MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “overthinking”

The disorder of having everything in order

http://wallpapercave.com/wp/3SmQ4wC.jpgThere is a thing with overthinkers – they usually feel everything too intensely too. And worse – perhaps – of all, they need everything to be in order. They are people who like to have a programme and as much as possible stick to it. They need to know how they want their day to pan out, so that they can try to do as many of those things they can. They are the people who fill their desks with post-its and when they strike out one task add another two.

But these are also the people who can’t stand the uncertainty of not knowing. Of not having a schedule and of being victim to a “wait and see” mentality. They might even panic in the face of this ambiguity.

They are people who usually suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) of needing to have an order in their life for calm to prevail.

At the same time, these are those who have the deepest emotions. The ones who tear up from a line in a movie, from a surprise of a loved one, from a simple thank you for something they did well. In fact, this latter is what touches them the most – the demonstration of acknowledgement, appreciation and gratification that they are, they do, and they try, at the best of their abilities. It’s nice to tell those that matter that they do, and to these specific people, sometimes the simplest of words may mean the world.

Overthinkers may seem insane, but the world was never changed by sanity.

Advertisements

Blink or Think

blinkThe real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking” (Christopher Morley). Some books excel at it. And it is not just the ones that engage you into travelling away from reality, but rather those that make you think more of it.

In Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell manages to do exactly that. He makes you consider how those first thoughts you have are the ones that matter the most and are often more correct than if you think thoroughly through something.

The book points out that “the key to good decision-making is not knowledge. It is understanding”. That is why, for instance, when people talk, we listen to their words and watch their eyes in order to pick up the expressive nuances that reveal if what they’re saying is true.

Through a series of stories and case studies, Gladwell attempts to “understand this mysterious thing called judgement – the kind of wisdom someone acquires after a lifetime of learning and watching and doing”. “From experience, we gain a powerful gift, the ability to act instinctively, in the moment. But it is easy to disrupt this gift”, because we live in a world saturated with information and sometimes that works against our judgement. Those subtle influences from our surroundings, our background, our experiences, our network, often very much affect the bias of our unconscious. As such, we are already prejudiced in our decisions, particularly if we dwell hard on them.

These are the “unexpected costs of knowing too much”. That you allow your judgement to be clouded by too many things – often stereotypes. “We are inundated with information and we have come to confuse information with understanding.” That is why, as the book very eloquently explains, “sometimes we can make better judgement with less information”.

The impression you form in a blink – in milliseconds – is in fact more truthful than the one you allow yourself to form after thinking a situation through and permitting the stereotypes in your head to barge through. The point is not to listen with your eyes, but with what your instinct tells you. It is the power of first impressions, of rapid cognition.

It is true of course that “there are some situations where the human mind needs a little help” – where more information is required to form a proper decision. After all, “truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking”.

But, in the issues that matter most, perhaps the decisions that stem from the unconscious are the ones that will in the end make us happier.

Think about it. Maybe next time just trust that ‘blink’ you get as a first thought and see what happens.

Cursed to feel

https://secure.static.tumblr.com/5332aa58d90d1b62cdcfb76b42e2fc3a/uhqpxjc/kAgn1552y/tumblr_static_dark_rose_by_darkblade221-d3fa2xy.jpgIt may be a sign of determination; of decisiveness; sometimes even stubbornness. But it may also be one of insecurity; often even fear. When we set our minds on something and stick to it; when we ponder too much over it; when we refuse to simply let it go. It’s what adds to the stress of our daily lives and disrupts our pleasant mood for no apparent reason.

As difficult as it may be, we need to train ourselves to let some things slide. Especially those we most fear. Because it is true that the greatest things will happen when we distance ourselves from negativity. It’s not about pretending that you don’t care; it’s about getting over it and paying more attention to the things that really matter.

We are cursed to feel. As much as we may love and laugh and live, feeling is the most profound of all experiences we have. And the deeper you feel, the more you overthink, you overanalyze, you stress, and you worry.

It was Oprah Winfrey who said “if you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough”.

Everything is a matter of perspective, of focus and what you (choose to) hold onto.

The incomprehensible female nature

https://cdn.davidwolfe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/overthinking_by_kijadoll-d6e39ct-e1444741767208.jpg“There is a girl at school that is picking on me,” barked Harriet as she entered the kitchen, throwing her bag on the floor.

She sat down at the kitchen table, silent.

Her young mother turned at looked at her. The little girl’s expression was caught between fighting a rage and restraining the tears.

“We’ve all been there, sweetie,” the older woman said soothingly. “And not just at school. It doesn’t really change much as age increases”.

“But these people only have the value you grant them. Try not to pay so much attention and you’ll see she’ll eventually stop. The more she sees she is getting to you, the more she’ll carry on like this. Just remember, we’re jealous and mostly envious of the people we think are better than us. So you have nothing to worry about. Don’t scoop to her level. Show her she is right to be jealous of you. And be the brave and strong little girl I know I have. I know it’s hard, but don’t stick to such issues for so long. We women have a curious way of overthinking and over-analysing everything. I think we spend over half our day doing that. And it is only women who have such issues with one another, pretending hypocritically that they love each other while they stab one another in the back. Just don’t get caught in the trap”.

“I’ll second that,” said the little girl’s father as he walked into the kitchen, warmly kissed his wife, and wrapped his arms around his daughter.

“Men have a different type of bond between them. One that women can’t understand. For better or worse we are simpler creatures. You women, though…” he sighed, “no matter how much time we spend with you, we’ll never be able to truly understand you!” He looked at his wife. “But regardless of the nagging and your incomprehensible nature, we wouldn’t know what to do without you, and we love you more than you know”. His wife smiled her blush away as her face illuminated.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

The robbers of our thoughts

http://www.chinatour.com/uploads/1404895010.jpgWe think too much. So much that having second thoughts seems natural. Only they come for almost everything and steal away the thunder of the impulses we make as first thoughts. Then slowly the excitement of what we first considered begins to fade away, transforming into doubt and allowing those second thoughts to question all the actions and choices we make.

Euripedes had said, “among mortals, second thoughts are wisest”. Sometimes, however, dwelling too much on a decision to take will only fill you with even more doubt, to the extent that you will never be truly satisfied with whatever choice you finally do make.

Sometimes we just need the impulses. To spice up our lives. To discover that not everything needs to be planned. And to realise that, for whatever reason, there are things that just happen. And we are happier because they do. With no questions, no doubts, no second thoughts.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Second Thoughts

Post Navigation