Your boyfriend said, “Are you wearing that to the party?” And you instantly take it as an insult and worry that he no longer finds you attractive. Or, your wife turns you down for sex for the 4th time this week. So you immediately go to the idea that she must be cheating on you. Your mother in law comes over for a visit and sees you feeding your baby strained carrots and immediately says, “You should have started with green beans!” And you decide that is simply her way of undermining your parenting skills. Or, your boss walks into the office and pats an associate on the back for a job well down when you know that he knows you did half the work. So you instantly assume that he doesn’t like you or that you are next in line to get a pink slip.
Over analyzing relationships is a normal part of life. It is very difficult in our relationships with others to not internalize what other people might be saying, might be thinking or what their actions mean. Whether you just met a stranger on the street, are out on a first date, have been married for 3 years or have had a best friend for 20+ years – chances are there will be times when you over analyze the relationship.
And the truth is THIS SAYS MORE ABOUT YOU THAN ABOUT THEM!
It is important to remember in life, that our perceptions of the things that go on around us are our own. Where one person sees an opportunity, another sees an obstacle. Where one person hears a compliment, another hears criticism. It is very important for your own happiness in life, to strike a balance between the encounters you have with other people and the thought patterns you have in your own head.
It is also important to trust that the people in your life with whom you have relationships with. Do you really think the world is out to get you? Do you really believe that your spouse thinks poorly of you and means to hurt your feelings by asking you “Are you wearing that?” Do you really not have enough confidence in your own work ethic and productivity that you would easily feel intimidated or insecure by a comment by your boss? Is your mother in law really and truly out to get you, or could she just be trying to help you out by offering advice from her experience?
The process of over analyzing information in your mind can create more problems than really exist. Many people spend so much time worrying about what someone meant, or what the underlying reason was for something they did or said – that they become angry, hurt, resentful, and emotionally damaged – even causing a fight in the relationship that in reality has been fabricated.
The first way to stop over analyzing your relationships with others – and things in life in general is to be assertive and honest. If someone says something to you, or does something to you that you feel is offensive, or is meant in a passive aggressive way to hurt you – then speak up! Call them out on the behavior and ask them right then and there, why they said or did whatever it is that is concerning you. This serves two purposes. First, it helps the person to understand when they might be out of line, or when they have said something that ‘feels’ offensive and gives them a chance right there and then to explain themselves. Secondly, by giving them the benefit of the doubt – you diffuse any and all opportunity YOU have to over think and fabricate the situation into more than what it really is. It’s amazing how thinking about something small for a week can turn it into a large, life-changing problem in a relationship. So by being forthright and honest quickly, you save a lot of negative time and energy spent wondering and worrying about what someone else meant. The reality is that they probably didn’t mean ‘anything’ about it.
If you are constantly trying to read between the lines – then you need to take a hard look at yourself and try to figure out why you are so insecure. You also need to ask yourself if the relationships that you are in, in which you so easily feel targeted or constantly victimized are more problematic than you really think. Maybe the relationships need some work and maybe they aren’t based on as much as honesty and forthrightness as you they need to be.
It is also important to realize that you are not a mind reader! No matter how hard you try, you will never have the higher power of knowing what other people are thinking. Trying is a waste of time and effort and only hurts you in the long run. You also need to step back and bit and realize that not everything in this world revolves around YOU. Some times people have bad days. Some times people have problems of their own and may act snippet with you, when it has nothing to do with you! The world is a big place, and you aren’t the center of it, which means that not everything people do or say is an attempt to sabotage you. Have some faith in those that are important to you, be honest, let things go and use your time for positive things rather than negative things as often as possible.