeral, of course. Where would it be? Would I speak? What would I say? You make up the speech in your head. Who else would be there? Who would you talk to? How would you react? You think about the times you would speak about and remember from your relationship with that person.
You’d then start crying and think, Geez, that would be really sad.
And you feel shaken about it for a while… Even though it hasn’t happened.
And now we’ll probably go and over think this list of all the things we usually think about — and why we think about them and why we think so much and we’ll wonder what it’s like not to be an over-thinker and then imagine being inside the brain of a non-over-thinker for a day…
Did we miss any? What else do over-thinkers understand?