I followed a Facebook link to this article tonight. This line totally stood out to me:
Thinking “too much” about things would become a character flaw.
What people who know me need to understand is that when I hear the well-intended thought that I’m over-thinking, that’s how it comes across to me.
What I’ve gradually come around to is that over-thinking isn’t the right way to “frame” it, because while it might technically be true, it’s not helpful.
I’ve decided the real problem isn’t that I’m thinking too much, It’s that I’m feeling too little.
Even before this mess, my decisions were usually based more on intellect than emotion. However, when I often don’t have feelings about something, the only thing I have left is intellect.
Consider that I’m already self-conscious about my intellectual ability. Being told that I’m over-thinking (which carries the natural implication that I should think less) leads me to focus on the wrong thing.
The reason why that’s an important distinction is that thinking too much sounds like a character flaw. I can make the choice to control how much I think, so the thing I naturally infer from the over-thinking comments is that I should choose to think less. That sounds/feels exactly like the anti-intellectual garbage I had to learn how to tune out while I was growing up. Also, one of the techniques I learned over the years was to never ever over-value myself (which means that I often under-value myself, especially to other people).
If I’m over-thinking, it’s me using the only skill I know how to use to compensate for situations when I’m under-feeling. This is coming from a man who didn’t realize how much he used his emotions before, so I’m just now figuring this out.