12 Signs You're An Overthinker

If you sit there mulling over every choice you made that day, you're an overthinker.

guy sitting alone overthinking tairome / Shutterstock

There you are about to do something when ... wait. Should you really do that, or perhaps something else?

Is this you: standing in the middle of the supermarket trying to debate over something as frivolous as a box of rice?

If you answered yes, congratulations! You are an over-thinker.

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Here are 12 signs you're an overthinker:

1. You constantly hear, "Just choose already!"

If you're an over-thinker, you've heard that phrase a zillion times. People act like it's oh-so-easy to just make a choice. And sure, sometimes it's easy; for instance, would you prefer Brad Pitt or your husband?

Easy choice, but when you're an over-thinker, you know that making a choice is torture, plain and simple.

2. You can't sleep at night if you make the "wrong" choice

Oh, it's damn vital to choose the right shampoo, cookie, parking spot, boyfriend, girlfriend, or pair of socks. Every choice feels vital. Something major could happen if you buy the wrong pair of gym shorts, you know?


Actually, nothing will happen if you buy the supposedly wrong pair of gym shorts, except you will obsess over whether or not you bought the right pair.

3. You don't consider your decision-making a black-and-white issue

Nothing is that cut and dry. There are always options in the world, and an over-thinker is able to see the whole spectrum of possibilities. Too many people view overthinking as a nuisance when the reality is that it's also a blessing.

We see numerous possibilities, rather than one lame solution or option.

4. You are the go-to person for advice

An over-thinker is never surprised when someone asks us for our advice. We know why people come to us with their love life squabbles and family drama — because we will dissect the situation and put any and all possible spins on the matter.


And people love this. It makes them feel very important as we, the over-thinkers, sit and ponder their dilemmas. It also helps them see aspects they weren't open to seeing on their own. An over-thinker is a valuable asset as a friend.

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5. You prefer others to choose for you

An over-thinker knows why the phrase, "Why don't you pick?" is not just helpful, it's soul-saving. Sometimes, we want someone else to pick so we don't have to jog through our mental index (which, by the way, is completely exhausting).

We rejoice when someone makes the final call over something as trivial as dinner plans.


6. You make "big" decisions much easier than others

Oddly enough, the over-thinker could ponder the depths over what Blue Ray player to buy, yet in two seconds flat, decide to leave their job and go for a totally new career. I struggled with finding a video monitor when my child was a baby, but I had no problems when deciding to go back to college after a five-year absence. 

Big decisions are exciting and powerful, but little decisions feel mind-numbing and make over-thinkers anxious.

7. You regret, regret, regret

Of course, after we make that big decision and we're in the middle of our new life plan, we will sit and debate in our brains, deciding if we were rashly impulsive or if we made a smart choice. Sometimes, we will feel deep regret and doubt our instincts.

8. You always need backup reasoning

Only an over-thinker understands why, even when something awesome happens, we like to sit there and wonder how it happened to us if it will happen again, and if we deserved it.


We can get ourselves all dressed and pretty to celebrate a big major event for ourselves, but inside the over-thinkers mind is this little question: "Do I deserve this?"

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9. You have an ongoing battle raging in your mind

Our instinct is there. Trust me, we heard this the first time we consulted our brains on a matter. The problem is that our worries tend to box out our sanity, and suddenly, it's a battle of choices in our brains.

10. You think your own indecisive behavior is annoying

We know it's annoying when we can't decide which storage system to buy or what flavor of ice cream to choose, but we can't help it. In fact, sometimes when other folks just make a choice easily, we silently wish we could be like that.


OK, so sometimes when you just up and choose that beer or those pair of shoes, our brain is silently saying, "Bad choice, girlfriend. If only you were more discerning."

11. You know the value of not being rash

Many a time, our overthinking saved us from wearing that tacky shirt or saying yes to that freaky guy who would've been an absolute nightmare to deal with.

Don't look down your nose at the over-thinker, because one day you'll be crying over that little choice you made, and we will be the only one holding your hand and saying, "We know what that feels like."


12. You don't want salespeople showing you "more options"

When salespeople say, "There are many options," we want to kill them instantly. Really? More options? We were in a tizzy over the first three you bought.

Salesy salespeople make us cringe. We dodge them like the plague. They come to us with their "options" and their "opinions," but we just don't want any of it. We don't need any more distractions in our own little mind theater, thanks.

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Laura Lifshitz is a former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, and marriage. Her work has been featured on YourTango, New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more.