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The paranoia of not being liked is a hard one to shake off

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firemonkee57

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Even with reassurances as often the reassurances don't pan out in reality. An acute awareness of few friends in real life over a lifetime,social interaction difficulties and peer rejection as a child but mostly as a teenager, add to the belief.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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I know, even reassurances/evidence is often hard to believe. I feel that way too, to different degrees at different times.
 
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urbangibbon

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There is a paradox in Paranoia in that you can sometimes attract the people or type of attention about whom or which you are paranoid. For example, I might be in a paranoid state about the Police chasing me for whatever reason. But sooner or later, if this state worsens, I can sometimes behave in a way which actually attracts the attention of the Police. Whereas if I hadn't been in this state, I would not have attracted their attention. In other words, Paranoia and associated erratic behaviour becomes a "vicious circle" and a "self-fulfilling prophecy". Your paranoia is falsely confirmed when the cops grab you which is not because of your original "reason" but because you are, in their eyes, behaving strangely, abnormally or erratically. And then if you are really in a terribly paranoid state, you start to think that the police have got you for your original "reason" whereas they have probably only arrested you for your own safety and that of others.

I was wondering Firemonkee, if you are paranoid about not being liked then is it possible that you may be behaving in a way which is attracting people who behave in a way which confirms your paranoia about being disliked? I am not saying you are. I am not judging you. I am just asking a question which you might like to consider. In paranoia, we sometimes look for confirmation of our own negative ideas about ourselves in the behaviour and reactions of others. Do you see what I mean?
 
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SomersetScorpio

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I do think urbangibbon makes a valid point.

I know that, due to my own self-consciousness and touchiness around rejection, i've behaved in ways that are giving off a signal that reads 'Leave Me Alone'.

It's very difficult to get past the thought that you're not liked, especially when you can find situations in your life that might "prove" that way of thinking.

But I suppose things can change when you start seeing yourself as likeable.
I know that sounds like such a cliché and I don't mind if you think it's rubbish, but from my own experience, i've noticed a difference in my interactions with people when i've had better self-esteem.
 
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firemonkee57

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I was wondering Firemonkee, if you are paranoid about not being liked then is it possible that you may be behaving in a way which is attracting people who behave in a way which confirms your paranoia about being disliked? I am not saying you are. I am not judging you. I am just asking a question which you might like to consider. In paranoia, we sometimes look for confirmation of our own negative ideas about ourselves in the behaviour and reactions of others. Do you see what I mean?
I don't think so. I have a problem interacting on a small talk/social level which although less online is still there, but I am not antisocial. As you probably know I post a lot of articles. Have been told that I should post more on a personal level but most often when I do it gets a minimal response, especially compared to some people. This makes me more reluctant to do so and adds to the feeling of not being liked.
IRL I have virtually no interaction with anyone outside family this is through paranoia and social anxiety/avoidant behaviour . The fact that I was bullied as a teenager and ostracised has me in a default mode of thinking people will hurt ,mock, and reject me. This is not helped by the fact I'm acutely aware of the social awkwardness still present that was a big factor in being bullied as a teen, and has even seen me being mocked as an adult. The social interaction problems are chronic and enduring and added to this is what the pdocs call very poor social skills.
Apart from being socially awkward,struggling with social interaction, it's difficult to know what social skills are and to remedy it. They have probably been lacking for a long time but it is only recently that it has been mentioned by the pdoc. I have no idea what social skills entail and therefore how to proceed. Although mentioned ,and no doubt a long term problem, the UK does little to help when it comes to social deficits within a psychiatric setting. This is in stark contrast to the US where social skills training is seen as an important part of the treatment package ,and that poor social skills can negatively impact on social isolation, social interaction and paranoia due to adverse interactions with others.
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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I agree with Urbangibbon's point. My partner hates the Police and has this paranoid belief that everyone in the local constabulary knows who he is and are actively conspiring to 'get him'. Yet he drives around in a car that has no working lights (I mean that literally) and will drink three big glasses of wine and then drive. If he gets pulled up by the police, I'm not sure I will be able to show any sympathy (indeed - I can already imagine myself trying desperately to suppress the desire to say 'I told you so!') yet I know he will still be protesting about the unfairness of it all and the conspiracy behind it :(

I also agree with SomersetScorpio but - for me, I found the best way to deal with paranoia/anxiety about not being liked involved me ceasing to care quite so much whether people liked me or not, and ceasing to care whether I conformed to the 'normal'. I had a very bad experience at the hands of the NHS many years ago when I attempted suicide. It made me realise that when you hit rock bottom, there really isn't anyone there to help you and that realisation actually made me feel very alone but very strong. After that I felt I had nothing to lose but to just be myself and to hell with what anyone else thought. I had to become much more self-sufficient and self-contained and yes - in a way- brazen. The down-side of this can be loneliness, I grant you, although I'm fortunate not to suffer from that even when I'm totally friendless and alone.
 
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Callalily

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Sorry you are struggling FM.

I post a lot of articles. Have been told that I should post more on a personal level but most often when I do it gets a minimal response, especially compared to some people. This makes me more reluctant to do so and adds to the feeling of not being liked.
Just looking at this part, I find that the people who receive the most responses on forums and in life in general are those that also provide the most. While I appreciate the difficulties that can come with responding to other people, not knowing what to say, fear of making things worse, I do think responding to other people when they are struggling will make it a lot more likely that they in turn will respond to you when you are. Relationships are all about give and take, people develop friendships with people by sharing experiences and ideas, it's all a two way street.
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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The social interaction problems are chronic and enduring and added to this is what the pdocs call very poor social skills.
Apart from being socially awkward,struggling with social interaction, it's difficult to know what social skills are and to remedy it. They have probably been lacking for a long time but it is only recently that it has been mentioned by the pdoc. I have no idea what social skills entail and therefore how to proceed. Although mentioned ,and no doubt a long term problem, the UK does little to help when it comes to social deficits within a psychiatric setting. This is in stark contrast to the US where social skills training is seen as an important part of the treatment package ,and that poor social skills can negatively impact on social isolation, social interaction and paranoia due to adverse interactions with others.
This is a very interesting and important point and one I had never considered before. My partner has Asperger's and has problems understanding social etiquette and this has caused him many problems in the past and resulted in three divorces :( I would be really interested in any articles about how social skills are taught to adults in the US. I think it's a problematic area. Apart from basics like making eye contact...smiling...listening...not dominating the conversation etc. what is there to teach? I'd like to find out.

Your problem puzzles me Firemonkee because you sound (judging from your forum posts) like the kind of person I would love to spend an evening chatting to down the pub! Yes, I realise face-to-face interaction is a whole different ball-game but...perhaps the problem is with too many people who judge others by what is the current 'norm' and who can't be arsed to make the effort to try and get to know someone who is a bit unusual?
 
ScaredCat

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I always worry what people think of me, dont know if you can call it paranoia though. I am very scared of humans in general

I think if you dont like yourself it doesnt help like SomersetScorpio said. I have difficulty liking me but I am trying to cos think that might be basis of everything.

I think because of my fear of rejection I can come across as unfriendly irl, but i'm not I just dont know how to do it. My CBT therapist has likened me to a hedgehog which i can understand. It is hard but sometimes you have to try reach out and risk rejection. I telling this to me really.

I think sometimes psychs labelling isnt helpful. I feel i have poor social skills. Think I am hoping that even just using this forum may help me to some extent as i have led a very isolated/lonely life on a personal level

On the forum you are very helpful . You post links to articles etc which are very helpful.

Idk - is it sometimes - I believe I am a particular way, therefore I am; I am a particular way therefore it can never be any different - i can never change.

I certainly hoping this is not true in my case

If I change how i interact with people will they interact differently with me? Idk

Prob talking rubbish. Sorry
 
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Broddo_Faggins

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Don't think it's as clear cut as like you/don't like you. people have days where they like you and others where they don't particularly.
 
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firemonkee57

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I do think responding to other people when they are struggling will make it a lot more likely that they in turn will respond to you when you are. Relationships are all about give and take, people develop friendships with people by sharing experiences and ideas, it's all a two way street.
I do try and am not immune to other's distress, but more often than not I struggle to get beyond an inane 'I hope you feel better soon' response. Beyond that, although I care, I struggle to express it.
Also in the past,on other forums, I have attempted, in my hamfisted way, to do what you say. It has got me nowhere.
Should support really go primarily to those who are best at socialising as opposed to those who are not and yet may be in more distress?
If so there's an element of being in or out of the cool set at school about it.
 
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