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Why do some people over analyze everything

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The difference between normal concern and excessive obsession

What did she mean exactly?
Can you repeat what she told you again?
Did she tell you "not that interesting" or "not interesting"?

I am sure you have at least one friend who starts asking such questions right after knowing that someone mentioned him in his absence. Its so normal that a person becomes concerned about his reputation but what's not normal is over analyzing certain words over and over to the extent that this person fails to sleep at night.

Here are some quick differences between the normal level of concern and the obsessive one:

  • Asking others to repeat the same story again many times
  • Asking about the intention of the person who mentioned him more than once
  • Becoming obsessed with that event
  • Mentioning the same situation again days after it has happened

Now the important question that might have came to your mind is, why do some people over analyze certain situations?

Here is the quick answer, Its because the interpretation of the meaning of that situation is crucial to their mental stability.

Why did she keep analyzing the same phrase over and over

When Sarah was young she was always bullied for her looks. Even though she grew up with no noticeable physical flaws her subconscious mind couldn't forget these events.

Years after the bullying ended Sarah was meeting new people then during the meeting someone told her that she should start excercising to become healthier.

Right after that person left Sarah kept asking everyone about his intentions and she couldn't sleep that day. The next day Sarah met some of her friends who were in the meeting and kept asking them the same questions that prevented her from sleeping earlier.

For them she seemed like a weirdo who was over concerned with irrelevant details but when you find out what was happening in her mind this excessive concern will make all the sense in the world.

The first thing that came to Sarah's mind when the guy told her to exercise is that he believed that she is not in shape. Because she had an old wound, that she can't consciously remember, this comment hit her wound and made her feel really bad. (see How psychological wounds affect your life)

Right after hearing that comment Sarah's unconscious mind eagerly tried to help her feel better by proving to her that this person wasn't really referring to her physical looks. That's why she kept asking all of these questions and that's why she repeated them over and over.

She just wanted to prove to herself that the guy had anything in mind but her looks (could it be being more healthy for example?).

Why do some people over analyze everything

Some people do analyze every single word that gets said and while there might be more than one reason for this bad habit still in most cases one of the following reasons will be the cause:

  • Too many wounds: If a person has too many psychological wounds then the probability of a word hitting one of his wounds will become much higher and that's why he might over analyze almost everything he hears
  • Low self confidence: In the Solid Self confidence program i said that when a person's self esteem is low his perception of the world changes and all irrelevant data might seem like attempts to make fun of him, reject him or hurt him. If someone unintentionally ignored him one day then he might start questioning his worth by over analyzing everything
  • He worries often: When a person worries often his brain structure changes in such a way that worrying becomes easier (The same goes for any habit). Now when that person hears a word that he can't understand he will start to worry about its meaning just because he has trained his mind to worry about everything

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