Are You Doing The Crazy Math?

I call it The Crazy Math. It's what we do whenever something happens and we take that thing and we add to it a slew of ideas we have about it and we interpret what we think that thing means.

For instance, a man once told me he was a terrible husband. I asked, “Why are you a terrible husband?” He said his wife told him so. I asked, “Did she say, 'you're a terrible husband?'” “Well, not exactly...” he replied.

After digging a little deeper, we discovered what really happened. That morning she had said to him, “I don't like our mattress.”

Then, after she said it, he started doing The Crazy Math. He concluded that it meant he was a terrible husband. And he truly believed it. He believed it, and he got hurt by it, because in his calculation (in his interpretation of A+B+C=D) she said she didn't like the mattress (A), PLUS he picked out the mattress (B), PLUS he paid for the mattress (C), EQUALED he's a terrible husband (D)!

Can you see how this can create a nasty snowball effect?

Are You Doing The Crazy Math?

Injuries like this happen to us all the time. They occur when something happens (or doesn't happen), or when someone says something (or doesn't say something).

  • Something happens: we get dumped and we do The Crazy Math on it. We conclude it means something else: I'm going to end up alone. And then we get hurt.
  • Something doesn't happen: they didn't text us back! and we do The Crazy Math on it. We conclude it means something else: they don't care about me. And then we get hurt.
  • Someone says something: Are you really going to eat that? and we do The Crazy Math on it. We conclude it means something else: I'm too fat. And then we get hurt.
  • Someone doesn't say something: they forgot our birthday and we do The Crazy Math on it. We conclude it means something else: it wouldn't have happened if they loved me. And then we get hurt.

The point I hope you're getting is that the injury is not what happened (or didn't). The injury is what we experience because of The Crazy Math we do in our interpretation of what happened (or didn't). The interpretation is what causes the suffering we're stuck with after the event happens.

The interpretation is what causes the suffering we're stuck with after the event happens.

It's the belief we take on (I'm unloveable or they don't respect me or that shouldn't have happened, etc.) that creates the snowball of hurt that be caused that is not inherent in the event.

Something really can just happen and no injury comes out of it.

It's pretty easy for us to recognize that I don't like this mattress means I don't like this mattress. And that it doesn't mean I'm a terrible husband. However, when we're the one doing The Crazy Math, it can be much trickier for us to see it.

Are you really going to eat that? doesn't mean I'm too fat. What it might mean is, I really want to eat that, so please tell me you're not going to! Or, it might mean, I'm so stuffed, I can't imagine how you possibly could have room for more. Can you see it?

When they didn't text you back might mean that they are on a phone call, or that their battery died, or that they're busy doing something nice to surprise you.

The good news is a lot of healing can take place when you take a look back, and notice where you've done this in the past. You can try taking another pass at calculating what happened. Also, if today you notice you're doing The Crazy Math on something, you can stop yourself from adding things up in a way that hurts you. That way, you will prevent yourself a lot of needless suffering.Are You Doing The Crazy Math?

Hopefully, you can take some solace in the fact that you are not the only one who does The Crazy Math – it's just a part of being human.

Are you doing The Crazy Math? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Caren Field (MA, LLPC) is a professional individual and couples counselor with a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her latest project, a series of workshops called Liberating with Honor, is designed to teach people how to heal themselves (and others) from past injures and how to set themselves free! Find out more here: https://bit.ly/tptp-lwh

Like The Path to Partnership on Facebook: https://bit.ly/tptp-fb

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Lol this happens quite a lot to me. I'm overthinking a lot of stuff haha.

    For example, if somebody (a girl) read my text (whatsapp blue check marks), and doesn't reply back, then I do such a thing :P , like, 'why are they ignoring me?' (i instantly assume they're ignoring me, mostly they do reply, but later on the day :P)

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I agree.

    We shouldn't attach a meaning that isn't there in the first place.
    Sometimes we are victims to ourselves.

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What Guys Said 8

  • All I know is that 4^(x+4) = 5^(2x+5) is solved as

    Xln4+4ln4=2Xln5+5ln5

    X (2ln5-ln4)=4ln4-5ln5

    X = 4ln4-5ln5/2ln5-ln4

    X ~ -1.37

    And THAT is some crazy math.

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  • The scary part about this is that if you come to the conclusion through the "crazy math", you don't even realize that you did any operations to get your result. It's literally "if A, and B and C, then D is true". I somewhat hope i'm not a victim of this, but I can't tell! >.>

    Anyways, good take :D
    These really do happen, and being aware is the first step to solving a problem.

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    • You're right, it all happens in the background, because it's not being done by our conscious mind. But, when you become aware of it... well, now you're on to yourself, and you (hopefully) won't let yourself get away with it.

  • I'm crazy of maths and make people crazy about that fact since it's so advanced for them they think I'm doing crazy maths when in fact I'm only crazy about them, without them being crazy in the first place
    Isn't that crazy 🤔

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  • Yep, we tend to overthink things, get obsessive when we are insecure... Good to step back and analyze what we did, how we made a minor incident into a crisis.

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  • I think crazy logic would fit the title better as that has more to do with it than math. I don't understand why a lot of people make assumptions instead of merely considering the options without judgement until further notice.

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  • I am afraid I do that kinda often.
    During the last few weeks it was kinda extreme, always have found something that made me think that there's something bad going on and whatever. Long story.

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  • No that's stupid. I would never marry someone I know that less like the guy from your example.

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  • Someone doesn't say something :/

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What Girls Said 5

  • I do not do it anymore. I did it in the past about my personal life, professional life etc. I never worked. Crazy Maths does not take you anywhere. It makes you feel more unhappy. That is it.

    If sth does not happen, it has its own reasons. Same goes; If sth does happen, it has its own reasons too. I do not make assumptions. I find the courage to ask questions and to express what I really want

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  • But sometimes, the crazy math is the reality.

    Most of the times "Are you really going to eat that?" really do mean "really? Don't you think you're fat enough already?" And it will especially hurt more, if we're already insecure about our bodies.

    A guy bailed on a second date when he saw me without makeup. Made up some excuses about his friend visiting from Berlin and never texted me again afterward. Is it still "crazy math" to think that he is repulsed by my unmade-up face? That I am actually ugly without makeup? I don't think it's crazy to come to that conclusion after someone does something (or doesn't do something) to validate my fears that were already there.

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    • Consider that it's all The Crazy Math; and it's running the show in the background. You did math on what he said (about his friend from Berlin) and on him not texting you back. In your estimation, these PLUS you weren't wearing makeup EQUALS he made up an excuse because you're ugly without makeup. It's our fears and insecurities that CAUSE the Crazy Math to appear not to be happening at all. That makes us believe our conclusion is reality.

  • I do it all the time. Happens when prople don't want to talk about their feelings.

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  • I call it assumption

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  • well I guess ur right

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