“The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed,” wrote Bethany Brookbank.
Overthinking sounds like a simple problem.
Unfortunately, if you give it a second look, you will see it is anything but. Our world is just not made for over-thinkers. It is made for not-so-thoughtful doers.
An overactive mind can easily miss the best opportunities. The result is anxiety, and an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt. Being a chronic overthinker is difficult. Loving one can be even more so.
Here are 16 things you should know if your loved one is an over-thinker:
1. Telling your partner to stop overthinking is as useless as telling them to stop breathing.
If anything, doing this will only lead to more overthinking about overthinking. This meta overthinking is like a vicious circle. A way out is to suggest your partner that they should stop making a mountain out of a molehill.
2. Word choice is important to an over-thinker.
When you are having a world with him or her, try to make yourself as clear as possible, or else you risk exacerbating the problem. Honesty and transparency are appreciated.
3. Your actions must be consistent with your words, values, and identity.
Otherwise, all three will be doubted. Your over-thinker needs to be sure of who you are. That said, you should be careful if you ever decide to play even the most innocent joke on him or her. The consequences may be hard to predict.
4. Project confidence in your relationship.
Your partner will pick up on this and feel safer and more secure. This can help to alleviate their racing thoughts and keep them in the moment. Stop overthinking your relationship. Enjoy the nice time you are having together instead of worrying about what may happen in the future.
5. Over-thinking can often lead to pessimism.
Your partner will appreciate someone who shows them the bright side of life. From time to time you’ve got to remind them of that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.
6. Commitment may come more slowly with an over-thinker.
Give them time and space to come around. Rushing them will only cause more doubt and anxiety. You may also need to reassure them of your feelings every now and then. Even if you two get on like a house on fire, your overthinking partner may still get possessed by doubts about the future.
7. Encourage your partner to do their over-thinking out loud.
Offer to act as a non-judgmental sounding board. Verbalizing a worry can help their brain cope with it more effectively. This exercise also increases trust and understanding.
8. An over-thinker will always notice and appreciate the good things that you do for them.
They are unlikely to take your good deeds for granted. In fact, they might appreciate your efforts like nobody else ever has. That’s one of the nicest things about being in a relationship with such a person.
9. An over-thinker is easily overwhelmed.
Give your partner time and space to process the information they are bombarded with every day. Otherwise they may just block off and withdraw into themselves.
10. It can be difficult to get an over-thinker out of their own head.
I mean, most of the time they are preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings. If you manage to do it, however, you can rest assured that you’ve really made a difference in their life.
11. Spontaneity may seem romantic, but it isn’t a good idea if you are in a relationship with an overthinker.
So as to feel confident and at ease in a particular situation, they need to have planned it well in advance.
12. Try not to become irritated if your over-thinker needs constant reassurance.
It means they are happy with you and they are afraid lest they may lose you. That said, you may gently try to boost their self confidence.
13. Details are important to an over-thinker.
They need to know as much background information as possible so as to clearly see the bigger picture. At the beginning It may seem tedious, but in the long run it will pay off for you both.
14. They have no more control over the way their brain processes information than you have over your ability to see colors or hear musical tones.
It’s a part of them. To put it more simply, they just can’t help overthinking stuff.
15. An over-thinker will ask more questions than most.
It can be easy to take these as accusations. Don’t worry – they’re not. Over-thinkers just need more information than others do to feel secure. Because of their natural attention to the detail and highly-developed analytical skills, they usually make good detectives or forensic scientists.
16. Their mind is sometimes playing tricks on them.
They don’t need you to do the same.
“Overthinking, also, best known as creating problems that are never there,” wrote David Sikhosana.
Unfortunately, these problems are very real to your partner. Even if your partner is aware of the fact that they are over-thinking, this does nothing to slow their thoughts and lessen their anxiety.
Your patience, consistency, and trust, however, can do wonders to improve their emotional balance.