Picture this happening: someone you like sends you a text message, touches your arm, gives you a look, or does something that could have multiple meanings. What do you do? For a lot of us, it means over-analyze the situation: go over everything they said, their body language, or in text/IM/e-mail cases, reread the message over and over again to try and pull some meaning out of it. I know I do it all the time, but that’s just because I’m an over- thinker: I think far too much about signals and read into what might be true, although a lot of the time, there wasn’t anything there to analyze. Over-thinkers get a bad rap: some people find it “too much” or don’t like nit-picking what they say because they “didn’t mean it ANY way.” It’s hard, though to curb your ideas about a situation and effectively identify the “real” meaning behind words when you see so many possibilities. The best thing most of the time is to not think anything at all: be neutral and just “go with the flow” like the other person seems to be doing. That’s a tough act to follow, but once you can purge yourself of thoughts of what may or may not be occurring behind the scenes, it’s much easier to cope with life and be in touch with your “chill” side.
It might have all been said before, but seriously, it’s easier to see things for how they are, not for how they might be. For example, your friend MIGHT be saying she has to go home because she’s tired OR she might just be angry at you. Which one could it be? Did her tone of voice suggest anything? Sometimes it’s better to just let things go and move on with your day. If this was said in a text, this should be taken even more with a grain of salt. How can you tell ANYTHING that might be going on through a text unless you have a strong sense of how they would say it in real life? If you don’t know them well, you should ask them about in person or just move on because over-analyzing the situation by yourself isn’t going to help at all.
Like the phrase says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” There are many better things to do with your day then to linger your thoughts onto what someone said (at least not ALL of the time – sometimes it’s okay) or what one stupid argument with someone you barely knew meant. Like I said in my article called Don’t Let Technology Mess Up Real Life Relationships, anything said through technology should just as easily be able to be said in person, so texting is basically a fail for communication, except when it’s just a short few words you need to tell someone about plans or meeting up for coffee. Otherwise, it’s easier to over-analyze and wonder what the other person meant because words on a page don’t come with soundbites except for audio-books. The tone is missing and the true intent isn’t easily deciphered. In general, it’s just a better policy to let go of any preconceptions about a situation unless you talk it over with them or if it’s truly paranoia, try to put the anxiety behind you.
While some people truly do have anxiety problems, most of us are just way too preoccupied with possible motives for situations that we miss out on what’s really going on. To learn to let go and move on with life, it makes living easier because less confusion and hurt is felt unnecessarily. It’s better not to worry about every little thing and just go about life with a bit more optimism and confidence – it makes you stronger and more independent in life and everything seems brighter!