Do you analyze and obsess over details that other people don’t? It’s not a bad thing. Being an overthinker makes you one of the most sensitive, thoughtful people around.
But for you, overthinker, it can be taxing to always be—well—thinking. You’re always wondering, did I do the right thing? Is that person mad at me? Am I okay?
If you’re an overthinker, be forewarned. You will feel attacked when you go through the everyday struggles on this list. But, try your best not to overthink as you read them, you overthinker!
1) You strive to be perfect
No one puts more pressure on you than yourself.
You want to do everything right, and by the book. You work hard on your perfection and are always thinking about how you could have done things better.
2) You find it difficult to make decisions
While you know you want to be perfect, you still have a hard time making decisions.
When you have the opportunity to make a choice, you might freeze up. You’ll find it challenging because you want perfection.
As you try to decide, you will then run different scenarios in your head. What if this, then that…
3) You create hypothetical scenarios
The overthinker will wonder about each choice and its outcome.
If I choose this, then this will happen. If I don’t go with this option, then this might occur.
You’ll be exhausted by it all, but you can’t help yourself.
4) You doubt yourself
And even after you’ve made a choice, you’ll still second-guess yourself.
It’s truly a curse.
Overthinkers will doubt themselves because they have a heightened sense of awareness. Even an ounce of uncertainty will make them have doubt.
5) You are hyper aware of everything
From what you sound like to how people perceive you, if you’re an overthinker, you will obsess over everything you see and sense.
Also known as “sensorimotor obsessions,” overthinkers have intense concerns over things that non-overthinkers don’t even realize or notice.
As you obsess, you’ll experience analysis paralysis…
6) You suffer from analysis paralysis
If you’re not familiar what this term means, consider it an overthinker’s spiral.
If you’re an overthinker, you’ll analyze without taking action on a loop during analysis paralysis.
You fear making all the wrong moves, so you just don’t move. Instead of making a decision, you’ll freeze up and think about all the what-ifs.
As an overthinker myself, I have to work hard to snap myself out of my analysis paralysis…
7) You beat yourself up over things
And when I do finally make a decision, if it’s the wrong move, I will beat myself up over it.
I’ll carry regret and shame sometimes as a result of making the wrong decision.
As an overthinker, it’s common to feel this way. After all, you invested so much time and energy running through all the scenarios. You wonder, how could I have made the wrong choice? I thought of everything!
It’s because your natural state is to stress…
8) You easily stress
Even if you made the right choice in a matter, you’ll still stress no matter what.
Whether you’re in a good spot or in a bad one, your baseline emotion is stressed and anxious.
It’s not the best feeling, but you wear your anxiety like an armor. You use it to protect yourself. If you’re prepared for things to go wrong, you can save yourself quicker.
9) You tend to catastrophize
Worst case scenario: that’s where you feel right at home.
Overthinkers always operate like the worst things can happen at any moment.
Luckily, you’ve over-thought these occurrences enough that you’ve planned for every scenario and are prepared to tackle like the perfectionist that you are.
10) You can’t just enjoy the present
Even if you made the right choice in a matter, you’ll still stress no matter what. You can’t enjoy the present.
When life is going well, you have this fear in the back of your mind that it’ll all be taken away in one fell swoop.
And because you can’t enjoy the present, you will affect people in the mix…
11) You impact others around you
When I over-analyze and catastrophize, I can’t help but bring my closest family and friends into my overthinking tornado.
The overthinker can be very intense at times. Unfortunately for our loved ones, the intensity is easy to feel.
You won’t put people at ease when you’re in an analytical spiral. You’ll bring others into the fold.
12) You drain yourself to the point of needing isolation
Like an out-of-body experience, your overthinking will exhaust you.
As you stress, worry, catastrophize, you’ll become so drained that you’ll have no choice but to isolate yourself.
13) You have a hard time falling asleep
And you’d think that overthinking will tire you and help you fall sleep, but it actually does the opposite.
You’ll stay up thinking, running scenarios, and wondering what you could have done differently.
Part of what keeps you up at night is related to how others perceive you…
14) You worry about what people think
You generally want people to like you. That’s why you’re always thinking about how you treat others.
While this is a wonderful quality and makes you very conscientious, it could be challenging and exhausting.
You should worry about yourself first and foremost, but you gravitate towards putting other people first…
15) You worry in general
And when you’re not worrying about other people, you’re still worrying about everything else.
You want to make sure everyone is okay and that everything is in order.
As you work hard to make sure everything is the way it should be, you are focusing on every single detail.
16) You pay close attention to detail
You are one of the most detail-oriented people ever. That is an awesome quality when it comes to managing projects, going after your goals, and planning activities.
But on a daily basis, being so detailed at all times can weigh on even the strongest of people.
Overthinkers will also find themselves focusing on the minutiae of the past…
17) You ruminate about the past
As an overthinker, I tend to replay past events in my head.
What happened? Who did what? How did it make me feel? These questions will run through an overthinker’s head as they analyze history.
Part of the rumination may include dwelling on past events, especially awkward and abnormal situations…
18) You find awkward situations painful
Because of the overthinker’s heightened sense of awareness, when a situation turns awkward, the overthinker will find it unbearable.
One awkward situation that an overthinker would find excruciating is when people are fighting or debating around them.
Being in the presence of confrontation—even when the overthinker is not directly involved—will be so uncomfortable that the overthinker will fall into the role of peacemaker or problem solver.
19) You take on the role of “fixer”
Because you hate uncomfortable situations, you will opt to fix and problem solve to make the negative feelings stop.
And since you’re an overthinker who has probably analyzed the situation and thought of the worst case scenario before, you will know exactly what to do.
20) You find silence uncomfortable
Overthinkers will tend to fill awkward silence. When they’re in a quiet room, they will talk in order to give everyone something else to focus on.
To an overthinker, silence is painful because it’ll leave them wondering what everyone is thinking during that silence.
The uncertainty can feel like rejection to someone who is very self-aware. That rejection can lead to panic to the overthinker.
21) You sometimes can’t let go
Moving on is a skill most people develop, but the overthinker will have a harder time with letting things go.
When the overthinker is struggling with negative emotions (such as worrying or being angry), they will overanalyze interactions that led to it or are related to it over and over again.
So are you an overthinker?
After reading everything on this list, can you confirm you are an overthinker?
If you are one, you don’t have to change who you are. A lot of good comes with being an overthinker. You can harness that intensity. It can inspire you or others.
If you’re wondering what made you an overthinker, here are some potential reasons:
- You’ve experienced failure, criticism, dysfunction, or trauma before.
- You have little to no control over your feelings.
- You’ve been triggered by something that correlates with your past experiences.
- You have high expectations for yourself and others.
- You choose to be that way because it serves you in some way.
- You were just born that way.
Regardless of why you’re built as an overthinker, remember that your struggles can be your strength. Once you recognize your issues, you can work to improve yourself.