Over-Analyze Is My Middle Name

Not really. My middle name is Rae. But I do tend to over-analyze. And not just about bills, or the direction of my life, or how to become a backup dancer for the New Kids, and other crucial aspects of day-to-day living.

I over-analyze EVERYTHING.

For instance, I was shopping at Walmart the other day, and encountered an employee while looking for a new nail polish color. She was an older lady, and was busy stocking fingernail clippers when I pushed my cart up. We exchanged the usual pleasantries, and I went about my shopping, when all of a sudden, she gave me a nice compliment.

My initial reaction was to be flattered. Obviously, the Disney Princess skin care routine is working. I finished my Walmart shopping with a smile on my face, and headed to the car,  humming “Chim Chim Cheree” all the way.

It wasn’t until I was driving home that I began to think about the encounter with the sweet Walmart employee. At some point, it went from being a kind moment with a complete stranger, to wondering why she’d bothered to speak to me at all. What was she trying to say? That I’m the fat girl with the pretty face? What was she thinking when she decided to compliment me?

“This girl looks like she needs someone to throw her a bone. Maybe she’s having a bad day. I know, I’ll say something nice.”

By the time I got home, I was fuming. How DARE she suggest I have nice skin! And only then, with that thought, did I stop, re-analyze my analyzation,  and laugh at myself.

I also tend to over-analyze when it comes to my job–particularly confrontations with customers who are less-than-friendly. It usually starts with me strolling into the office, unknowingly walking into someone’s “kill zone.” And then, I get blindsided with their rage over the price of gas/the fight they had with their mother earlier/a hangnail. They take all that frustration and anger, wad it up, and throw it at me.

Typically, all I can do is just stand there and take it. Sometimes I’m able to diffuse it with my winning personality and sharp-as-a-stick wit. But sometimes, the person is SO outraged that I feel the need to defend myself.

Let me say that, I’m NOT a confrontational person. I don’t like it when people are yelling at me, and I feel the need to lash out. However, I rarely lash out at the person who did the yelling. I’m usually so flustered, I can’t think of a single thing to say–no poisonous barbs to fling in their direction, no witty comebacks for their angry tirade.

And so, after the confrontation is over, I try to find another outlet to release my own pent-up frustration. It may be a series of angry text messages to my husband. I might fire off a rant email to my Mom. But, more often than not,  I just let it stew. I obsess over every aspect of the confrontation. I think of awesome things to say, and wish I’d thought of them during the argument. Six hours later, I’m cooking, and obsessing, over an event that I can’t change.

Inevitably, I’ll have that fluttery, anxious feeling in my gut when I go to bed that night. No matter how hard I try to let the situation go, I sink into self-judgement until, finally, I come to terms with the event.

Or I’m distracted. Usually by something shiny. Or Donnie Wahlberg.

Similarly, I obsess over the actions of the ones I love most. Nothing gets me started like the tone of someone’s voice.

Here’s the thing. I HATE talking on the phone. I really do. I have to answer my work phone 84 billion times a day, so when it comes to having personal conversations on the phone, I reserve them for people I really, truly love. As in, adore. As in, would walk over fire and brimstone for.

So, when it’s been a few weeks and I haven’t heard from a friend, I’ll pick up the phone and call. Just to check-in. Just to let them know I’m thinking of them.

Let me preface this by saying that I KNOW all my friends have lives of their own. They work, they have children, they have full lives.

But nothing hurts quite like being met with indifference when you’ve looked forward to a conversation with a loved one.

Typically, I know they’re just tired/busy/distracted/chasing a kid around trying to take back the television remote.

I also know that I’m one of few left with no children, who’s husband is gone a lot, and that I’m needy. Psychologically I know that, when I’m met with little enthusiasm, it’s because they’re tired/busy/distracted. But emotionally, I’m all over the place.

Did I say something wrong? Did I make them mad? Do they not want to be friends anymore? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

My husband would say that my tendency to over-analyze every little thing is endearing, and also, a little nutso.

To that, I would say, OMG, is he right? Does he really think I’m crazy? What if he stops loving me? What if he leaves? What if he throws garbage at me…..

13 thoughts on “Over-Analyze Is My Middle Name

  1. Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me

    I’d like to say that you are crazy and you need to be locked up for thinking such off the wall thoughts. But, dang, Abby, I can relate all too well.

    by the way, did you really take a picture of a walmart employee? Man, I love your photoshop ability.. You CRACK me UP!

  2. Abby

    Actually, no. I did not take a picture of the woman in the blue vest. I just photoshopped her out of another photo I found on the web. :0)

    Although, if I can take a real picture of something to use, I do it that way. Just because then I don’t have to worry about using a copyrighted photo in one of my silly concoctions.

  3. BeadedTail

    Funny post but way too close to home! Maybe you knew that already and are really telling MY story and just saying it’s your story in hopes I didn’t notice but of course I noticed since I analyzed it and then analyzed it again and yep, it’s MY story!

  4. Eleanor

    Wow, I’m you…or you’re me…I’m not sure which way around, but we must be long lost twins – you just described me completely. At least I now know that I’m not the only one whose brain works over-time like this.

  5. Abby

    @Sharla: I’m SO glad to hear I’m not alone! Maybe it’s a female-thing?

    @Brian: NOOOOOO!!!!

    @Jenna: I love that you quoted Xander. It’s why I love you so.

    @Dad: NOOOOOO!!!!

    @Eleanor: Well, hello, twin! :0) I’m beginning to think this may not be an isolated thing. Perhaps it has something to do with the female psyche?

  6. Sherri

    Oh my gosh…I was just cruising the web, as silly as it may sound, trying to find SOMETHING that might give me some insight on how to STOP over analyzing everything when I found your blog…I love it! I have been driving my boyfriend insane with my over analyzing…just happy to know that I am not the only one who does it 🙂

  7. Stephanie

    It’s hard to not overanalyze sometimes! I mainly do it at work, when I dwell over something that my boss did/didn’t say. I also do it with my husband sometimes. And then I get this really whiny tone of voice that I HATE. Ha!

  8. Xavier

    Hi Abby!

    Wow your blog is awesome. I like what you write, and also love what we would call at my last job “idiot-proof images” representing what you write. Yeah I also worked with difficult customers at a wireless phone company, so imagine… dealing with angry people, and trying to explain them the technical concepts of what their service issue was. So, idiot-proof images and explanations came up to be pretty handy.

    So back to your blog post, you are not the only person being like that. There are quite a lot of people who do the same (me being one of them). I used to date someone who was also overanalytical, and at the beginning it was sweet, but as time went by, it became a messy thing. Imagine you overanalyzing them, telling them, and then they oeveranalyzing and telling you back what their analysis produced. Ugh… a cycle that lead any of us nowhere.

    I’ve also gone through the phone call thing (I hate phone calls with all my hard), and i’ve decided to email/SMS instead of calling. Let them answer whenever they feel like, or want to. If I am in emotional need, I just mass email… believe me, someone will end up answering sooner than the rest, and then that becomes the “target of the day”.

    I want to suggest you something that might be of some degree of help at work. When I had nasty customers that turned my boring day into an annoying one, I had this below printed and posted in a wall of my cubicle. It didn’t made the sour flavor go away, but at least brought a smile:

    http://wp.me/p16N9-cu (not my blog, just in case)

    Finally, I want to share with you how I got here. I made a Google search for “squashed dancing banana” and I ended up reading your blog post… So, my message has turned into a long one… so I will stop here. Hope you have an awesome day!

  9. Jackie in Wyoming

    I recently started following your blog and found this post from your most recent post (hope that makes sense). I can so relate to the over-analyzing gene, and was really happy to learn that I’m not alone in possessing it (I’m serious … I honestly thought I was the only one). In addition to being humorous and making me smile, your post made me feel better about my condition. If others also second-guess themselves, there’s at least a little hope for me! Thanks!

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