Are you a paranoid thinker?

Another in a series of brief articles looking at the unhelpful thinking styles that can hold us back in our lives. This time, the perils of being a paranoid thinker.

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Who is a paranoid thinker?

Do you often worry about people leaving you or letting you down?

Are you often suspicious that you are not being told the full story?

If somebody appears to stare at you do you assume they are thinking badly of you?

Answer yes to these questions and the chances are you have a paranoid thinking style.

If this is you, you’re likely to worry that other people will criticise, reject, exploit or harm you.  You are self conscious and socially anxious, always mind-reading to guess what other people think of you.  Because you spend a lot of time judging yourself you assume that others judge you similarly.  You assume you are in the forefront of others’ minds, thinking yourself the centre of (adverse) attention.

Does it cause harm?

Well the short answer is YES it certainly can.  You are viewing the world through distorted belief systems and it stops you taking opportunities, having fun, and relaxing in company.  Paranoid thinkers often struggle with relationships as they find it hard (or even impossible) to trust others.

As a paranoid thinker you are hyper-sensitive to criticism and you process events in a catastrophic manner.  (We will look at catastrophic thinking in the next article.) You perceive everybody you meet as untrustworthy, including friends, families and loved ones.  This is potentially incredibly harmful and can lead to serious relationship breakdowns.

These problems are heightened and intensified if you have a strong external sense of power and control. (You feel your life is run by forces beyond your control)  This sense of powerlessness adds fuel to the fire of paranoid thinking, leading to further difficulties.


What Can you do?

Most paranoid thoughts are just projections of what you think about yourself and your social anxiety.  You need to start challenging your paranoid thoughts.  I am guessing you are not a mind reader, so how could you really know what someone else is thinking?

Perhaps that guy who keeps looking across at you really likes what he sees!  Possibly when somebody makes a less than flattering comment about your outfit it is really driven by their own insecurity!

But the biggest thing to remember is that you have, temporarily, lost your perspective.  Tolerate any uncomfortable feelings you have created and don’t brood about them.  Brooding leads to more paranoia and more brooding – YOU CAN STOP IT. (See my previous article about brooding).

Remember – you are simply human.  There are going to be times when you don’t score top marks but the vast majority of other people will not even have noticed.

Paranoid thinker-Thrive-With-Ian




You can learn how to change your unhelpful thinking styles and change your life for the better.  Thrive With Ian can teach you how in as little as 6 – 8 sessions, and you will never look back.

Contact me NOW  for you free, no obligation, initial appointment and learn what a Thriving life is like.

I’m Ian and I’m a qualified Thrive Programme Consultant. Using the professionally developed Thrive Programme – a proven, evidence based, positive psychology training programme – I work with people from all walks of life, providing the insights and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

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