They must be talking about me…
We all have what I will call mild paranoia … worrying about what other people think about us. For some of us we suspect everyone must be talking about us behind our backs. “I am in an interracial relationship. What will they think?” “I am gay. What will they think?” “I am in a micro mini skirt. Could they be saying I am a tart?”
It’s normal to have negative thoughts. But sometimes, these thoughts can be blown out of proportion, leading one to interpret even the most positive of things in a negative light. Paranoid thinking cost my friend Jenna four relationships.
Whenever any one of her dudes’ friends asked about how the relationship was going, she quickly assumed that the dude might be a player and the friends just wanted to mock her. When she attended parties and saw them chatting and laughing, she thought it definitely had to be about her. “Even when my boyfriends’ pals were being friendly, I wondered whether they were being friendly or mocking me behind my back”, Jenna told me.
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Jenna quit 3 relationships because of this and got dumped by one guy. That’s when she got a wake-up call. She had been giving out such cold suspicious vibes. Her last boyfriend told her she should examine her thinking. Although it made her furious, she eventually went for counselling.
Such paranoid thinking seems to be very common with people who have fragile self-esteem, obsessive tendencies or victims of abuse. This fear of being judged negatively can keep one from exploring promising relationships and can also make you appear prickly and aloof, hence bringing loneliness and hurt. Worrying so much about what people think can drive away even the closest people to you. Jenna’s boyfriend couldn’t take her jealous suspicion and criticism.
Research shows that even those assumptions made by close relationships are wrong 60% of the time. Best you ask yourself: what’s the evidence for your conclusion? Ask a third party how they would interpret the situation. Making ‘false‘ assumptions about what other people think can contribute to paranoid thinking. So never jump to conclusions. At least try and ask.
Stop relating everything around you to yourself. So you constantly think your worth is questionable based on some underlying belief…YOU ARE WORTHY and your worth don’t depend on being better than others. It all depends on YOU! The best thing you can ever do for yourself is to accept that everyone makes mistakes.
And like Ellen Degeneres says, “We spend our time thinking about what other people are thinking about us, when all they are really thinking about is what we’re thinking about them.” Don’t let love pass you by just coz of your paranoid thinking… DON’T!!!
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