The over-thinker. We’ve all been attracted to them at one point or another. There is something incredibly sexy about that pensive look, that intelligence, that way they seem to have things really figured out. There’s so much beneath that surface, though: There’s an infinite depth to their minds, and they spend a lot of time there thinking, planning, brooding. Before you try to brave the waters and take a dive with an overthinker, though, you need to be aware of what makes them tick and what you’ll never get.
Over-thinkers will never be spontaneous, they will never be impulsive. They can’t simply do something “on a whim,” because that would send their anxiety into overdrive and leave them feeling out of control. Don’t try to spring something on an over-thinker when it’s unexpected; don’t show up unannounced. Over-thinkers need time to get acclimated to ideas, to become comfortable with pretty much anything. Respect that.
Over-thinkers need time to think, time to research. Whether it is planning a vacation, buying a new TV, or even just deciding where to go for dinner, it requires careful planning and consideration. Over-thinkers tend to also be perfectionists, so the research allows the ability to make sure every detail, every possibility, is explored to the fullest. Waiting isn’t uncomfortable to an over-thinker: It’s their zone. Be prepared to spend hours comparing specs at Best Buy or weeks researching before buying airfare. Over-thinkers enjoy the thrill of research.
Over-thinkers take time to respond. This might seem like a given, but even in moments of conversation over dinner, be sure to give them time to, well, think. Don’t try to fill in their thoughts or complete their sentences; that will never end well. If you struggle with silence, be prepared, because there’s going to be quite a bit with an over-thinker as your partner. The end result, though, can bring some of the most amazing, deep, and interesting conversations you’ve ever had.
Over-thinkers also need time alone. Socializing can be draining on over-thinkers, as they tend to be introverts and they also struggle to try to keep up with the fast-pace of large groups or parties. Your over-thinker will be happy if he/she can have a small amount of time each day to tinker, to sit in silence, to be with his/her thoughts, to recharge. If you decide to move in with an over-thinker, be sure to create a space that is their own when they need their “alone time.”
Over-thinkers look at all problems objectively, studying all angles or options before making any decisions or conclusions. Over-thinkers love puzzles, they love to use their brain power to solve problems. Over-thinkers never assume the most obvious solution is necessarily the best solution. Jumping to conclusions is not the style of an over-thinker, the best solutions take time and careful consideration. However, this can also cause difficulty at times for the over-thinker: he/she can end up going down a rabbit hole of thoughts and end up quite lost or off the original trail.
There is, however, more than one type of over-thinker, so beware. Some like to oversee plans, while for others that can leave them overwhelmed with all the considerations that have to be made. Some search for the positive perspective in any situation, whereas others tend to find the worst-case scenario and assume that will be the outcome. Some enjoy being asked questions and explaining their thought patterns, but others do not.
One thing is for sure, though: Over-thinkers can make great partners if you aren’t in a hurry. They will give gifts that often are very carefully planned out, they are excellent listeners and problem solvers, they can give you things to consider about life that you would have never stumbled into on your own, and they tend to be very understanding of others. Over-thinkers never get boring, and they are constantly working to improve themselves and the world around them. Brain power is incredibly sexy, and over-thinkers have big brains…big, beautiful brains.
Previously published on Thought Catalog
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