“The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.”
– Bethany Brookbank, Write like no one is reading
Overthinking may seem like a minor issue, but unfortunately, it is not.
Our world is not designed for overthinkers; it is designed for people who act without thinking. An overly active mind can lead to hesitation, anxiety, and a crippling sense of self-doubt. Being an overthinker is difficult, and loving one can be even more so.
If you love an overthinker, here are 16 things you should know:
1. Telling an overthinker to stop overthinking is like telling them to stop breathing. It is useless, and it will only lead to more overthinking.
2. Choosing the right words is crucial when speaking to an overthinker. Be as clear as possible, and honesty and transparency are appreciated.
3. Your actions must align with your words, values, and character. Otherwise, all three will be questioned. Your overthinker needs to be sure of who you are.
4. Show confidence in your relationship. Your loved one will pick up on this and feel safer and more secure. It can ease their racing thoughts and keep them in the present moment. Stop overthinking your relationship.
5. Overthinking often leads to negativity. Your loved one will appreciate someone who shows them the bright side of life.
6. Commitment may come slowly for an overthinker. Give them time and space to come around. Rushing them will only cause more uncertainty and anxiety.
7. Encourage your partner to process their overthinking. Offer to be a non-judgmental sounding board. Verbalizing a worry can help the mind process it more effectively. This activity also builds trust and understanding.
8. An overthinker will always see and appreciate the good things you do. They are unlikely to take your well-intentioned actions for granted. In fact, they may appreciate you like no one else ever can.
9. An overthinker is easily overwhelmed. Give your partner time and space to process information.
10. It may be very difficult to get an overthinker out of their own head. If you manage to do so, however, know that it is a powerful moment in their life.
11. They need more planning than others to feel in control of a situation. Spontaneity may seem romantic, but it is not always a good idea.
12. Try not to get frustrated if your overthinker needs constant reassurance. It means they care.
13. Details are important to an overthinker. Acknowledging your partner’s need for detail will ease their anxiety. It may seem tedious, but in the long run, it will reduce frustration for both of you.
14. They have no more control over the way their mind processes information than you have over your ability to see colors or hear musical tones. It is a part of them.
15. An overthinker will ask more questions than most. It can be easy to take these as accusations. Don’t worry – they’re not. Overthinkers just need more information than others do to feel secure.
16. Their mind is already playing games with them. They don’t need you to do the same.
David Sikhosana once wrote, “Overthinking is also best known as creating problems that are never there.”
Unfortunately, these problems are very real to your partner.
Knowing that they are overthinking does nothing to slow their thoughts and reduce their anxiety. Your patience, consistency, and trust, however, can do wonders to improve their peace of mind.