An INFP overthinking is a very common phenomenon. Does that person also want to be my friend or do they think I’m annoying? Will I even be good enough at this job or is it not worth applying? Is this blog post worth writing or will no one read it? As INFPs, our introverted and intuitive side has us living in our heads a lot. Therefore, we tend to overthink and over-analyze even the littlest situations. INFP overthinking is a hard habit to stop, but it is important to be aware when we are doing it. Here are some good reasons why overthinking is not worth it.
The more we think about it, the longer we suffer.
So you finally mustered up the courage to go to a social event and it did not go as planned. You applied for your dream job or school, and you didn’t get it. You asked your crush out, and they rejected you. We could spend time after these events thinking about how awful we feel, but it doesn’t do anything for us. Of course, a good cry and a few days to mope is common after an upsetting event and might actually help. However, when you are an INFP overthinking all day for weeks on end, it only makes us suffer for longer over something that we can not change.
There is no going backwards and we can not change the past. In fact, many things are out of our control and we could have done nothing to prevent them. However, we can pat ourselves on the back for actually trying something we don’t usually do. And we are in control of our future. We don’t have to be stuck criticizing our past selves, but instead, molding our future selves by not burdening our present self with unnecessary overthinking and suffering.
We don’t want to think ourselves out of progress.
The longer we think about something, listing all the possibilities and scenarios that can go wrong, the longer we have time to convince ourselves to not do something. The worst part of anxiety is not the act of doing something, but the time we spend waiting. The reason is when we wait, we have all that time before the act itself to worry. After something is over, we might think about how embarrassing it was. But we don’t have the same worries that come with waiting to act or waiting for something to happen.
I remember worrying for hours on end about a job interview. I almost worried to the point I didn’t want to show up. However, I went, and when it was over, I knew it didn’t go very well and felt bad about it. Even so, there was an overwhelming sense of relief that I got through it and I actually did not fret about how bad it went for very long. Waiting for the interview and thinking of everything that could go wrong was much worse than the reality of it not going so well. And if anything, all that worrying likely psyched myself out.
It’s normal to feel nervous and think about our decisions, but overthinking can really halt our progress if we allow it to talk us out of the things we want.
It’s likely not going to matter in a few days, months, or years from now.
Can you remember a time in the past when something bad or embarrassing happened. Maybe you felt like you just wanted to crawl in a hole and stay there? I’m sure we have all had those moments. However, if we look at them now, it likely does not affect us as terribly as it did in the moment. Sometimes when we ruminate, playing the scene out over and over in our head, we believe we will never be able to get over it. As INFPs, our emotions are very strong and it can make upsetting events very overwhelming. Even so, we should remember that it can make our happy moments even better. As time passes, the event that makes us want to crawl in a hole will likely just be an upsetting memory we remember on occasion, but wont debilitate us on a daily basis.
Everyone is only human.
An INFP overthinking is made worse by the fact that INFPs tend to focus on feelings and not logic. We can understand why what we are doing is wrong, but it doesn’t change our feelings. It is important to take time for our feelings and accept that we might react differently than someone else. Maybe we are sensitive about something that seems stupid to most people. Just know, if you are feeling it, you are definitely not the only person in the world who is. There are likely other people who are in the same exact situation as you. And it is okay to cry about it, to get angry, or even take a mental health day.
However, overthinking and ruminating for too long no longer becomes relieving, but starts creating even more stress and burden on ourselves. We need to catch ourselves when we are doing that. In those moments, we can do something we enjoy that puts us in a happier mood. If things are really bad, we need to seek professional help and accept that maybe we need a little help. Remember, not even the most logic-driven people are robots. They also make mistakes, have embarrassing moments, fail at things, and need help from others.
We want to always keep trying!
It’s important we don’t come to the conclusion that we should never try again. Not even the most successful people have succeeded at everything they’ve done. In fact, most of them have likely had failure after failure before they stumbled on their first success. It’s okay to think about the realistic possibilities that something might go wrong. But don’t lose sight of all the reasons you want to try something to. We are more likely to regret the things we did not do than the things we did do. Don’t overthink about all the possible scenarios to the point you don’t even get to see how the real scenario plays out. It will likely not be as magical as in your head, but it will also not be as defeating. Next time you are an INFP overthinking, try to step out into the reality of it and find the good in it as well.