I'm too Cerebral. I think.

Not quite as catchy a title as “I Pit My Brain!” or “I Was a Teenage Robot!”, but I like it.

Bottom line : I think too much. How do I know this? Well, I think all the time, so if there is such a thing as thinking too much, I’m doing it.

I’m at a loss as to how to cut back, though. Especially in social situations - I can either be as nervous as Woody Allen, aloof and cold as icy planet Pluto, or incessantly wisecracking and silly. Usually I opt for number three, but I imagine it gets tiresome for some folks.

It’s also a bit annoying when trying to sleep. Unless I’m just exhausted, the little ideas and musings keep dancing through my head for an hour after I’ve hit the sack.

Any thoughts?

Strong drink.

I can’t help you, as I think too much, too. Although I do have to speak against the strong drink.

Bad Mr. Bus Guy! :wink:

::taking his punishment like a man::

Well, it does tend to shut the brain down…

Lobotomies, liquid or otherwise, aren’t a great option for me.

But seriously folks…I can maybe help with the sleep issues.

I’m the same way, I’ve even had a couple doctors/counselors tell me I should think about Adult ADD. Constantly pondering, thinking, analyzing, etc…

I used to have a bitch of a time sleeping. The bus wife’s favorite time of day to bring up any kind of deep subject matter would be right as my head hit the pillow, so I’d be up for hours with my head filled once again.

I now am a strict believer in doing absolutely nothing brainically (yes it’s a word, if I say it’s a word!!!) taxing for about the last hour or so before I go to sleep. Read a mindless novel, or anything just for pleasure really. Stare at something banal on TV (I recommend the MTV evening fare, it’s about as low-brow entertaining as you can get), or just sit on the floor and harass the cats with string for a while.

Something about the ritual of shutting down the thought process as you go through the nighttime rituals helps ease the sleep process.

Also, look into some self-hypnosis techniques. years ago, I was shown a few as part of a pain management program, and found they help me shut down and get straight to sleep.

Gamera, I recommend meditation, & relaxing music. Don’t drink, really…I know you already said you wouldn’t, but the strong drink at night has never helped me sleep better. Instead it tosses me into this deep sleep which I have trouble getting up from then. If you’re not a habitual drinker by, say, 25, you’re probably never going to be one.

Mr. Bus Guy says do light stuff right before bed. I find that’s not necesary, as I usually am doing something mind-heavy right up until bedtime. Instead, set a pattern to sleep the same hours at least through the work week. Your body will make a habit of it. Also, learn some relaxation techniques - easy enough to pick up some advice online.

Also, I hesitate to say this last one, out of sheer embarrasment, but, I know it works. Er…spend some time with *yourself * before bedtime. Er. If you know what I mean. If not, I’m sure Mr. Bus Guy can elaborate.


Uh, no I’m sure I have NO idea what Anaamika might be talking about. :wink:
I’ll be out of the shower in just a minute!!

The sleep issue is only a secondary symptom, but I appreciate the input, nonetheless.

I don’t think it’s adult ADD - I have no trouble focusing on something for a long time and ignoring distractions.

Let me add another data point, though. You may be familiar with the Meyers-Briggs personality tests. Some regard them as having dubious value, and that’s okay, but I mention this anyway.

I took one once as part of a “team building” activity on my last contract position. I came up INTJ. These letters represent “tendencies” on one of four axes that the test measures. “Introvert/Extrovert”, for the first. I wasn’t as extreme an Introvert as I expected. (The fourth is Perceiving/Judging, and I was almost dead-center on that one) - the relevant one for this discussing is the third, Thinking vs. Feeling. I buried the needle. Capital ‘T’.

So you think more than you feel? Way, way more? As in, your emotions are possibly underdeveloped?

Is that what this means?

It’s possible. Or, I just always defer to the rational side if they’re in conflict.

So…let me see if I understand. You have trouble cooling down brain activity because you think too much, and to add to this, we even have a personality test that tells us you think too much?
Is this accurate?
And because you think too much you have trouble sleeping at nights, and maybe you think too much doing other things, too.
I don’t really see all of this as a bad thing, necesarily, except maybe for the no-sleeping thing. What’s wrong with having a very active mind? Perhaps you can tell me if it’s not a problem about the sleeping:

and it’s not this:

The main problem you have is this?

You’re worried you think too much in social situations? Have people complained? And I know you’re not staying at home all the time and not seeing anyone, so it’s not like you don’t have social situations galore.

Mayhap you can elaborate a bit more.

Uhh… kinda. The personality test doesn’t measure how often you think, more like the relative importance or prevalence of thinking vs. feeling.

It’s not that I get NO sleep, it’s that I have difficulty dropping off to sleep. I suppose the commonality between that and the social thing is an inability to “relax”.

No, the complaint box thus far is empty, except for a cryptic note regarding more Cheetos in the vending machine.

Regarding your assumption, though - I do spend much of my time at home. Most of it. I have company there a few times a week, but definitely at home.

Ok. I’ve heard of the test but have little to no idea of what it does.

Well, there’s no tried-and-true method of relaxing in social situations except doing them over, and over, and over. Practice makes perfect. Anyway, it depends on the situation, too. I also have a hard time relaxing in some social situations and not others.
As for the sleep, the ideas we’ve given do work. Try them out.

This made me laugh out loud, thank you.

But those are still social situations, yes? I mean, I spend most of my time at home, too - hey, it’s my castle. What sort of social situations are you talking about then?

Here’s an option: Accept yourself for who you are.

I know that sounds trite, but nothing you’ve mentioned is any sort of great moral or personal failing. If you’re the guy who thinks too much, be the guy who thinks too much. There’s worse things to be, man. God knows, it’s not like the world has an oversupply of thinkers.

The two specific things you’ve mentioned are sleep and social situations. For the former I’d recommend following Anaamika and Mr. Bus Guy’s advice. Especially Anaamika’s. Not that I’ve ever tried it myself of course. No sir. But I’ve read in books that it works. Yup, books. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

For the latter, I’m not sure how bad the situation is. A few ideas.

Again, one thing is to learn to live with it. You may be better in one on one conversations than in large groups. try and associate with like minded people. Find a few close friends, rather than trying to be the life of the party. Don’t fight your personality, embrace it. The problem with fighting your personality is that it turns into one of those “don’t think of an elephant” things. The more you try not to think of an elephant, the more you think of elephants. If you try and suppress overthinking, you’ll wind up overthinking about overthinking, if you catch my drift. If you embrace your overthinking, you may find it becoming less of a burden. Sounds paradoxical, but it’s true.

Mr. Bus Guy may have been kidding when he mentioned strong drink, but there’s nothing wrong with moderate alchohol consumption in social situations. It doesn’t have to rise to the level of a liquid lobotomy. One or two drinks will lower social inhibitions without turning you into a full on drunk. I mention this merely as an option. I don’t know how you handle alchohol.

Finally, if you really feel like you are experiencing severe anxiety in social situations you could always see a doctor about it. There are several anti-anxiety meds on the market. One caveat, and I know I may sound a bit Cruisey here, but Doctors perscribe these meds at the drop of a hat now. Ask yourself if they’re something you really need. If they are, though, then go for it.

Hope this helps.


I agree with everything in Larry’s post except for this:

No, no, no! Don’t turn to the bottle, really. Next thing you know you won’t be able to loosen up without it. If you really want to be comfortable in a social situation, you’ll have to learn it yourself.

I’m sorry if I sound harsh. I really wonder about people who have to drink to be comfortable. I always wonder: Is this really them? Or is this some other persona? I’d rather get to know the *real * them.

And yes, I was mostly in jest there. There’s a fine line between using alcohol to relax in certain social situations, and having it become a crutch.

The tendency to an addiction to alcohol may be mostly genetic, but regardless relying on it to make you comfortable in a crowd, or a party is not a good thing.

BTW - my Meyers-Briggs also ran me to the wall in the Thinking axis. And all this time I fancied myself the perceptual, touchy-feely kind of guy.

I just brought the alchohol thing up as an option. I agree that it has a tendancy to turn into a crutch, especially among people who are anxious.

I don’t want to hijack the thread into a debate about the pros and cons of beer, so I’ll shut up now.

There are no cons to beer, let’s get that much straight… :wink:

Am I a dumbass, or am I alone in getting the little joke in the thread titile?

"I am too cerebral PERIOD :space space space: I think.

Get it, not I am too cerebral COMMA I think.

Mr Bus Guy, I *thought * I got the little joke in the title until you came along with your explanation.