I have read Rep Licon’s thread on playing music in one’s head and I do the same. I feel a little like Stephen Woolston with respect to the clarity of the notes and distinctiveness and volume of my favourite parts for example. This is not an problem for me, but I do have a serious issue with over-complicating my thought process. My mind sees it as necessary and I trained myself to go through what I call ‘levels’ for a number of different reasons. This affects all areas of my life and as with Rep Licon it can be both massively helpful (as it was developed to be) and can also leave me metaphorically paralysed and ‘stuck in thinking’.
Even here, explaining this issue, I tend to over write and under-explain if that makes any sense.
I will try to be more clear, probably the best way to remain succinct is through examples:
If I want to go and see a friend I haven’t seen for a while I’ll weigh up pros and cons to begin with. Then I will rate them and however one sided the outcome of this weighing up process I will then go a ‘level’ deeper. This could involve the ‘opportunity cost’ (looking at what else I could do instead and putting value to that) of seeing this friend, or looking at all the problems that could occur when i’m with that person like bad weather or what I would do if they yawned at what I said or started getting aggressive or anything. The easiest way to explain is to say that this process is very quick (as it has been developed over many years) and I cover what I see as to be every angle. Then, once that is done I take more time to try and take it a level deeper. Then I go through the process from the other person’s point of view and do the process all over again. Working out what could possibly annoy them about me, what character traits they seemed to like and dislike of mine last time we met, and trying to find ways to bring out more of the side of me that they would appreciate. Then it gets deeper but I would find it hard to explain in under a few thousand words.
There are hundreds of examples of this and it is not that I am insecure that I would try to bring my positive characteristics out, and not because I am a fake person, but to try and get the most (and give the most) out of this possible meeting.
I attempt to put heavy levels of logic behind everything and believe things very strongly when I have ‘proved’ them in my head: for example that smoking is for the weak and all you have to do is just stop (I was on 40-50 a day), or that religion is a clutch for the weak formulated by everyone’s subconcious/inner need to look up to things (born from looking up and copying parents) being confused with the need to worship. Or that people who are superstitious have a gap in their thinking stopping logic allowing them to realise that breaking a mirror is in fact no more bad luck than breaking a window or chair or arm for example. Or people who are sexist in general: it’s a weakness of the mind born from insecurities.
Also, one of my main issues is ‘taking the piss’…anyone who does this in almost any circumstance is doing it out of insecurity. i.e. – "you fat cow": basically the mind saying: I am not fat and wouldn’t it make me look big to call this woman fat. This extends in a slightly different way to ALMOST all circumstances and was proved by my insecure friend (he takes the mickey constantly) who I told this view to and he responded by taking the piss AGAIN and saying "ooh is this because I am insecure?". He thought this a clever response but in fact it simply served as a mildly transparent defence mechanism (probably partly led by the subconscious) as a measure to disprove my point because it made him feel uneasy because a large part of him knew it to be true. Obviously if admitted he would then have to face either admitting feeling insecure or he would stop taking the piss (if he followed logic correctly).
My point here is that my over thinking leads me to what some readers of this may view as a personal rant, but in fact is how my mind operates all the time. The problem for me has become almost unmanageable: I mean how am I supposed to live in a world where social norms require the most important thing in conversation (often) to be to make people laugh? And the most common way to be humorous (again often but not always by any means) is to ‘take the piss’. I know the easy answer is not to take it all too seriously but this misses my point entirely. When Joe takes the piss out of John for example, it is not John I feel sorry for but Joe. I hope that helps explain a little. Then when I explain this to people they do not think deeply enough about it and respond in an illogical way with something like "you don’t know how to take a joke".
This ‘taking the piss’ idea is one of hundreds (if not thousands) of issues and as they grow, I find it increasingly difficult to deal with people. To me, how can one go on living in a certain way if that way proves to be illogical (other than by creating fake positives).
Anyway I have written a lot and have a lot more to say but in summary I am asking for ways to deal with this. It seems impossible to know which direction to go and the idea of an on/off switch to my thought process seems like I am lying to myself by creating something that isn’t there (which I will not do out of principle).
My most recent issue is with a girl whom I have been friends with for many years and now things may start to develop into a serious relationship but I can’t stop thinking of pros and cons of seeing her and what our kids would look like and be like and would she be a good mother. All these ‘normal’ questions (that you may consider normal for example) come onto my mind and in answering them, more complicated things come into my head and then deeper and deeper. Meanwhile all I want to do is ‘go with the flow’ and feel rather than think. You see how frustrating this is? To make it worse, I developed this over thinking partly because I feel too much anyway and don’t know if I could deal with another tough break up.
Any thoughts whatsoever would be much appreciated, I hope one day to come across someone who thinks as deeply as I do. Just as a side point: I am not obssessive compulsive at all but have an odd concentration span. Years ago at school and later university I found that I always concentrated more in double/longer lessons. I like to play chess for 15-20 hours (with water breaks and maybe 1 meal break) but find after the break it takes up to an hour to get back into things. I can talk about a topic I feel passionate about for 10-15 hours with nothing but water and most people use the words ‘too intense’ when describing my conversational form, (especially my father).
Also I spend very little time thinking about myself because it seems after some experience in deep thinking that almost everything that one thinks of oneself is already there and it is effectively a waste of time. This leads to hours and hours of thought on all my friends and family, why Megan Fox is so attractive, why some illogical scientists attribute good looks with symmetry of the face (you can be symmetrically ugly), how so many people were brainwashed by Hitler, why so many people like to be treated ‘mean’ in relationships (usually girls, but some boys too), why can so few people run and swim very well (I am a sprinter but can’t swim fast at all, however much I swim), why do people take so much rubbish from mere coincidence, why are people so blindly stubborn with their beliefs (not just religion) – but in the face of clear, unequivocal evidence to the contrary they still stick to their view. I mean on this point, although I believe my beliefs strongly, one of my favourite things is to be proved incorrect. Then I can learn and re-adapt my thought process, I believe we never stop learning.
Anyway if anyone has had the patience to read all of this and feels they can add some insight on anything at all please don’t hesitate to reply. As to clarify: my main issue is that I want control over when I over think and when I don’t as well as the wisdom to know when it is beneficial to do so and how deep is appropriate.
p.s. – music relaxes me a lot and Comfortably Numb’s guitar work, California Dreaming’s infectious rhythm and Chopin’s piano (as well as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata) baffle me so much that sometimes I can almost not think in awe of their beauty Which can only be a good thing..(?)