Paranoia and Arrogance, how closely are they linked?

by AlmostAtheist 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlmostAtheist

    I was the 6th person in an elevator car today, which meant I had to stand in the middle. Everyone else was against a wall and there I was, on display. This is always an uncomfortable spot for me. I deal with it by recognizing that no one cares about me! C'mon, these people are on an elevator, they're on their way to something. The last thing they care about is me. It's not like I'm wearing a hat made of fruit, or carrying a furry pink purse or anything. There's no reason to be paranoid.

    It made me realize that all the times I feel paranoid are times when I have a different (usually inflated) view of myself than those around me probably do. Sometimes I'm in a meeting with 10-20 people and a question comes up. Anyone at the table might be said to be responsible to know the answer, but it's clear no one does. I immediately feel put on the spot, "I *should* know this! And I don't! They all think I'm an incompetant idiot." No, they don't. It's not that they aren't thinking I should know the answer, it's that they aren't thinking of me AT ALL! I'm just not that significant to them.

    JW's are masters of arrogance, and I don't think coincidentally, are also amazingly paranoid. They actually believe that the UN cares about them. That the FBI cares about them. That the churches care about them. They can imagine pastors cursing the Watchtower over the loss of their flocks, as they all ascend the mountain of Jehovah. But it's just paranoia born of arrogance. The pastors don't care, and probably don't even know, about the Watchtower.

    What do you think? Are paranoia and arrogance linked? Are they different faces of the same thought-set? Or am I off in left-field assuming the sky is blue because the grass is green?


  • DannyHaszard

    Cult leader Jim Jones of Jonestown was classic arrogant/paranoid control freak with a mean streak same with David Koresh and Hitler

  • silentWatcher

    I immediately feel put on the spot, "I *should* know this!

    I don't think that's arrogance. I think it means you have a high sense of resposibility and self-consciousness. You care what other people think, which is sometimes a good thing. As long as the feeling of being put on the spot doesn't overwelm you, then it's okay to feel that way.

    Paranoia is the pathological extreme of this condition. And yes, there is a clinical defintion for paranoia listed in the DSM IV guide that psychologists use.

    besides, who in their right mind expects Fry to know the answer to anything? ;-)


  • kid-A

    There is certainly a clinical link. Paranoid schizophrenics often display delusions of grandeur, believe they are chosen by god to be the next messiah or have been given some special assignment by aliens.

    But really, they are both defense mechanisms. Arrogance invariably is a front for deep seated insecurities and doubts while paranoia (which is sometimes a healthy reaction to a real threat) is also a defensive reaction.

    On the non-clinical end of things, I know of paranoid people who are paranoid they are constantly being judged or ridiculed not due to arrogance, but extreme low self-esteem and/or depression.

  • DanTheMan

    I'm really really humble, and yet I'm terribly paranoid, so I think your theory is complete bunk

  • AlmostAtheist

    >>I'm really really humble

    I've heard that about you, Dan. Where did I hear that? Oh that's right, YOU TOLD ME! Yes, now I remember. ;-)

    (Pssst... Dan? It's not paranoia if they *really are* out to get you!)


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