Why “I’m Probably Overthinking This” and a Request

Here’s something thing you should know about me: I spend more time constructing and deconstructing emails, journal entries, papers for school, text messages, tweets, and now this blog than I’m really proud to admit. A social worker might call this OCD and I probably wouldn’t argue with them. I anguish over the perfect word and read and reread what I’ve written to make sure it sends the exact message I want. Sometimes this actually complicates my message. Overall, it’s less about searching for typos and more about hoping my ideas, emotions, and intentions are accurately depicted so that they can be received exactly how I anticipate them being received. Which admittedly, doesn’t really give the other participants in these relationships/interactions the credit they deserve for their inference and intuition. This is also why I get disappointed when I don’t hear back from people who are important to me. I put in so much time and effort!

Here’s an example of what this looks like in my life. The title of this blog literally came from my pure exhaustion after deliberating over the title for more than twenty minutes (that day). The truth is, I would have started this blog much earlier but, you can’t have a blog without at title. It was the ultimate writers’ block. I wanted to call this blog “To Anyone Who Will Listen” but I got frustrated because unless you’re an auditory learner, like me, you’re not actually “hearing” the words as I’m writing them or as you’re reading them. Discourse and words are important. In fact, if we think long enough and scrutinize over each word, we might never find the words to relay the message we want to send! In a way, the titles we pick are the captions for the pieces we write. They matter. But then again, sometimes putting a label on something is the hardest part (more on this later). Hence, “I’m Probably Overthinking This”. Because I do. Always. Overthink.

For me, each word matters and indicates something about what’s to follow or about what we value or believe as individuals. So I spend abundant amounts of time (I like to call this procrastination) crafting the “perfect” sentences so people will “get what I mean”. I consider what someone may think about what I’m saying, the possible rebuttals, what perspectives I’m not considering, if I might offend anyone, etc.  And then even after I’ve hit send or left a conversation, I often find myself replaying the interactions like a broken record thinking of all the things I should have said, would have done differently, or second guessing the importance of that link I just shared. A psychologist might call this ruminating. Again, I wouldn’t argue.

And so, having explained that, here’s the request: In this space I’m preemptively asking for forgiveness and understanding for the mistakes I will definitely make along the way and for the things I didn’t think of or share even if I did think about them. In this project, I’m going to practice accepting imperfection and favoring authenticity. I ask that if you’re coming along for the journey you assume I have only the best, most honest intentions and grant me the benefit of the doubt to explore and express without fear of judgement or shame.

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3 thoughts on “Why “I’m Probably Overthinking This” and a Request

  1. As a fellow over-thinker, reading your blog feels like (figuratively) looking into a mirror. It is a huge comfort to know that other people like me exist in the world. Thank you! 🙂

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