In today’s increasingly competitive and individualistic society, it’s easy to suspect others. It is not uncommon for some people to seek to gain another type of advantage over us, or to ignore this when assessing other types of needs. And that can lead to fear and mistrust.
However, even though some people do this, it doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it. Many people have come to generalize these types of thoughts, generating dynamics and behaviors that can have serious consequences for them and their relationships. These are paranoid thoughts with serious effects on personal relationships, A bit of what we will talk about throughout this article.
What do we mean by paranoid thoughts?
By paranoid thoughts we mean the set of thoughts that have characteristics of paranoia. The latter, considered from the point of view of psychopathology, is characterized by the presence of delusions and pathological interpretations of reality in the form of self-referential and persecutory delirium, suspecting that what is happening around him revolves around him and that others intend or take advantage of it to cause damage. Usually the subject with paranoia he is extremely rigid in his thoughts, being difficult to make him change his beliefs, And exhibit a strong attitude of distrust towards others. It is not uncommon for strange behaviors and behaviors to manifest as an element of protection.
While it should be noted that paranoid thinking does not necessarily equate to paranoia as a disorder, the truth is that paranoid thinking shares many of these characteristics. This usually implies the existence of a high level of insecurity and mistrust of others and their interaction with the subject in question. It is common for them to tend to use deductive thinking to analyze interaction with others, based on a general premise to extend the conclusions that are drawn to each particular case.
Paranoid thinking usually generates a resentful reaction and decreases and avoids intimacy with the person it is referring to, even if the person has done nothing to deserve it. It also tends to generate deep suffering in those who suffer from it, as well as lead them to adopt behaviors that cause discomfort to the person who generates that behavior. In reality, sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy effect occurs: The person whose suspicion ends up doing what was attributed to him because of the treatment the paranoid thinker gave him.
This is typical of insecure people, in many cases with previous traumatic experiences that have made them think of the world and others as hostile or competing elements that try to take away our support or dreams or have great fear. to be abandoned because of these experiences.
Paranoid thoughts in relationships
While paranoid thoughts can appear in any setting, one of the vital areas where they arise most often and affect most often is the couple, in which unwarranted fears and jealousy may arise and even a disorder like Otelo syndrome.
In this sense, one of the most common and repeated is the fear or belief that our partner is unfaithful to us. While this is not an impossible thing and a fear that appears sporadically in many people, the truth is that the sustained and unfounded maintenance of this suspicion can lead to a deep schism in the relationship, even to the point of breaking it.
In some extreme cases, it is possible to establish control or surveillance over the couple: what they are doing, who they are talking to, who they are chatting with, when they are connected, how often they are dating and how much they are there. repair, what it smells like, hygiene habits … even some people end up violating their partner’s privacy by looking at their mail or their cell phone. Criticisms, accusations, suspicions and over-control they rape and erode the relationship, which can in fact lead to those same reactions of mistrust whether the couple realizes infidelity or abandons the relationship.
In addition to infidelity and abandonment, there can also be self-referential ideas, in which anything the other says is seen as an attack or even when the relationship is seen to exist out of sheer interest or convenience. of the couple and not for a real feeling of conviviality. This can generate a number of dynamics that lead to a conflicting and destructive relationship.
Paranoia in Social Relations: Friends and Family
Our social relationships are not limited to the couple, but we are constantly interacting with a lot of people and some of them are part of our circle of friends. But in these relationships paranoid thoughts can also sometimes be observed. For example, different actions or words can be interpreted as a sign of dissatisfaction with the person, Or some comments such as accusations or reproaches without the intention of the sender.
Such thoughts can generate withdrawal or hostility, uncertainty and cooling or even a rupture of the relationship with others, both on the part of the subject who has the thought and on the part of others towards him.
Paranoid thinking in the workplace
Another area where paranoid thoughts and behaviors can appear is work. And is the labor market an already competitive field (Which actually facilitates paranoid ideation), in which, depending on the scope, it’s often not that uncommon to think badly about other people’s intentions. It is relatively easy to wonder if behind certain behaviors there is a search for information to lower the position of the other and / or stay above or improve the chances of obtaining a promotion or a fixed place.
Thus, paranoid thoughts can cause us to continually suspect the motivations for which others interact in certain ways or the cooling of interpersonal relationships, and can lead to work conflicts, decreased productivity and a bad business climate. .
How to avoid them?
It is possible for ourselves or a loved one to manifest some sort of paranoid thinking at some point or in a context. Therefore, when faced with the discomfort that these thoughts generate, one has to ask what we can do in our everyday life to avoid or combat them. That’s why we’ll go over a series of tips below.
How are you?
It is common for paranoid thoughts to appear more widely in situations of high tension or stress or in times when we have an altered mood. It would be useful to assess our emotional state when this distrust of the other appears, as well as the consideration of how this emotional state can affect us.
Many of the fears that give rise to paranoid thinking are due to the anticipation of negative consequences. The practice of meditation or mindfulness can be useful in that it seeks to focus awareness on the present moment and to value what we are feeling. It also helps us to observe our thoughts from the outside, by witnessing and allowing us to feel.
Evaluate the evidence
“I think my partner is putting his horns on me.” “My boss wants to fire me.” “My friend doesn’t care.” All of these are thoughts which, depending on the context, can be considered paranoid. It’s not that it’s not possible, but you have to wonder what we’re relying on to think about it. We have to value what makes us think this way, assess its importance and whether there are other possible interpretations, Before judging.
The basis of human relations is communication. When we talk about relatives in couple, family or friends, it is advisable to comment and communicate both the good and the bad, in order not to take root elements that can later lead to misunderstandings. It’s not about expressing mistrust or constantly asking questions if they have been unfaithful to us, for example, but so that the shared bond allows us to express the existence of fears, doubts and thoughts.
The use of relaxation techniques can be used to relieve stress and alleviate worries. In this sense, relaxation techniques focused on breathing and muscle contraction can be of great help, such as diaphragmatic breathing or Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation.