Hana Shafi The Art of Analysis

Reading into things is probably the worst habit I have. And I don’t mean reading into things when it comes to academic texts, deep philosophical questions about your existence kind of stuff. I mean reading into things like “omg he texted me and said I was cute what does it mean?!?!” You can send your disapproving vibes at me through cyberspace, but I know there are boat loads of you who do it too; who get caught up in the frenzy of talking to someone they are interested in and begin to start picking apart everything they say, desperately trying to determine the level or intention of their interest. 

See, the sane thing to do is just go with the flow. Enjoy your conversations with this person, savor the time you spend with them, and just be happy in the moment. Experience that awesome compatibility without tainting it with your over-analysis. Yes, those are all, perfectly sane things to do. Did I mention that most of that is easier said than done? 

It’s difficult not to get carried away with reading into what a person says; particularly with anyone who’s been mislead, or generally screwed over in the past, it’s tempting to want to try and prevent this by conducting some kind of Sherlock Holmes meets Sigmund Freud analysis of every word being relayed between you and this individual. Seems like a smart idea right? Figure out what this person wants before you end up getting the short end of the stick again. Wrong. It doesn’t work, usually it just ruins what good times you DO have with that person. It’ll also keep you awake into the early hours of morning, digging yourself deep into a hole of confusion and frustration. 

I’ve yet to find a person whose hysterical deductions have actually done some good, or have actually been even vaguely correct. What we perceive as enthusiasm, interest, flirtation, or even the lack of all those things, is almost entirely dependent on how we ourselves express those things. Our own ways of showing interest may be entirely different from another person, so unless things are very straightforward and overt, it can be hard to distinguish platonic enthusiasm from romantic or sexual interest. 

The best way of stopping yourself from reading into these kinds of interactions too much is to designate one friend to call you out on your temporary bout of insanity. The truth is, it can be hard to get yourself to stop doing this, especially because it’s often just a defense mechanism. But the one thing that has always helped me is having a friend who will shake me by the shoulders, tell me to calm the fuck down, and go with the flow. Whether that actually works, I’m not entirely sure; but having a friend to help ground you from time to time is hardly a bad thing. And remember, emoticons are not always your friend. 


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