Do you find yourself constantly anxious, feeling like someone is out to get you or that the worst is about to happen? You find yourself stressed over what hasn’t even happened and may not ever occur. Is there any real justification for that? Dr. Shahram Heshmat, an expert on addictive behavior, says a paranoid person “[is] someone who feels excessively suspicious without justification, and/or that others are plotting against [them]. They read far too much into everything people say and are quick to criticize, but they are not open to criticism themselves.” These are tell-tale signs of paranoia:
You sneak around
Maybe you suspect your partner is cheating, so you check their phone whenever you can. Maybe you’re snooping around your co workers’ desks because you think they might be up to something. First, ask yourself–has anything happened that gives you a reason to worry? If so, think about it–was it really a big deal? Many times, it isn’t.
You don’t trust when someone gives you a compliment
Are you ever suspicious when a coworker praises you for a job well done or when a friend tells you she likes your new haircut? If so, you probably think that person has an ulterior motive. This is when you really have to be honest with yourself about why you think that’s the case. More than likely, you’re reading between the lines to find something that’s probably not even there.
You blame other people for your misfortune
Dr. Heshmat says a paranoid person will “explain negative events (e.g., losing a job) by attributing them to the malicious intentions of others rather than worrying about whether they are inadequate in some way.” In other words, whenever something bad happens, paranoia can cause you to blame it on someone else instead of taking ownership of your mistakes.
You seek out disapproval
If you’ve made a small error, you quickly become wary that the world is turning against you. Dr. Heshmat gives the example of making a mistake at work and then assuming that your boss is upset, so you look for hints that you’re boss is disapproving of you. Sometimes, though, the hints aren’t even there and you’re imagining it.
Check out the video below.