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…..