Paralysis by Analysis
October 23, 2009 9:48 AM Subscribe
Has anyone gone through a period in their life where they've just become too overanalytical and serious?
I started therapy a little over a year and a half ago and it has been great. I've gained a lot of additional understanding of myself which has been helpful but at the same time I think it's actually detrimental in other ways.
posted by Garden to human relations (12 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've discovered a lot of positive aspects of my personality but I tend to focus on the deficiencies. I've been diagnosed as having some Asperger like traits (not the full blown Syndrome), ADHD (inattentive type), and a large amount of social anxiety. I feel stuck right now due to the fact that I don't know how to grow relationships with people that I'd like to have.
Before all the therapy, I would have described myself as an introverted, calm and empathetic individual. I struggled socially, but I always seemed to get by. I've always had a handful of friends to hang out with and that seemed sufficient for me (quality over quantity). The problems with these friendships is that most of my friends are now married and they're on a different course in life right now while I'm single and I need to find friends with similar interests that are single.
The problem with the therapy is that I'm so focused on all of my weak areas. I'd love to become a social butterfly, but I don't think that it's a realistic goal. I've read several books on conversational skills and social anxiety and they are interesting but I have a hard time implementing them into my life. I get into conversations and I am polite, I listen well, I ask people all sorts of questions about themselves, but it lacks the fun factor that I used to have in conversations. I don't know how to explain it, it just seems like I'm following too much of a script and it lacks spontaneity.
Does anyone struggle with this in conversations? I find myself thinking all the time what should I say? Sometimes my mind just goes blank and other times I just beat myself up. The weirdest part is that when I'm with friends or family I'm fine with the conversation. I can talk about anything with them. When it comes to meeting new people or people that I know only a little, I really struggle.
The other aspect of myself which has changed for the worse is that I'm pretty serious all the time and I hardly laugh anymore. I'll laugh if other people are laughing at something but it's not really heartfelt. I've asked my therapist about this and he says that once I relax and start enjoying myself that laughter will return and that I'll be less serious as well. I don't know, I feel stuck right now. I'm doing the things that I need to do, but I'm struggling with them.
I just think too much these days. I sit there and analyze everything and start reading about whatever I'm thinking about. For example I'll start reading about mindblindness as it relates to Aspergers Syndrome or theory of mind. Anything that I think about psychologically, I'm reading it.
I'd love to start some new hobbies, but I'm not even sure what would be a good hobby to start as my only goal in doing a hobby is having a shared interest with other people so as to facilitate better friendships.
If anyone has any advice about these issues or of some other time in their life when they've experienced similar issues, please let me know. It would be reassuring to know that I'm probably just going through a stage.