What makes someone paranoid?

Paranoia: According to the study, a trait for success

How quickly other people become with terms like paranoia or paranoid defamed: Deviating behavior is noticeable. Somebody checks double and triple, suddenly somebody asks questions all the time, although actually everything was already clarified and secured. For normal Such behavior is strange to people. They don't even ask themselves certain questions and they don't see any reason to doubt anything. This, in turn, poses a risk. Why a little paranoia is not so bad ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Paranoia Definition: Everything is fundamentally suspicious

Paranoia is a disease that very few people have in mind when they hear or use the word. But what exactly is behind it? The term paranoia (English = paranoia) is derived from the Greek para = against and noûs = understanding and therefore means something like “against the understanding”, “crazy” or “insane”.

According to the international classification system, ICD-10, it is a mental disorder in which those affected are classified as having a distorted perception Suffer. For example, they suspect other people of trying to harm them in any way.

That beats in extreme fearful or sometimes aggressive behavior down towards others. Paranoia has many different faces, for example those affected are overly sensitive to rejection and criticism. Insults and excessive distrust are also part of the clinical picture.

Typically, those affected can despite clear facts and verifiability Do not convince certain facts of the opposite, but firmly believe in their perception. This runs through all areas of life from work to private life: it is not uncommon for the partner to be suspected of infidelity.

Aside from these delusions, paranoid personalities seem perfectly normal. They can express their delusions to their counterpart argue clearly and other emotions, expression and behavior do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about paranoia.

Paranoia can manifest itself in:

  • Jealousy
  • Megalomania
  • Love madness
  • Religious madness
  • Paranoia

The disease can be related to other diseases such as borderline disorder, schizophrenia, but also brain tumors or drug and alcohol abuse.

The causes of paranoia can be seen in both the social sphere and the environment. According to studies, people who feel passed out quickly and tend to be victims are particularly at risk. This is usually reinforced by one lower socio-economic status and discrimination.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Paranoia: paranoia in everyday life

In addition to the clinical paranoia that is in their extreme severity requires treatment, there is a social perception of paranoia. This milder form of paranoia in everyday life, which is also colloquially referred to as paranoia, could be described as a “conspicuous form of perception of the world”.

For example, one or the other feels persecuted in the workplace: The Boss wants to bully you. Colleagues only want you bad. And anyway, everyone is under one roof! As if nobody really had anything better to do than pick on one colleague.

Of course, there is also that: we don't get on equally well with everyone. And maybe your manager has given you more work recently than before. But there is not one behind everything Conspiracy or even bullying. Everyone has a bad day, including bosses.

And if some work colleagues have recently started reacting to the presence of someone else, it might be time to ask why that is. Maybe he or she has one thoughtless utterance done? But this is exactly what people with paranoia suffer from: They are often incredibly self-centered.

Everything revolves around them, but the fact that the behavior of others could be based on themselves cannot be explained as an explanation. Even circumstances other colleagues than Coincidence or misfortune would consider - for example that the power goes out exactly when a presentation is about to be given - someone with paranoia will blame others.

Paranoia: The Key to Defeat or Success

False accusations and a general distrust are constant companions of paranoia. Working with a colleague like that is not easy. Everything has to be put on the gold scales and is unnecessarily exhausting. In fact, excessive paranoia can lead to self-sabotage:

Even when the intellect is there, paranoiacs damage themselves and maneuver themselves quickly with such behavior into isolation. Who can be constantly suspected of wanting to cause harm to someone else?

Nevertheless, it can be observed that paranoia is not that rare, especially when it comes to power and success. The best example of this is politics: a person may suddenly rise to a high position through fortunate circumstances (the “right” party, at the right time in the right place) and now has a position Power to rule things.

At the same time, it can be a disastrous election result or a political affair in the next moment the end mean and all of the "friends" are suddenly gone.

So it's no wonder that some people are extremely cautious in such professions and influential positions. Especially when you high up in the hierarchy you can never know exactly who to trust and who to trust. This applies at least to partners and allies who have not yet been able to secure your trust through long-term support.

Too great is the danger of someone Take advantage of you and your power and wants to abuse it to his advantage. A certain amount of paranoia in this case is pure self-protection.

For dictators this is excessive Fear of losing control always a welcome means of purges against unpopular critics and potential competitors. Paranoia serves here to maintain power.

Paranoia in work life

Let's face it: we're always in Competitive situations in life. It is not for nothing that people are suspicious of why the new colleague is suddenly the boss's favorite.

Besides that, in some cases, maybe clear preference there are always people who envy others the position they have worked out for. These colleagues are sawing your chair, for example by withholding information from you.

So it is by no means paranoia if you become aware of certain phenomena and pay attention to their signs. Because if Rumors spread or your responsibilities are being withdrawn bit by bit, you can provide evidence of such incidents. Then it is not just a matter of speculation, but actually verifiable processes.

Regardless of whether it is a hard-earned position in the company or as the owner of a company Supremacy in the labor market goes: Nobody wants to give up such a management position.

A healthy level of paranoia is also justified with regard to external competition: Industrial espionage is not uncommon among technology groups and can have financial consequences.

Paranoia as a competitive advantage

So can it be that paranoia is ultimately considered to be frowned upon as micromanagement is, but ultimately benefits the company?

How you can recognize paranoia in executives and in the company:

  • Clear nepotism

    Paranoid executives only have a small circle of long-time confidants around them. They control the flow of information and are the only ones with decision-making powers. They are well rewarded for their loyalty.

  • Hardly any decisions

    Decisions are made very slowly, as the entrusted are hesitant or not at all to make a decision. That blocks workflows.

  • Little funding

    Someone with pronounced paranoia will not encourage their employees because they are potential rivals. If they are not seen as a threat, the employees are not considered important enough or their contribution to success is seen as too small.

  • Bad communication

    The rumor mill is simmering because there is no transparent communication. Allusions and insinuations are encouraged.

The former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, claimed in his book Only the Paranoid Survive (German: only the paranoids survive) that a little paranoia is necessary. Only in this way would companies take due care and react quickly to changes.

Other successful leaders see it that way too. For example Catherine Ulrich, Chief Product Officer of Shutterstock, one of the largest companies for stock photos:

I'll always be a little paranoid. I'm often thinking about whether the customer is going to find a better product out there. Maybe it makes me sound weird, but paranoia is one word that makes me stay on top.

Bruce Aust, vice chairman of NASDAQ, the largest electronic exchange, agrees:

Paranoia is good. Paranoia makes you think about your competitors, and that's going to make you better.

Benefits of paranoia substantiated by study

Paranoia as the mother of the porcelain box - this applies to managers in everyday competition, but especially to new ones technological developments. Grove seems to have anticipated something in his words in 1996 that studies also support:

Niels Van Quaquebeke, psychologist at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, observed 441 employees for his study different companies and positions over a period of six months. Using a questionnaire, the test subjects were divided into different levels of paranoia.

It found that the level of paranoia correlated with advancement in the corporate hierarchy. This has to do with the fact that successful people tend to self-monitoring, i.e. self-control, self-monitoring, than other people.

This trait is closely related to paranoia, so it is believed to have an impact on how well someone moves up in a company. Because it means that paranoid people always expect the worst and therefore in the case of all cases actually well prepared are.

Other readers will find these articles interesting:

[Photo Credit: Phovoir by Shutterstock.com]