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  • Writer's pictureJerry Brook

You're over analyzing

Has anyone ever said that to you – that you were over-analyzing? Well, what if I told you that there is no such thing as over-analyzing?

What if I told you that anyone who says this to you is actually hiding something from you?

So, let’s examine this … at the risk of me over analyzing … what does it even mean to over-analyze? Is there some ‘magic’ limit, after which any further analysis is just too much?

Here’s an analogy to illustrate this point

Let’s put this in perspective. We (that is we as a collective people) have spent years, decades even, searching for the answers to such profound things as the cure for cancer, the meaning of life, the existence of extraterrestrial life, world peace, and an end to poverty and hunger (and, of course, the really big question, ‘Where’s Waldo?’).

Haven’t we beat this whole cancer question to death? Haven’t we analyzed this enough already? Can’t we just let it go, can’t we just drop it now, can’t we just move on?

No! We keep going, we are persistent, for one good reason: we are still looking for the answer!

Not just any answer, but a real, valid, satisfactory, answer to this, arguably mankind’s greatest scourge. Anything less would be an insult to all of the people who have spent their valuable time, effort, and sacrifices in order to research (analyze) this issue up to now with the intended goal to reach a useful, workable solution. A satisfactory resolution.

Over-analysis from a relationship perspective: getting the answers you need

So, when are you likely to hear this contention about over-analysis? Taken in its true context, why is it that people would say such a foolish thing to anyone? Let’s go ahead and analyze that question and see if we can find the answer.

What exactly would happen if you continued to analyze? Simply put, you might actually find the answer. And how, exactly, is finding the answer a bad thing?

What are they hiding? Who does it serve?

The only reason that people might tell you that you are over-analyzing is to stop you or deter you from finding the answer that they themselves don’t want you to discover. In other words, they are hiding the answer from you. And why would anyone not want you to find the real answer – the answer that will resonate with you, the one that ultimately rings true?

Clearly, because that answer does not serve them. It only serves you.

The answer that you seek is one that they don’t want to have to face and deal with.

The answer that you seek carries certain grim ramifications for the answerer.

The answer that you seek means that the answerer has deceived, maliciously manipulated, and disrespected you.

The answer that you seek signifies a loss of credibility and trust of the answerer.

And finally, the answer that you seek necessitates that the answerer accepts responsibility for their actions, and requires them to honestly, earnestly, seek your forgiveness – none of which they are willing to do.

Malicious manipulation: deflection, avoidance, and deception

The statement “you’re over-analyzing” is a malicious manipulation in itself. It is an attempt to shift blame from the offender to the victim – in other words, the person who is asking the question.

There are those who will readily accept, who will actually allow themselves to be maliciously manipulated by others. These are the people who will stop researching, analyzing, looking for, or seeking out the answers; the very people who will hide their heads in the sand and simply give up, move on, or let it go.

But why would anyone do such a thing?

Frankly, the reason for that is that they feel that the answer will be too painful or stressful for them to handle.

You see, once you know the answer, then you’ll have to deal with what that means. And what it means is that this person has deceived you. They have broken the trust, broken the bond, broken the connection between the two of you. Things then aren’t what they appear to be or the way that you want them to be.

How are you going to respond?

Along with that, it requires some sort of response from you. How are you to deal with the potential distrust, the loss of respect – theirs for you, and yours for them?

As long as this question lingers and goes unanswered or unresolved, there will be stress in the relationship.

Sadly, the questioner, the analyzer, will be caught in limbo. Not satisfied with the answer and all that it entails, they are hopeless to deal with the reality of an untenable situation and unable to move forward with no solution in sight, like a prisoner trapped in a dark cell.

The benefit of analyzing and not stopping until you get an answer is that you can’t get a solution, resolution, without it. And you need a resolution in order to feel relaxed, comfortable, and ultimately, satisfied. You can never have that as long as there are lingering, outstanding or unanswered questions. In other words, in order for you to be in a satisfying, bonded, connected relationship, you need answers and explanations.

The “you’re over-analyzing” challenge

Here’s your challenge this week: be diligent in your relationships. By that I mean pay attention: don’t just coast and take things for granted. Be an active participant in this endeavor and ask the right questions. Frame your questions around why, how, and what. Don’t let others discourage you from finding the answers that you need to satisfy, no matter how stressful or painful those answers may be.

Good Together: your guide to healthy, happy relationships

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