It can be hard to interpret body language, facial expressions, and the nuances of feedback from a distance. And spending time alone in your home office can render you stuck in your own head, replaying mental loops.
To stop irrational suspicion in its track you can: proactively set expectations with your colleagues around communication style, beware of scope creep, depersonalize other’s actions, and compartmentalize your anxieties.
Paranoia is a state of fear in which a person misinterprets ambiguous situations, seeing negative meanings, and potential threats.
In other words, paranoia causes you to irrationally scrutinize yourself and the behavior of others. You become hypervigilant, on the lookout for disapproval or rejection that there’s no concrete proof for.
To head off erroneous assumptions and misinterpretations, proactively set expectations with your manager, colleagues, and stakeholders around communication style, how decisions will be made, etc
Paranoia can lead you to people-please and overextend yourself. You may find yourself overly involved in initiatives to maintain an illusion of control.
Cutting the cord in this way should feel uncomfortable. If it does, then you’re on the right track to improving your tolerance for ambiguity and changing your relationship with fear.
If you’re a sensitive striver, then your empathy levels are likely off the charts. That level of emotional depth can be both a gift and a burden.
On the one hand, you’re skilled at sensing others’ needs and probably have a strong pulse on morale. But on the flip side, you might take other people’s behavior too personally. You might misread a throwaway comment as an insult, for example.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask what might be leading to their reaction.
Without proper boundaries, paranoia can bleed into your personal hours. In fact, four out of five workers currently find it hard to “shut off” in the evenings.
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