Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Paranoid Position

The Paranoid Position is well known and talked about in psychiatry.  Using the conceptualization of Transactional Analysis, a paranoid doesn't say, "I'm okay, you're okay" but usually says "I'm okay, You're not" without realizing that their inner perception defines their outer reality.  The paranoid in truth is "I'm not okay, you're not okay" but without a solid sense of safety internally, experience the external world as wrong.

In communication they are commonly negative and express their negativity as a product of their environment or their past.  They commonly lack gratitude.  If you show them positives that rebut their fear based position they will commonly answer 'yes, but' or perceive you as no longer an 'ally' but as part of the problem.  This 'splitting', seeing the world in a binary, of 'for them or against them', is common for the paranoid position.

I heard a great Irish psychiatrist, whose name I forge,t say, "We must find the Eichman within."  Jesus said , take the timber out of your eye before you take the sawdust out of your neighbours. The paranoid by costrast is 'judgemental'.  At the extreme they are fanatical and focus solely on their 'mission' which not uncommonly may be something many would ggree with save for their 'pressure'. They seem commonly 'overly intense' , needing to have you agree with them and certainly not open to compromise.

In contrast to the 'live and let live' attitude of cooperative co existence, the paranoid insists that you believe and share their vision.  Unwittingly they persist in 'proselytising' or 'arguing' or stating and restating their position which might well be something others agree with but without their 'passion' or 'venom'.  Paranoia is often part of megalomania and yet might be found in those who are isolative and bitter.

Participating in community and learning an appreciation for diversity of opinion is antithetical to the paranoid.  Paranoids rarely 'discuss' as they prefer to exhort and ideally gather a following or simply spend their time with tribal like believers thereby increasing the potency of their paranoia.

This does not mean that there is not reason for anxiety, fear or that there are no dangers.  But we are best when we are not lone wolves and we gain by association.  Arrogance is seen in the individual who insists that their 'insight' or 'special' awareness must be followed.  They may be right and true and in time they might be vindicated but as many others are wrong and their 'sale' or 'product' or 'brand', especially often edged with some sort of  hysteria,  doesn't really convince those who are 'okay' and believe quite simply,that you are too.

No comments: