As an introvert, my biggest problem is that I notice everything. Maybe you can relate?
Perhaps you, too, overthink people’s facial expressions. You notice the slightest frown or look of confusion and you immediately start analyzing what you said and did. You wonder, am I boring them? Did I offend them?
Or maybe there’s no question. You’re so perceptive that you can read people’s microexpressions like a children’s book.
A lot of people say that being observant is one of an introvert’s best qualities. I agree, but I also think it can be the most painful, especially if you’re a sensitive introvert who picks up on people’s emotions, mood, and unspoken thoughts.
I definitely count myself in this group. But there’s a catch.
Observant or oblivious
While I’m painfully observant of some things, I’m oblivious to others. Allow me to explain.
I went to the opening of my friends’ new bar The Blind Tiger here in Puerto Vallarta and the architect was there chatting with people about some of the modern design details.
A couple of people mentioned that they loved the gold tiger above the toilets in the bathroom. I had just been to the loo and couldn’t even tell you what color the walls were.
I’m just plain not observant of my physical surroundings. And yet…
Seeing emotions in technicolor
I see people’s emotions as clearly as if they were painted in technicolor.
If you’re the same way, you know that this can be an amazing gift. But if we’re not careful, it’s also a maddening source of overthinking.
It’s all too easy to not only notice people’s moods and emotions, but take responsibility for them.
How many times have you picked up on someone’s sadness or anger and stressed yourself out wondering if it was something you did? Or if there’s something you could’ve done to make it better.
The anthem of the observant and overthinking introvert is “shoulda coulda woulda”.
And it sucks.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Over the years, I’ve learned to stop overthinking other people’s reactions. When I catch myself starting to overanalyze, I dip into my toolkit of mental reframes.
For the most part I’ve trained my brain to choose more constructive thoughts.
If I were to compare my mind to a puppy, it’s at the stage where it’s stopped chewing on everything in sight and can be trusted to play happily on its own.
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Over to you
Do you notice everything? Please share your experiences with this in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂