Overanalyzing is an easy thing to do. It usually starts with a social situation that you might not have understood, and it grows and manifest into self-doubt, negativity, and panic. Overanalyzing situations can make things worse or create tension when there wasn’t any before. By pinpointing this trait in ourselves, we may be able to stop it in its tracks.
I remember in my younger days when I started dating. I would meet a great guy, have a few dates, and really start to like him. But my anxious overanalyzing brain would kick in and I would start to question everything. If he didn’t call right away, I started to worry he was never going to call. When he said “goodbye” instead of “see you later” I would question whether that meant he didn’t want to see me again. Listing these incidents like this makes me sound crazy and very clingy. The trouble with overanalyzing is that everyone has fallen victim to it in different ways. Maybe your boss didn’t smile at you when you passed them in the hall, so you begin to question that maybe they hate you or maybe you’re getting fired, etc. Or it could be that your best friend hasn’t called you to spend time together for a few days. You start to stress and worry that maybe your friendship is over, that maybe she’s mad at you or she’s found new, better friends. But, in reality, your boss probably just had something on their mind, and maybe your friend was waiting for you to call them.
It’s so easy to fall into overanalyzing a social situation, especially if you’re a highly-strung or anxious person (like myself). The trick is to not let it take over you. It can be hard to turn it off completely, but if you work on it over time, you’ll realize that it will become easier and easier. When you catch yourself starting to overanalyze a situation, stop to empathize with the other person’s situation. So maybe your new boyfriend hasn’t called. Instead of jumping to conclusions of disinterest, think about why he might not have called yet. He might have worked late, or had a really stressful day and is tired, or it could be as simple as this: he forgot. Most people are forgetful. If you reverse the situation, I’m sure you can remember how many times you forgot to call/do something you planned on doing. By putting yourself in another person’s shoes, you might find the underlying cause of that situation you were beginning to overanalyze. I’ll give you a recent example: the office I work in is set up like a bullpen. There is this guy at work who I think is so hot, and I see him everyday while sitting at my desk. When I started working with my company, he and I were part of a team working on a project. I thought for sure sometimes he was checking me out, but I knew there was no way that hot of a guy would be interested in me. Since the pandemic stated we have been working from home and I have been very lonely. I went on a dating app just to check out the action; and there was his profile. I sent him a message just for the hell of it. I thought we would have a good laugh that we know each other, and we happen to be on this app. To cut a long story short, we sort of hit it off. One day he called me at home (he got my number from the employee contact list at work). For the last six months, he has called me, or I have called him in the evening, and sometimes we chat on the phone for hours. About a month ago, he didn’t call, so I called him, and he didn’t pick up. I called him and left several messages and nothing. So of course, there I was spiraling. I convinced myself that I was right in the first place – how could a hottie like him have any interest in me. I couldn’t tell you how many scenarios I came up with for why he wanted nothing to do with me. I finally stopped calling him and resigned myself to the fact that I was an idiot. Then one day, I got a text from him. He apologized for not getting back to me sooner. There was an issue at his parents’ home (won’t get into details), and he had to fly home to help out.
Remember, sometimes the best way to stop yourself from overanalyzing is to take a minute to breathe. By taking a second and calming yourself, you can stop the anxiety and stress that is causing the overanalyzing. In the end, by letting these things go and stop the worry, you will see that most unexplainable, awkward, or negative social situations are misunderstandings and have nothing to do with you. In the end, don’t sweat the small stuff.
1 : If you are a worrywart, it’s very easy to overanalyse most things.
2 : Overanalyzing reveals your most unresolved fears.
3 : “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is one way to prevent overanalyzing.Category: Stressors/Stress / Subcategory: Overanalyzing Handicap
Tags: self-doubt, negativity, panic, anxiety, worry, spiraling, calm, misunderstanding