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Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

When you think of paranoid people, you may think of some weird bearded hermit in the woods, muttering about how “they” are out to get him.

But paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a real mental disorder which hits real people. As it afflicts between 2.3 percent to 4.4 percent of the general population, you have likely met someone with this disorder in your life. Perhaps you have tried to be their friend, or perhaps you are or want to be even closer than that.

Such a situation can be difficult. But it does not deserve sympathy, but understanding. Attempting to sympathize with someone with PPD is one of the worst things which you can do. The paranoid person will just grow suspicious at seeing someone be sympathetic towards him, and will just spiral deeper into further paranoia.

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What is PPD?

Psych Central states Paranoid Personality Disorder “…is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent.”

The most important thing to remember is that paranoia is not just that fear that “they” are out to get him. It is an inability to trust others and a willingness to believe the worst of others as well as their motives. All emotions are amplified, like having a constant cell phone booster attached to your head. A colleague’s slight ribbing can be interpreted as vicious mockery. And as noted above, sympathy can be viewed as a clever ploy which will be used to eventually deceive them.

Because of the fear of being called “paranoid” by society, those who suffer from this disability will it. But there are successful people who psychologists have good reason to believe suffered from this disorder.

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Perhaps the best example is Richard Nixon. Nixon had a difficult time trusting others throughout his career, and was always worried about being defeated or losing. It was this fear which caused him to order the Watergate break-in even though he was all but certain to win the  1972 election, and it was this fear which made him record everything in the White House – records which would eventually lead to his downfall.

But while Nixon’s name will be forever associated with the Watergate incident, we should not forget that he did many great things as President. He established relations between America and China. He established the Environmental Protection Agency, and desegregated Southern schools. Nixon is an example of how those with this disorder can be both great, intelligent individuals who are held back by their constant suspicious of others.

What does PPD mean to you?

Those outside the world of paranoid personality disorder may feel shocked or irritated when they are pushed by someone with this disorder. But they have to understand just how difficult it is to trust.

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We all have someone who we just do not like or trust at all. If that person came up to you, offered you a beer, and acted like he was your best friend in the world, would you feel happy? Perhaps. But most people would wonder, “Just what is he up to?”

For someone with paranoid personality disorder, everyone is that person. Some do not even realize that they are so suspicious but cannot help themselves. But that suspicion of ill intentions is always there, and it can hurt their work and their relationships.

Now, people with PPD can eventually trust others. But it is hard work, and can be lost easily if you are not careful. Those in a relationship need to understand this.

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How can you help?

If you think that someone you love has this disorder, just straight up suggesting counseling is not the best idea. Someone who is naturally suspicious will only grow more so upon such a suggestion, both of you as well as the very idea of counselling. If someone with PPD does not think he has a problem, then there is nothing you can do.

But this does not mean to just let them get away with everything they want. While some may think that people with PPD will go nuts if their relations do not do everything which they command, this is absolutely not the case. They can understand that everyone has their limits, especially because their limits are so low.

Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship, both in establishing a strong relationship and repairing a broken one. It is even more crucial in these cases. If there are no boundaries, your partner may very well begin pushing you into areas you do not want to test your trust. Do not play those games, be firm, and respect yourself to respect him.

Understand that in the world of one with PPD, everyone is mistrustful. But trust is not impossible to gain. And if you can find a relationship with someone like that, understanding can help establish boundaries which can get through almost anything.

Featured photo credit: Yun Huang Yong via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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