5 Subtle Signs You Might Be Paranoid

Unwarranted paranoia can cause unnecessary hurt and drama.

Signs of paranoia skynesher | Canva

Disclaimer: First, I am not a psychologist, so I am not using the term “paranoid” as a clinical diagnosis. This is just my observation of a few traits that share similar themes. If you recognize these traits in yourself, this is an area where you may need to improve. You may need to work on your trust issues, fear, and anxiety, among other things. 

Here are 5 subtle signs you might be paranoid:

1. You notice even the most subtle sense of threat

Paranoid people pay attention to even the subtlest indication of threats — real or imaginary. They're on the watch. They can detect inconsistencies in your story faster than a fire alarm detects smoke. They watch your body language like a hawk. They listen to your voice tone like a detective. And they are very good at spotting the subtlest signs of deception. 


RELATED: How To Instantly Tell If Someone Is Lying To You

2. You may misinterpret situations

Yes, paranoid people can be great deception detectors, but sometimes all they see are lies, deception, and danger, even when these things do not exist. They may suffer from distorted cognitive distortion, which means they interpret things in a distorted way that matches their distorted beliefs about reality. 

3. You may have trust issues

Paranoid people have serious trust issues. They may think other people are out to get them. They find it difficult to trust people. They may put people (especially those closest to them) through unhealthy "tests" to see if they're telling the truth or to confirm a suspicion. 


RELATED: How To Stop Trust Issues From Sabotaging Your Relationship

4. You may be self-conscious

This type of self-consciousness is when you cannot look beyond yourself, and when you're focused on your flaws, problems, and safety to the point of obsession. People with social anxiety, for example, are self-conscious. They are too aware of themselves. They overthink how they look and sound. They think people are focused on them. They exaggerate their flaws. As a result, it's hard for them to relax in social situations. Paranoid people have a similar type of self-consciousness. They forget that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that people don’t care about them as much as they think.

RELATED: 6 Little Behaviors Very Common In People With Low Self-Esteem

5. You may constantly feel threatened

Paranoid people may feel people are always out to get them; they almost always have an enemy. They may see the world as a place full of threats.


RELATED: 6 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety

Mosab Alkhteb is a writer and online entrepreneur who has been writing online since 2015 and is passionate about psychology. His work is featured on Medium, TinyBuddha, and YourTango, and he is the author of multiple books about relationships and self-development.