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How to Stop Over-Analyzing Every Conversation

Find a Balance

There's value in reading body language and paying attention to verbal language. But you have to know when to use those tricks and when to just listen during a conversation.

The key is to apply the knowledge when it's useful and ignore it otherwise. If you're not going to get anything out of uncovering these underlying truths, ignore them and just enjoy the conversation.

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How to Stop Over-Analyzing Every Conversation

How to Stop Over-Analyzing Every Conversation

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-stop-over-analyzing-every-conversation-1639253515

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Pay More Attention to the Moment

Some tend to spend the bulk of a conversation analyzing instead of paying attention to what a person is actually saying. They then walk away from a conversation with a drastically different view of what happened than the person they were talking to.
Pay more attention to the conversation as a whole and repeat anything you might not be clear about. If you're completely off base, you are probably reading too far into something that doesn't warrant it.

Your Next Move

A conversation is not like a game of chess where you constantly plan three moves ahead.

Keep your mind focused and stop thinking about what you want to say next. There's no point in solving a problem that doesn't exist yet, so focusing attention on doing so is only harming the actual conversation that's happening.

People Actually Say What They Mean

Some spend a lot of time going back through their conversations of the day to find some type of hidden meaning in them. Even if someone was very direct, they assume they meant something else. 

The only thing you can do about this is to stop, move on, and simply accept that people often say what they mean. Paying attention will allow you to have a better grasp of how people are communicating with you. 

Find a Balance

There's value in reading body language and paying attention to verbal language. But you have to know when to use those tricks and when to just listen during a conversation.

The key is to apply the knowledge when it's useful and ignore it otherwise. If you're not going to get anything out of uncovering these underlying truths, ignore them and just enjoy the conversation.

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Overthinking

It  means overanalyzing something that happened, regretting an action, or worrying about the future of something. 

It's when you can't think about anything else, and it'...

Overthinking and action

If you're overthinking an idea you can actually do something about, the best thing you can do is take action now.

This doesn't mean you have to suddenly run off to make something, it just means you start taking a step forward. We tend to overthink because we fear failure, but if we just start working, that dissipates quickly

Break the circle of overthinking:
  • Relabel the ideas you're overthinking ("self-doubt," "anxiety," etc)
  • Reframe your experience and identify your thinking errors
  • Refocus your attention on the part that matters
  • Revalue your brain's messages with the new information
Challenges To Listening
  • We have many things screaming for our attention every minute of the day and we often trick ourselves into believing they’re more important than a conversation unfolding right in front o...
The Importance Of Proper Listening

With proper listening you’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the conversation and demonstrate to speakers that you’re invested in what they have to say.

Being a good listener is one of the most potent things you can do to increase your influence and likeability. It is also one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead.

How To Be A Better Listener
  1. Push other activities from your mind, and be present in the discussion. This tells the other person that you’re ready for the conversation.
  2. Keep a neutral expression that simply says, “I’m listening.” We tend to physically react to what we hear and it disrupts our ability to listen and the other person’s ability to be heard. 
  3. Offer uninterrupted speaking time. Well-intended or not, interruptions makes effective communication impossible. 
  4. Repeat back succinctly and ask validating questions to make sure you heard the speaker correctly.
Observing people and situations is an incredibly valuable tool. 

It gives you the ability to notice subtle cues during conversations, job interviews, presentations, and anywhere else so ...

Increase Your Powers of Observation

Learn how to notice small details.

It's not a superhuman ability. It's important to note when talking about Holmes that he has spent a lifetime cultivating the habits of mindfulness. So it's not like he was just born with this ability to be in touch with the world. What we choose to notice or not notice is a way of framing it in our own mind. We have a lot of bad habits in our mind, and we have to retrain ourselves to really notice the world. Everything we do rewires the brain, but we can rewire it in a way that mindfulness eventually becomes less of an effort. -- Konnikova
Force Yourself to Slow Down

Give yourself monthly or daily challenges to form a new habit of observation.

Ideas could include trying new foods weekly and writing about them, noticing the color of a co-worker's shirt every day, or even just looking at a new piece of art closely once a day.

The idea is to gradually teach yourself to notice small details in your environment and daily life. 

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