Imagine you get a text message from someone you like, and it says: "heyyy." You see the message, and your heart starts to beat a little faster. You're about to respond, but then you realize you might seem too eager. However, you don't want to wait too long because you might seem disinterested. As you're waiting, you start to wonder what you should say. If you say "hi," is that going to seem too abrupt and uninviting? If you say "hey," should you also put 3 "y"s? If you put the same number of "y"s, are they going to notice that you copied them and be weirded out? Come to think of it, why did that person put 3 "y"s? Is that just how they say "hey" or are they trying to be extra affectionate?
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to what it's like inside my brain.
Now, writing an article like this is not easy for two reasons. Firstly, whenever I'm writing anything, I'm always overanalyzing it in some capacity. This overanalyzation can be over diction choice, predicting my audience's reaction, how I structured sentences and many other aspects. While it is a bit of a strenuous process, I'm usually satisfied with the final product. The second reason has to do with accurate articulation. In other words, I believe that it's nearly impossible to accurately convey how you're feeling without someone actually being you. Thus, trying to get as close to perfect in expressing my thoughts and experiences is a difficult challenge. However, it's one that I'm ready to tackle.
While the intro gave you a sample of what it can be like in my mind, it doesn't stop there. For me, the part of my brain that overanalyzes feels like a rogue robot. Once I start overanalyzing, it's tough to stop thoughts from popping up. It's akin to the scene in "Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone" when Harry's house was bombarded with thousands of Hogwarts letters. From within 30 minutes of waking up to the time I go to sleep, it's an ongoing process. It's gotten so bad at times that there were moments where I've had to tell myself, out loud, to shut up because I couldn't stop overanalyzing.
Overanalyzation has also made me an indecisive person, at times. Whether it's deciding what to eat, who to text when I'm bored, how to respond to a discussion board, or something else, I always find myself at a standstill on making decisions.
While overanalyzation can have its cons, there are some upsides. Firstly, overanalyzation has allowed me to remain cognizant of the different sides of an argument. For instance, let's take a topic like voicing your opinion. On the one hand, I believe that it's important to speak freely and be candid about how you feel. On the other hand, I also realize that one should be respectful of others when voicing their opinion. However, what if expressing how you genuinely feel is interpreted as disrespectful by somebody? Do you take accountability for being disrespectful, or does the person who felt disrespected take ownership? Who determines what's disrespectful and what isn't? Does disrespect vary based on where you are and who you're with? While I may not have the answer to these questions, I view it as a positive that I take all of this into consideration.
Another positive aspect of overanalyzation is that it keeps me occupied when I'm bored. Sometimes I'll introduce an idea in my head and debate it with myself. Sometimes I'll give myself a problem to solve and I'll come up with creative solutions. Other times, if I know I'm going to have a conversation with someone, I'll role-play the conversation. This way, I might be able to anticipate any aspects of a discussion that may arise, so I'm prepared with an answer or rebuttal.
Now, there is a question that I ask myself sometimes: if I could, would I change my habit of overanalyzation? To no surprise, I've put in a lot of thought towards answering this question. While this may sound crazy, I wouldn't change a thing. Despite the stress, indecision, and frustration that it often causes, it's a crucial part of who I am. My overanalyzation has informed almost every decision I've ever made, and I'm happy with where I am today. I think it's helped me view the world in a unique way. For anyone else who overanalyzes everything, just know that you're not alone.