EinsteinWhat does it mean when others tell you, "You think too much"? An intelligent, inquisitive friend reports that she hears this from time to time.

At the risk of thinking too much, let’s think about what "YTTM" means. I think it means:

"I’m not interested in thinking your thoughts with you. Your thoughts aren’t interesting to me."

"I’m not willing to make the effort to find what is interesting about your thoughts. You might be on an interesting intellectual journey, but I’m not willing to walk it with you, so I think you should just stop."

"If you keep thinking deep thoughts, you’ll go blind or develop a blister or it will fall off."

"Please don’t bother me with your continued thoughts. My thoughts are what we should be talking about."

"I’m in charge of our conversations. I know when any of us is thinking too much. Trust me."

"Whoa. That’s too heavy, dude. I’d rather not think deep thoughts now."

YTTM has a variation I’ve heard: "You are too sensitive." That’s like YFTM: "You feel too much." I don’t know enough about psychological or psychiatric therapy to know whether trained counselors say YTTM or YFTM. I suspect that these comments come from only amateur analysts, friends who are defending their own lack of curiosity or empathy in your situation.

Both of these comments, YTTM and YFTM, are variations on a theme: the person who says them to you is tired of making the effort to share your thoughts and feelings. That’s a red flag for a relationship. It’s time to find different people with whom to share your life. It’s time to choose a friend.