Gina Vaynshteyn
December 18, 2014 5:16 am

If I could get a PhD in over-thinking, I would. Because I excel at the art of over-analyzing every little thing that happens to me. It’s exhausting, but hey—someone’s gotta do it.

The truth is that we over-thinkers were blessed with the gift of scrutinizing every little morsel of detail in our lives, and we probably have been doing it since Day One. Tests, friendships, romantic relationships, the way the cashier looked at us when we bought seven cans of Pringles and tub of Cool Whip that one time—ALL instances that are game for over analysis. We can’t help it. Our brains are always calculating and re-calculating. And that’s not all we over-thinkers grapple with.

If you’re an over-thinker, then you’re probably really familiar with these truths:

The torture that is waiting to hear back after a job interview

Sometimes, the person interviewing you will be an awesome human being and actually call you or e-mail you to let you know that you, in fact, did or did not get the job instead of leaving you hanging (aka, in the fetal position in front of both your phone and your laptop). BLESS THIS PERSON, because every over-thinker knows that wondering if you will be employed soon or not is one of the most agonizing feelings in the world.

The agony of multiple choice tests

I was a straight-A student in high school, but I could not, for the life of me, take a multiple choice test without having a mental breakdown. Every. Single. Time. Because here is what was going through my head: “‘A’ sounds pretty legit. I think the answer is ‘A.’ Wait, no. ‘C’ is actually more accurate, because I think I read in that one paragraph in that one book that there’s an exception to that theory, so ‘C’ would work best. Oh god. There’s a ‘None of the above.’ This is not okay. Nothing will ever be okay. Let me just stare at this question for fifteen minutes. Maybe if I stare long enough, the question will answer itself.” And we are always the last ones done with a test.

The utter confusion of eye exams

Has anyone ever failed an eye exam? Because I swear you can fail eye exams. I’ve definitely left Lens Crafters with glasses that seemed blurrier than my last pair. And this is because it’s unfair to give a person two PRACTICALLY identical images and ask which ones is clearer. With technology these days, you would think they could do away with this archaic method of optometry.

The stress of committing to a nail design

Do you want half-moons, or will they look weird when they grow out? Glitter, or does that send a I’m Not Serious vibe out into the world? French manicure, or does that shout “BORING”? The struggle is real.

Anxiously waiting for an e-mail

You know you only sent it twenty minutes ago, but with every single passing second, you grow more and more nervous that the recipient read your e-mail, laughed maniacally, and whispered to themselves, “what a loser,” and trashed your message. Or, what if it went straight to their spam?

When your crush doesn’t message you on Facebook for two days straight

I mean, they either vanished into thin air or they hate you. Or maybe they’re just sick of you. Is it something you did? Over-analysis commence.

Going back to all your sent e-mails and re-reading them

Checking for comma splices, misused em dashes and semicolons, the wrong usage of a word. Words that would have been WAY MORE effective. You could do this for hours. You really, really could.

Having to CHOOSE which lotion you want to buy at Bath and Body Works

There are at least 5,000 scents. It’s a nightmare.

Stress caused by any kind of cryptic movie or book ending

I just finished a book, and the ending was one of those endings that depicted a “maybe death.” Like, MAYBE the protagonist died, but you can’t really tell because it was written in the first person, and unless that character gets turned into a ghost, there is no way of finding out what really happened. So you’re left to assume and browse through Goodreads for five hours until you get a general consensus.

The cruelty of one word text replies

Do not ever send an over-thinker the message “Ok,” or “Yeah.” That’s coldly succinct and we will know that you hate us. And we will wonder why. And it will eat at our soul. Just FYI.

What kind of drink you’re in the mood for at Starbucks

You could so go for a hot chocolate, but why should you spend a bunch of dollars on something you know is just powder and hot water? A coffee would be great, but it’s already 8pm and you don’t want to stay up forever. You want to try out one of those new sodas, but you worry they’re going to be weird. You end up going with a water. You regret this decision immediately after.

When your bestie messaged you “hi” instead of “hey” like she normally does on Gchat

You then go through all possible scenarios that would explain her standoffish-ness.

When a date texts you something non-committal like “I had a great time. Let’s keep in touch.”

OK, so “I had a great time” signals all good things. This person probably likes you, right? Why else would they text you that when they didn’t need to? However, “Let’s keep in touch” is the most formal message in the world, basically. I mean, that’s something your manager would send in a mass e-mail. Great. You’re probably never seeing this person ever again.

Every conspiracy theory, in the history of forever

Oh yeah, you’ve Googled them all. You’ve done the research. Anything is possible.

You make pros and cons lists for everything, including whether to purchase peppermint-flavored almond milk

You probably even have a separate notebook (aside from your work and life planners, and your calendar) for your lists. Whatever. You do what you have to do.

Your friends (who love you very much) are little tired of analyzing the screenshots of Gchats and Twitter replies you send them

Whenever you feel slightly unsure about something that happened to you on your phone or on the Internet, you screen shot the mess and you send it over to a trusted friend or two so they can help you analyze the situation. Having an outside perspective is key when you’re on the verge of freaking out, but you also have the feeling your buddies are a little over looking at every single “weird” thing that happens to you.

Meditation is your Mission Impossible

Sit cross-legged and let your mind go blank? LOL.

Subtweets are your worst enemy

No matter what, you always think someone’s snide remark on Twitter is about you. It could make sense. It could not make sense. It doesn’t matter. Twitter, can you create a tag option for “context,” please?

If you didn’t get the job, you mentally list every single thing you probably did wrong during the interview

Maybe it was the shirt you wore. You probably should have gone with a simple, white button-down. But no. You chose polka-dots. WHAT A FOOL YOU WERE. Or maybe it was when you listed off your long-term goals. Or when you hesitating for like two seconds when they asked you what you can “bring to the table.” They probably smelled your fear. That’s probably it.

If someone unfollows you on Twitter, you go back and read every single Tweet you crafted and analyze its potency to annoy or aggravate others

That Tweet about mac ‘n cheese was totally cloying. Or maybe it was the one about your gross coffee. Or maybe it was just your overall Twitter essence. #IDK.

That strange red spot on your knee

Cancer, or just a scab? Let’s exacerbate the situation by spending some quality time with WebMD, shall we?

The intense emotions you feel when someone tells you to “let it go”

“Let it go” is the ultimate insult for us over-thinkers, because if we could just “let it go,” then we would have “let it go” long ago. We don’t like over-thinking, we just do. It’s in our over-analytic blood, OK?

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