Hi, my name is Emma and I’m an overthinker. I excel at the art of over-analyzing every tiny detail, including all the ones you haven’t even considered. Exhausted doesn’t even cover my normal state of being. I constantly vibrate with anxiety from overthinking every aspect of every interaction with my fellow humanoids.
My fellow overthinkers will know that this ability to over-scrutinize every detail of our lives is actually a blessing in disguise. Every exam, every quirk in a friendship, every time a guy took more than 24 hours to text us back, and that time I bought enough Chinese take out to feed an army and the cashier judged me – all events that are up for over analysis. Our brains are always calculating and then re-calculating. And then again, just in case.
If you’re also an over-thinker, you’ll be familiar with the following life truths:
THE TORTURE THAT IS WAITING TO HEAR BACK AFTER A JOB INTERVIEW
Sometimes you’ll be interviewed by a fellow over-thinker, and they’ll be an all round awesome human and understand that the struggle is real. They’ll call you or email you to let you know that you did or did not get the job instead of leaving you hanging (also known as the Emma-isn’t-leaving-the-house-or-getting-dressed-today position). BLESS THEM they understand.
THE AGONY THAT IS A MULTIPLE CHOICE EXAM
I’m a pretty great student. I get decent grades. But I am guaranteed a meltdown in a multiple choice situation. There are actually just too many choices. Even if I know the answer is C) 4 I will second guess myself until I’ve got myself convinced that the answer to 2+2 is actually A) 0. And when they throw in the “none of the above” or “all of the above” I feel like running and screaming. Maybe if I stare at the answers for long enough, the correct option will reveal itself before I go cross eyed?
THE UTTER CONFUSION THAT IS AN EYE EXAM
If ever it was possible to fail an eye exam, I think I’ve done it. Which one is clearer? I can’t tell you – they’re almost identical! And the machine that puffs the air into your eyeball to test for glaucoma? Kill. Me. Now. Surely with the way technology is, it would be easier for someone to invent a machine than scans my eyeballs and tells me what prescription I need? And don’t even get me started on choosing a new pair of glasses!
THE STRESS THAT IS COMMITTING TO A NAIL COLOUR
I literally can’t even. How am I supposed to choose between two almost identical colours? Is this one more pink-ish than this one? What about the yellow nail fad a few years ago? Should I? Will it just look like I have zombie fingers? And what about a French mani? Is it grown up or boring? No one actually knows.
THE ANXIETY OF WAITING FOR AN EMAIL
Yes I only sent it twenty minutes ago, but seriously with each passing second I grow more and more nervous the the recipient of my words read it, laughed maniacally and then hit the dreaded delete button. The anxiety only grows if I’m pitching to editors. The delay of reply, or worse not even getting a reply is just an unspeakable amount of anxiety and terror.
WHEN YOUR CRUSH DOESN’T REPLY FOR TWO DAYS STRAIGHT
You know, sometimes I wonder why I waste my wit on crushes. They’re not worthy, especially when they read your message on Facebook, or Whatsapp and then DON’T REPLY FOR TWO DAYS. It’s the worst, as my friends will tell you. My level of over-thinking only increases the longer the reply takes to come. I can see that you read the message, so why wait? Unless you don’t get my sense of humor in which case I’m just gonna go die, like right now.
THE SHEER JOY FROM BEING SOMEWHERE SO STIMULATING YOU CAN ESCAPE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS
The best dates I’ve ever been on involve someplace where my brain is so stimulated that I can escape my own thoughts and actually relax. Future dates take note, if you take me someplace where I don’t have to be so mind-numbingly introspective then I’m yours forever.
THE STRESS FROM CRYPTIC BOOK OR MOVIE ENDINGS
You know the ones. They have a “maybe death” at the end. Like, MAYBE the protagonist died, but you can’t really tell because it was written in the first person and unless that character turned into a ghost and is telling their story from beyond the grave then you can’t be sure. So you’re left to assume/stalk through fandom sites/trawl Goodreads reviews until you have a general consensus that you’re semi-comfortable with.
THE CRUELTY OF A ONE WORD TEXT
Seriously? You’re killing me. What did I do? Have I said/done/not done/not said something to upset you? I know you hate me, obvi because you just said “Sure” and that was it. But whyyyyyyyy? It’s actually eating my soul.
THE EVIL OF NON-COMMITTAL TEXTS FROM YOUR DATE
The end of the evening “I had a great time” says that all things are a go-go, he probably likes you right? Right. But then you get a text and its all tauntingly “Lets keep in touch” because WHAT EVEN DOES THAT MEAN?? It’s the most formal way to end a date ever. It’s something like my boss would say when he’s given me half instructions on something. Seriously, I’m not holding out hope I’m ever seeing you again if you send me that text.
WHEN PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT SORRY MEANS TO US
When over-thinkers say we’re sorry, then we’re REALLY sorry. It means we’ve stopped and thought about our actions in minute detail, and how those actions have affected others, and what it means to the guy walking past when we had that argument and you said that thing and then I called you that other thing. If your feelings were hurt by something I said, what you didn’t see is the hours I spent going over and over every single word that was said during our fight, and what those words meant. Believe me, the apology is more painful than the argument for us.
THE JOYS OF PROS AND CONS LISTS
I make them for everything. I have a separate notebook for just pros/cons lists. I did it for big things, like when I bought my ca and my house. I did it when I met my ex. I did it when we broke up. I did it before I joined Tinder. I did it when I quit Tinder. I do it before I purchase something different on my shopping list (and yes, I have a separate notebook for all my other lists).
THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE THAT IS MEDITATION
Sit crossed legged and let your mind go blank?
All the lols.
REREADING EVERY SINGLE TWEET TO WORK OUT WHY SOMEONE UNFOLLOWED YOU
Yep, I’m a new level of crazy. But serious. Was the it one about the hot tradies at my new office, or was it the one about my gross coffee? Or is it just my overall Twitter essence? Whyyyyyyy?
THE STRANGE RED SPOT ON MY SHOULDER
Cancer? A bump? A rash? OMG AM I DYING?! Let’s make this problem worse by spending some quality time with WebMD huh?
THE INTENSE RANGE OF EMOTIONS WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU TO LET IT GO
This is the ultimate insult for over-thinkers. If we could just “let it go” then we would have a long time ago. We don’t LIKE being like this, but it’s just how we do. We will also over-think why you think we should “let it go” because that’s how our over-analytic brains work ok? Obviously if I just “let it go” then I won’t discover some new understanding of the situation. Or there might be a different outcome if I just obsess over it a little longer.