Alternate title: She’s a Freak…Yow!

It has been confirmed once again that I am the exception to the norm, that my brain doesn’t work in the similar patterns as the brains of other women, and that women today consistently share one common characteristic: worry.

Women worry about everything.

A woman worries if it is time to move her child to a front-facing car seat.

She worries about her husband’s safety on a work trip out of town.

She worries about the mole she noticed on her shoulder.

She worries about the comment she made at party last weekend.

These things are reasonable, when taken individually. Who doesn’t want to make the best decision about the health or safety of their family members? The thing that unites women is not just the fact that they worry about common things; it’s that they don’t just worry, they obsess.

Almost every woman I know mulls things over, and over and over, until a problem or decision that was fairly small gains unmerited importance and gravity. Will the house be ready when company comes over? Why did my co-worker make that suggestion yesterday and what did he mean by it? When my in-laws offer me a maid service as a birthday gift, what are they really saying?

The constant analysis and deconstruction of every detail of every interaction robs women of their confidence, their self-worth and their joy.  Who has time to be joyful when there are so many bird-y things pecking at them all the time? If left unchecked, women’s worrying can make them stop trusting their instincts and put their worth in the hands of the people outside themselves. When allowed to grow, this shakiness can lead to chronic and sometimes debilitating anxiety.

I’m trying to discern why this is so commonplace. What messages are women given that leads them down this road? How can we keep this from being passed down to our daughters?

And how did it NOT get passed to me?

I’d love to hear your insights and experiences with worry and anxiety.