I just tonight realized that my web log is the perfect place for something I’ve decided I’m going to start doing: making notes each time I notice myself feeling an emotion.
One of the very common comments I get is, “You’re over-thinking.” I’ve said before that’s not true, but I think strictly it is true. The reason why it’s simultaneously frustrating is that the implied fix is for me to think less. The problem is that the reason I’m “over-thinking” is that it’s an effort to compensate for me not feeling (so, it’s often the only way I’m able to process something). I think that most American men “over-think” in an effort to “drown out” feelings that they’ve been conditioned to believe are wrong. For those men, thinking less is an appropriate instruction, because it allows feelings more room to work.
However, I don’t believe that feelings are “bad”. I’m not thinking more in an effort to “drown out” the feelings. I’m doing it because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be processing <whatever it is> at all. So, for me, thinking less about something usually translates to processing it less. While it’s probably true that I need to “think less” about many things, the reason is because I need to feel more about those things. For me (unlike for most men), thinking less about something doesn’t result in me feeling more about it. The focus should be on me feeling more instead of thinking less. “Think less” sounds a lot like the common anti-intellectual crap that pisses me off so much.