Overthinking isn’t just asking yourself if you left the coffee pot on.
Overthinking can easily become an obsessive behavior, linked with anxiety, depression, and a handful of other mental illnesses. It’s subconscious, and for the most part, an overthinker doesn’t even realize they’re over thinking – it’s just how their mind works.
For overthinkers, one of the biggest struggles is explaining to people what you’re overthinking about or why you’re behaving the way you are. Because from the outside looking in, it might not be obvious.
Here are some things people don’t realize you’re doing because you’re an overthinker:
1. Avoiding Conflict As Much As Possible
Overthinkers don’t like conflict. Not with themselves, not with the people around them, not anywhere. Conflict causes anxiety, it leads to questions, worries, concerns, fears… It makes overthinkers extremely uncomfortable because it gives them something to overthink about. So, if you’re wondering why someone shuts down the second a conflict arises, it might be because they’re an overthinker and it’s just too much.
When your mind is racing with thoughts, sometimes your body tries to keep up. You feel like you need to move. This can lead to fidgeting, tapping, humming, hair twirling, and a bunch of other psychical manifestations. It’s one response to overthinking that can be seen from the outside in.
3. Asking Too Many Questions
It’s harder to overthink things when you know all the facts. That’s why overthinkers are constantly asking questions. Because if they know all the facts, there’s less to worry or think about.
4. Religiously Sticking to Plans
Overthinkers like to have a plan set out. In their head, they’re thinking about every aspect of this plan. Every detail needs to run through their brain so they can evaluate risks, reduce stress, and make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. That’s why they tend to panic or get visibly upset when plans change. Try to understand this is hard for them.
5. Writing Things Down
Often times, writing things down is the only way to get things off their mind. Even if just for a little while. Overthinkers will make lists, mark things on calendars, and schedule out their days as best as they can. It’s on behavior that helps keep thoughts from taking over.
6. Apologizing, Constantly
I’m sorry for saying sorry so much, but it’s something overthinkers do on a regular basis. It’s because they worry, constantly, that someone might be upset, disappointed, angry, or annoyed, even if there’s no reason for it. And there’s no other logical thing for them to do but say sorry. They just want things to be better so they can stop thinking about it.
7. Overreacting To Nothing
Not all overthinkers overreact, but it’s a pretty common trend. It stems from insecurity, worry, and a desire for everything to be perfect. And when it’s not, there can be a bit of an explosion of emotion. We’re not doing it intentionally, it’s almost like a defense mechanism.
8. Obsessively Googling Things
Feeling sick? Stressing about the weather? Planning a trip? There’s a 100% chance you’re Googling everything about it until you’ve read every page on the Internet. Why? Because overthinkers need answers. They want reassurance that everything is fine, so they can stop obsessing over it and try to move on. The good news is, they’re usually experts on a number of illnesses or natural disasters.
9. Creeping Social Media Like The FBI
People who overthink constantly jump to the worst-case scenario. Logical thinking gets thrown to the wind. So if we need information to put our thoughts at ease, we’re turning to social media like a pro. This stems from insecurity or the idea that something is wrong, sometimes even FOMO (fear of missing out). Regardless, social media allows us to try and validate our thoughts, or put them to rest.
10. Always Looking for Hidden Messages
For the most part, people say what they mean. If they’re tired, they’ll let you know. But for an overthinker, everything has to be a cryptic message. If a text doesn’t have a happy face, they must be mad. If they don’t smile at you, they hate you. If you’re not invited, it’s because you’re a loser. Overthinkers will obsess over everything, trying to find the “true meaning” when in fact, there isn’t one.
11. Seeking Reassurance
Being an overthinker is hard. You’re constantly worried things are wrong. You fear you’re not good enough. It’s hard to decipher reality from imagination. This leads overthinkers to seek validation or reassurance. They need to be told things because they won’t assume them on their own. So if you love an overthinker, tell them! If you know someone is feeling insecure, offer them reassurance. It’s not hard to make them feel comfortable in their own head.
Read more about this at thoughtcatalog.com.