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wundayatta's avatar

Do people tell you you think too much?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) March 9th, 2009

Do you think you think too much? What does it mean to think too much?

I’ve never quite understood this, but I’ve been accused of it all through my life. Usually it has to do with relationships. I seem to be over-analyzing the relationships. I don’t know if it makes people uncomfortable by asking questions they don’t really want to face—like they are telling me not to think along those lines—or if it is really meaningful. How can you think too much?

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23 Answers

DrBill's avatar

All the time.

Allie's avatar

No, people haven’t told me that, but I’ve told other people that they think too much. I guess I would say that I plan somethings and I reflect on situations, but I’m not much of an analyzer. I usually tell people they think too much when they constantly ask questions about something and don’t do anything about it. On of my best friends, for example, goes to school at UW and she asks me for advice every once in a while. When I tell her my opinion she talks herself into why it’s not a good solution. Then when I offer another, she does the same thing. Honestly, I’ve just quit giving her advice. Now I tend to ask her, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” She, in my opinion, would be someone who definitely thinks too much. She thinks about what the outcome of her actions might be 10 steps down the road, but then she never does anything. Planning and analyzing is good, but not if that’s all you do.

… and now I’m rambling.

kevbo's avatar

Go to a bookstore (or library) and read the chapter about Thailand in The Geography of Bliss.

Vincentt's avatar

No, but they’d be right if they did (not that it’d help). Apart from me being really easily distracted by my mind wandering off, I also often worry about things that don’t really matter in the end. Or I daren’t do anything because I’m afraid of what might happen, analysing every possible (negative) scenario.

Staalesen's avatar

I guess I have to answer the same as Vincentt

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yes. Yes. Yes. Hence my looking to enroll at a meditation center in the very near future.

zephyr826's avatar

I like thinking! I’m not ashamed of thinking too much, but as @Allie says, thinking without taking action is no good to anyone. So I recommend over-thinking while acting, just to make it interesting.

Harp's avatar

That’s not something I hear much, no.

I absolutely do believe you can think too much. Thought can act as a buffer between oneself and experience, which is why most over-thinkers tend to be people who are very self-protective; they want that buffer. Rather than trusting instinct and throwing themselves into experience, they try to strategize all aspects of their lives to forestall any unpleasantness. And in relationships too, there’s a constant attempt to check on how things stand, what trouble might be brewing, all as an attempt to keep pain at arm’s length instead of just trusting.

Thought used this way is like armor. It may afford some protection, yes, but it insulates us from life itself. One can go too far in the other direction, certainly. But life is best lived as a mysterious adventure, in my opinion.

nebule's avatar

yep…i was also told (which has never left me) that I was intense I can’t think how this could have been meant as a compliment…

Darwin's avatar

I have been told that, too, which surprises me because I often take off and do stuff with no plan at all -drives my kids nuts.

Bluefreedom's avatar

When I first started my career in law enforcement, I had supervisors and co-workers tell me that I thought way too much into situations that I might encounter while on the job. They ended up telling me to quit being so analytical and work a problem step-by-step instead of thinking about 8 steps ahead of where I was at and trying to analyze variables that may never even become part of the scenario. It took a while but I finally cured myself of doing this.

syz's avatar

I’ve been told that I worry too much, which is a form of thinking, I suppose. I’ve also gotten a few “You think about the damnedest things!”, but I’m pretty sure that’s no quite the same thing.

casheroo's avatar

I’ve been told this many times, but I haven’t heard it in a while because my personality has changed a lot since having a child.

shortysith's avatar

yes! especially regarding relationships. I am learning there is a time and place to think and to follow YOUR HEART. These are not the same thing! Our heads overanalyze while our hearts really know. I chronically over think everything. It takes a while to learn to do the opposite…there should be a happy medium.

SeventhSense's avatar

Like a mantra…

loser's avatar

Me too but I figure it’s better than being someone who doesn’t think enough.

SeventhSense's avatar

@loser
Yes that’s what I think. My thought is sometimes..“perhaps you don’t think enough” to the other party….but of course there’s the mental masturbation that we all indulge in…the verdicts still out…:)

shrubbery's avatar

Yes, in more ways than one.
I’m into philosophy and that kind of thing and not many of my friends are so they often tell me that I think too much and too deeply about philosophical ideas and ethical dilemmas and that kind of thing.

I also worry a lot about things that other people probably wouldn’t think twice about, and I’m told that a lot too.

I’ve been trying not to over-think and just go with the flow more, but then I end up worrying that I’m not worrying enough because bad stuff happens so like loser, I’ve decided it’s better to think too much than not enough.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I often get accused of over-thinking a problem. I suppose it doesn’t help that I have a tendency to always think the worst in any given situation. Sometimes, I can think myself right into an anxiety attack. Maybe ignorance is bliss after all. I wonder if I could perform a do-it-yourself-home lobotomy?

augustlan's avatar

All my life. Like Shrubbery, I think ‘deep thoughts’ and people in my world don’t seem to like that too much. Really, I think only my husband and children understand me at all!
It’s okay though. My friends may not ‘get’ me, but they forgive me for it and love me anyway. : )

pathfinder's avatar

Yes.{I am lost some of my hair because of that thinking}...

Jack79's avatar

Yes, I do think too much and talk even more. People say this a lot about me, and I agree.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Sometimes you just have to make a choice and live with it. NOT making a choice can be far worse. That’s thinking too much.

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