Dealing with paranoid people
By: Dr. Linda Mintle
“I know he is out to get me. He wants to see me fail and has been doing whatever he can to make that happen at work?”
True or paranoid?
There are people we encounter that are constantly suspicious and mistrust others. Every little thing that is said or done is more evidence for why they need to be paranoid or suspicious.
Usually people with paranoia have difficulty being intimate in relationships and stay emotionally detached. Their unfounded suspicions lead them to be unpleasant, blaming, hostile, defensive, stubborn.
Often, they blow things out of perspective. For example, someone with paranoia may walk into a restaurant, notice someone glances at her and be convinced that the person is stalking her.
These characteristics can be a sign that someone may be paranoid:
Tense and rigid
Unwilling to compromise
Blame others for interpersonal problems
Looking and finding ill intent
Few friends and few intimate others
Distain weakness in others
More common in men than women
To complicate matters, the paranoid person rarely asks for help. We discuss several strategies on this weekend’s show to help you deal with someone who appears paranoid.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is paranoid, be ready to be patient. The work to improve the relationship takes awhile because trust needs to be build. If you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, don’t be afraid to seek help.
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