One can feel stupid for not having tried the obvious thing. For instance, if you have terrible anxiety, and you tell your friend, and your friend is like, ‘um, have you considered anxiety drugs?’, and somehow it hasn’t occurred to you, you can feel stupid.

I think this is often wrong, because there are so many obvious things. The implicit assumption in the line of reasoning that suggests that you should be embarrassed is that you should have thought of the obvious thing first. But there is at least one obvious thing for every way of looking at a situation. So you can’t think of all of them first because there are so many of them. For instance, having framed your recent life as ‘having an anxiety disorder’, obvious things to do might include therapy, psychiatry, trusting your own assessment of what is alarming less, doing exposure therapy on your own, reading self-help books, exercise, trying to be less anxious.. And if a few days ago you were thinking of your situation as more ‘not being on top of things’, then the obvious things would be different. If earlier today you were thinking of the situation as ‘I really don’t want to leave the house today, for this thing’, then other options will be obvious. And these are all just ways of framing a particular thread in your life. At the same time, there will be obvious things to do about the fact that you don’t have an office chair, and to do about how you like musicals, and to do about being unfit, and so on.

You can’t think of every obvious thing immediately, because there are so many of them. You can spend all day doing things that would obviously improve your life, and then have someone tell you another obvious thing.

An upshot of this is that in my ideal world, people would not refrain from suggesting solutions because they seem too obvious, because nobody would be offended that their friend really thinks it might not have occurred to them to try anxiety drugs if they have a bad anxiety disorder.

It’s also possible that I’m just uniquely bad at considering all obvious things at all times, in which case that last point just applies to me.