People who say you think about it too much are telling you they willfully misunderstand you

August 14, 2014 by Joshua
in Awareness, Nonjudgment

Do people say to you “You’re thinking about it too much,” or “You’re analyzing it too much,” or things like that?

I usually tell them that to me ideas are like Lego pieces. I like turning them around, looking at them from different angles, seeing how I put them together with others, taking them apart and reassembling them, and so on. So to me when someone says I’m thinking about something too much, it’s like they’re saying “You’re having too much fun.” That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I like having fun.

It still took me a while to figure out how people could misunderstand something so clear and important, since few things are more important to me than making sure I have enough fun in my life.

Also, I don’t just choose to think about anything. I think about things I expect to yield results. Everyone does this. You wouldn’t say to Usain Bolt, “You think about running too much.” You know that’s what he does and his analysis helps him become the fastest in the world.

Eventually I realized what was happening. Everyone likes what they like and they like thinking about those things. To them, what they think about is interesting, intriguing, fascinating, and so on. You have your interests. I have mine. Some interests overlap. When they do, if I tell you about my interest, you’ll find it interesting. We’ll share our thoughts and feel we have something in common.

If our interests don’t overlap we won’t find the other person’s thing as interesting. Someone who gets that different people have different interests may be bored by the other person, but they’ll respect that the other person cares about something as important to them as anything they do for themselves.

Someone who doesn’t get that different people have different interests will think the other person has a problem and say something like “You’re thinking about it too much.” They’re simply saying “I don’t have enough empathy or compassion to recognize your values so I’ll use mine… Oh, what do you know, you don’t measure up to me.”

Figuring that out made things fall into place for me. That’s why I enjoy analyzing things. It improves my life.

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9 responses on “People who say you think about it too much are telling you they willfully misunderstand you

  1. Yes! Well put, and thank you.

  2. Geese!!! I was just about to say, Im so tired of hearing that and it dawned on me…. Ive said it! When i say it. I feel what Im saying is. You are exhausting yourself and me over someting that only time can finure out.

    oh boy…I am guilty

    • Ha! … we all do it sometimes, or something similar. I consider awareness the first step. Without it it’s hard to do anything different.

      The challenge is to figure out what to say instead, if anything. Do we just want to vent or express ourselves or do we want to achieve something with the other person? If so, what?

  3. Thank you so much for writing this! Thank you for validating my feelings and for caring about what I think and what is important to me. I have always been accused of analyzing and thinking too deeply about things, but it’s the very essence of who I am. I have been accused of acting like a psychiatrist or counselor when I’m not one. It just comes naturally. I cannot change to try to become someone I’m not just because people don’t approve of the way I am. It’s like saying they don’t like me when they disapprove of me so much. I take great joy in trying to help others see the truth that might help them if they consider it, the way God has helped me. Thinking deeply gives me great satisfaction when God helps me understand people and life better. He has helped me to know it is a good thing. It’s the way he created me, but I grew up feeling very badly about myself because my mom constantly told me, “You think too much,” as if there was something wrong with me. She used to hurt me with those words over and over again. I questioned what was wrong with me. How could I shut off my thoughts? How was that even possible not to think? When I got older, God helped me to realize it was okay to think and figure things out. He let me know he created me the way I am so not to be down on myself even when others are. They don’t care about being as self-aware or getting to the bottom of things. Maybe they were the ones lacking, not me. The possibility that maybe it was my mom who wasn’t thinking right about things was an eye-opener. It’s like God freed me and gave me permission for what I needed to be able to do to overcome and move on. He had to heal the damage my family had done.

    Maybe my mom thought she was helping, but those words only succeeded in bringing me down and holding me back. It crushed my tender spirit. I was made to feel like I didn’t matter. It was like saying she didn’t care about my thoughts and just wanted to stop me and make me into some kind of unfeeling unthinking robot she could program. I was already not allowed to speak or instructed not to say anything or I might cause my dad to blow up. He might throw one of his angry fits, so I had to remain silent most of the time growing up to the point I didn’t even know how to speak to others. At the same time, I was also being told by my mother that I shouldn’t think either. I wasn’t supposed to speak or think about anything. How much more damage could you do to a child? Screaming at them and silencing them every time they tried to talk. I praise God that I’m allowed to think and speak now. I’ve had to be careful what to say since I held back my voice for so long that it’s hard not to want to vent all those pent-up feelings. I have learned that I have to get them out somehow, even if I write it down and throw it away, so I don’t hold things inside for so long that I become deeply depressed. I also don’t want to hold in any anger I might feel at the way I get treated and then end up exploding later. That’s unhealthy. I was never allowed to deal with things as they happened but anything that mattered to me was brushed under the rug. I can’t stand for people to treat me like that and do not tolerate it very well since I grew up that way. I try as hard as I can with God’s help to stay calm and think long and hard before I decide what to say to such ignorant people, but I have trouble keeping my mouth shut now. I don’t want to hurt others the way I was hurt growing up so I don’t put them down like they do me, but I also feel they should not be allowed to get by with treating people wrong without correcting them or they will stay living in the dark and continue to abuse others, so I often confront them now. If they react badly and don’t care, then the shame lies on their head. I know I tried in an appropriate manner. I feel as though I have to, so I never go ‘postal’ on anyone, and so I can keep functioning well enough to stay positive. I will accept suggestions to grow and learn, but never any undue negative criticism that is only meant to bring a person down. It isn’t constructive in any way. That sort of talk doesn’t help anyone change for the better but is meant to stifle and hold them back from succeeding. Be careful who you listen to. Don’t allow someone who doesn’t have good judgment to be the judge of you.

    • Thank you for sharing. It means a lot to me for something I shared to connect with someone. I feel honored. Everyone’s experiences are unique, but many things you wrote felt familiar to me too.

      I try to write along these lines in my blog. I expect if you look around, you’ll find other posts that also resonate.

  4. That’s one way of seeing it.
    However I’m not sure about your judgmental conclusion and how it makes your life better.
    I can see where you’re coming from, it’s just not a certitude.

    • Even though this post is four and a half years old, I still think about it.

      People describe many things I write that I don’t consider judgmental judgmental. I consider this defense of others imposing judgment. I’m curious what part or parts of what I wrote you mean by “judgmental conclusion.”

  5. Pingback: Caring what others think about you - Joshua Spodek

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