Overthinking It? Maybe That’s Okay
Have you ever been told that you're overthinking it? You might hear this from others; your partner, your friends or your colleagues. They might imply that thinking too much about the problem at hand isn't really helping, and that there is a better way to solve it. It's never pleasant to hear; when are the times when it might be true (and the times when it might not) and what can you do about it?
Brains and problem solving
There is no doubt that our brains are very good at solving problems. They have the ability to evaluate and synthesise enormous amounts of data all in the service of trying to solve problems. Many problems respond very well to this sort of approach and it is a key human evolutionary adaptation. Further, the more problems that you grapple with using this method, the more your ability to solve problems this way is enhanced.
But when it's about people…
However, some problems don't really respond well to this sort of approach. When the problems are generally about other people, their emotions or involve the use of creativity, then using a strictly logical approach may not lead to the best outcome. In these instances, it may be better to use a more holistic method of problem solving. This would include those that includes the feelings of other people and sensory input as well.
Different styles of problem solving
Naturally, different people have different styles of solving problems. Some people like to really think through a problem and logically arrive at the solution. Other people are more comfortable with a more holistic approach, and can be more influenced by their emotions and their senses. Both methods for solving problems have their place, and different sorts of problems respond well to different sorts of solutions.
However, some people are uncomfortable with the problem-solving methods that other people use. For instance, are you a very logical, methodical person? If so, then using your emotions and your senses to solve problems may not make a lot of sense. Are you person that uses their emotions and senses to solve problems? When someone to applies their intellect to problems, this may lead them to think that the person is overthinking the problem.
Using the wrong method
We can sometimes get in a bit of difficulty; we try to apply our most comfortable method to a problem that doesn't really respond to that method. At these times, it's better to have a more flexible approach. When the problem does require intellect to solve we can use that; when the problem requires a different set of skills and we are able to use these skills, then we are more flexible.
Getting the help of another
However, even with problems that respond well to rational thinking, many problems are easier to solve if more than one person is involved. This is one of the ways that counselling and psychotherapy can help. No matter how you are dealing with the problem, being able to fully think through those ideas and express some to another person who is intent on trying to understand can give you further ideas about how to approach the problem and ultimately may help you arrive at a more acceptable solution.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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