• Whitney West

Are You Over-functioning? I am.

It took me many years to realize that I had anxiety.  

Anxiety -The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” (Citation 1 )


I’m a first child and a recovering perfectionist.  However, I still give af what people think about me and sometimes too much although I’ve shed a lot of that.  I just know I do what I do and I do it well and that shows up.  I pride myself on integrity.  I first noticed my anxiety my senior year of college.  A situation stressed me out so much that I began to stutter and a mild case of strep throat manifested in the most severe symptoms.

I didn’t think they showed up when I got sick but in hindsight I realized it was showing up in over functioning but we’ll get to that soon.

The next time I really had anxiety that I realized was about a year ago and again it showed up and made me have physical symptoms related to my digestion.  Thankfully, this time I was in therapy and could work thru it with additional help. 


The next time I really had anxiety that I realized was about a year ago and again it showed up and made me have physical symptoms related to my digestion.

I was on instagram the other week and I saw Myleik talking about being over functioning and an overworked.  She asked were we overfunctioners.  I thought for a second and voted no with conviction.  Then she posted examples of things overfunctioners do…this list shook me.  I instantly knew I had made the wrong choice.  My over functioning wanted me to be able to correct my answers. LOL THANKFULLY she polled again at the end and asked up to re-evaluate.

I immediately went to find that article and more information.  Here are the things from the list that most resonated with me and probably will with you too.

Reposted from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/everything-isnt-terrible/201910/are-you-overfunctioner

  • Using phrases like “no worries” in emails to calm other people down.

  • Finishing people’s sentences when they’re anxious.

  • Giving advice to a distressed friend who hasn’t asked for any.

  • Always picking the restaurant for your friend group.

  • Doing something for someone they can do, because it will take less time.

  • Taking on a task at work because teaching another staff member will be frustrating.

  • Being overly accommodating when people need to reschedule meetings.

  • Not sharing important beliefs to prevent making others anxious.

  • Taking over a family tradition because you can do it better.

  • Explaining someone else’s thinking in a work meeting when they’re present.

Getting control of this is kind of like being addicted to food.  I have to get control of taking too much control.  Whew child. The ghetto.

This is how I’ve been processing through stuff. 

  1. I sat with myself and thought through how I wanted things to go and why overfunctioning wasn't serving me.

  2. I started putting small things into action and sitting in the discomfort.

  3. I had to realize the discomfort was growth that allowed me to get to a better quality of life

  4. Celebrating the wins on the other side of the discomfort.

While it hasn't been 100% victory, I'm getting better and better at it.


Citation 1 -https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323454

Citation 2 - https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/everything-isnt-terrible/201910/are-you-overfunctioner

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©2019 by The Whitney West.