Considerate, or over-sensitive?

I’m a worrier. I worry about every eventuality for pretty much every situation. I have a very active imagination, which lets me see many potential outcomes for any decision I make.

I worry a lot about what people think, and it doesn’t matter how many times someone says to me that I shouldn’t, I can’t help it. It’s how I am, and I just have to learn to deal with it, rather than letting these thoughts overwhelm my mind.

For instance, last week I couldn’t do something for a friend that would have helped them out. Not a major thing, but even so, it bothered me. When I worry about this type of thing, I tend to run the potential worst-case-scenario, argumentative, full of conflict conversation in my head. You know the one, where I apologise for not having the time/ability to do as asked, and the other person tells me that I’m an awful friend and deserve to die a lonely death! Yes, the imaginary conversation does sometimes take that turn. When, in reality, not one of my friends has the capacity (I hope!) or the will to be as horrible as that, and none of them have ever berated me if I am unable to carry out a request.

I’ve often been told that I shouldn’t care what anyone thinks of me. I don’t believe that this is true, as I think that this would make me a more selfish and less considerate person, but I wanted to ask this: Do you think it is better for someone to be a worrier, like me, or not to give a damn what anyone thinks? I’m talking extremes, now, rather than the normal, half way in between which I imagine most people attain. I’m sure that not giving a damn would be better for my blood pressure and overall mental health, but probably not so good for my friendships.

At which part of the spectrum would you place yourselves? Where on the spectrum do you think is best to be (not necessarily the same thing at all)? Have you changed as you’ve got older or as things in your lives have changed e.g. marriage and children? Is it possible to make yourself care more or less about the opinion of others?

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6 Responses

  1. I worry about lots of things. Can’t seem to help myself. Now I’m finding alot of the stuff I was worried about with Annie was correct which makes me more prone to listen to my worries.

  2. I think this complexity dogs most souls. Its like trying to find an unholy balance between empathy and aloofness without losing what we consider a human virtue. To add another layer, I also think its an impossible request for the brain to suppress an emotion – which you could argue worrying creates. I don’t have the answer, but I do think that emotions need cognitive weight to hold them down. Rationality, logic and the futile nature of assumptions have always been absolute truths to me and they have helped me to stop chasing my tail. As for getting older and wiser Belly up and failure, is something that I need to learn to accept before thinking, I’ll be faultless in all I do. Its probably the most overlooked fact of a real and true life. Part of a tapestry, I guess. I ramble. Have a nice day….

  3. I now worry less about what people think of me and how I look but instead wake up in the night with thoughts of the pigs, finances etc.

    I think you’re either a worrier or you’re not. I find this strategy helps me: catch yourself mid-worry, decide if it’s a worthwhile worry, if so, work out what you can do about it. If it’s a silly worry, distract yourself until you can think about something else. As most of my worries wake me at 3 am, I find a DVD helps soothe me back to sleep.

  4. I try to stop silly worries, but they still seem to get away from me. I’m glad I’m not the only one, anyway!

    What people think of my appearance doesn’t bother me very much. What worries me more is what people think of me as a person, and whether I should try to be more helpful, or whether I’m a good friend.

    My major worries, though, are always about the boys. Whether we’re doing the best we can by them; whether they will grow up to be civilised and useful members of society; whether I’m too protective/not protective enough etc etc.

    Fabulous, isn’t it! I look forward to the day when I’m a very old person who has earned the right, through sheer longevity of life, to say to hell with everyone, and eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast!

  5. […] Considerate, or over-sensitive? […]

  6. Eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast now if you want, who’s going to know?

    My biggest worries are always about the boys, don’t know if I overly worry about much else, I try not to. I can’t say I really worry what people think of me, but I wouldn’t want to offend anyone either, or for anyone to think I wasn’t a very nice person for some reason.

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