A Normal Person's Guide To Dealing With An Overthinker

A Normal Person's Guide To Dealing With An Overthinker


To those of you out there fortunate enough to be straight forward without a second thought about the impact of what you said or have yet to say, you probably think us overthinkers of the world are insane.

I kind of don't blame you.

So, to ease your navigation of the overthinker's mind, here's a road map to help you out.

We don't overthink every single thing.

Every overthinker probably has their own specific things they overthink, and not everyone will be the same. But there's probably a pattern you can find to help you understand what your overthinker's specifics are. For example: I don't care what anyone thinks about me...but I do care what people I care about think about me. Which makes sense, right? Everyone does this. But an overthinker will complicate that simplicity real quick and make it a huge deal in their minds.

We look at every single possible outcome of what could happen if we do say or do what we're nervous to say or do.

And that's a lot of possibilities. Imagine Robert Frost on steroids, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by." Except instead of two roads, there's a thousand roads, and Robert forgot to tell you which one is the road less traveled by! Thanks Robert, you are a fantastic help.

When we do say or do what we're anxious to say or do, we might freak out.

And by freak out, I mean that I might possibly have thrown my phone across the room after sending that text about that thing that's been weighing on my mind for days or weeks or hours, driving me insane and then run away from it as fast as I could like it was a spider I trapped under a cup or something. Coming back to check if there was a response was about as terrifying as looking to see if the spider had escaped or not. I'm not saying this happened in real life, but I'm not saying it didn't either.

The things we want to say won't just go away if we don't talk about them.

Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling hasn't made an actual pensieve yet, so the thoughts we're overthinking can't just be magically taken out of our heads. Instead they fester there, poking us in the back of our minds like Stitch did to Lilo, "I'M NOT TOUCHING YOU!" But actually, you are.

This can be exhausting.

"What's wrong?" "Nothing." Except I feel crazy! It can be really annoying to overthink things, not just for you, the normal person, but for us the overthinkers. We know you're not dwelling on the thing that won't leave our sanity alone, but that doesn't ease our irrational, over-analytical dissection of exactly what you meant when you said that thing two days ago and what's going to happen if we bring up that we haven't let it go yet...that's a lot of tennis-match-style thoughts, let me tell you. You might be exhausted rehashing it, but we're equally, if not more, exhausted from thinking about it.

Because sometimes our minds are like this:

"But I...and I, and just, and I, I...I just, I don't knoowww, I just, it's like...I won't, I can't, I can't, I don't...I just...and it's...and just, and it's and...and...and ugghhhhh." Which ends with a really heavy sigh. And this is why we're exhausted. We basically just ran a marathon in our minds, you just only caught glimpses of it.

We wish we had an off switch to our brains.

Or at least to the part that overthinks so much and makes our lives miserable and complicated and makes us seem like crazy lunatics who probably need roommates with names like Mac McMurphy, Chief, and Taber. Someone invent this, please.

Sometimes we just want to bang our heads against the wall.

Like what is life right now? I've got Robert Frost throwing a million roads at me, Stitch won't stop not poking me, and the whole Cuckoo's Nest cast is embleming my life better than it should be.

It makes us kind of nervous.

Because when we start overthinking and working ourselves up over nothing, who really wants to deal with that when there are much simpler-minded people out there? We know this. And it only adds to our panic because we don't want to push you away.

And sometimes we just want to cry.

Because why can't we just handle things and think about them normally? Like you? Like everyone else, it seems. Sometimes there are so many thoughts in our heads we feel like we might explode or self combust or internally destruct, and it's too bad steam can't some out of our ears as a warning signal to the pressure and anxiety that's building in our minds. Maybe that would make it easier.

So we're sorry.

It's kind of embarrassing when you're all chill as a cucumber over there, and I'm sitting here debating why you didn't respond to that second question in my text to you. We know it's not always easy to deal with an overthinker, and we promise we would change if we could, but try as we might, we can't change completely, so instead just know we love you for dealing with us!

It's ok to call us out.

It actually makes us feel a lot better if you acknowledge that you know we're overthinking and tell us to stop. My best friend does this all the time, and it makes me laugh then feel relieved that he knows me well enough to know how my mind works and that he accepts it even though I hate it. It eases the tension I'm feeling about the thing I'm overthinking and lifts the weight that's been keeping me from saying it, so that I can finally talk about it freely. Then we joke about how stupid the whole thing was.

We're aware that what we think is a big deal probably actually isn't a big deal.

Once that weight is lifted and we can finally get it off our chests, we know that what we're going to say is probably nothing. No big deal. A five minute conversation that requires two sentences from you, tops. But it's the fact that we got it off of our minds that's huge.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Even if this means laughing at us and telling us we're stupid for not just saying what we want to say or doing what we want to do, we love that you find it funny and not annoying. Thank you for dealing with us and not giving up.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Some people find something that they are naturally good at. Other people find something that they are good at when they put forth a bit of work. Still others, like myself, find something that they just aren’t good at no matter how hard they try, but love it nonetheless. While I may be stuck in mediocrity on the tennis courts, I learned something way more beneficial than how to hit a perfect forehand.

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My entire team ran out on the court and hugged me, and even my opponent’s father came out to congratulate me. He told me that she had been previously undefeated since she always outlasted those that she played against and that he was proud of me for being able to keep going. Four and a half hours after my match started, I walked off the court with a smile on my face and a place in the state competition.

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