Individuals with paranoid personality disorder suspect that others are planning to exploit, deceive, or harm them.
They feel that they may be attacked at any time and without reason. Even though there is little or no evidence, they persist in maintaining their suspicions and thoughts.
Interpretation of Experiences as Hostile
Individuals with paranoid personality disorder often think that others have greatly and irreversibly injured them.
They are on the look-out for potential insults, slights, threats, and disloyalty and look for hidden meanings in remarks and actions.
They closely scrutinise others for evidence to support their suspicions. For example, they may misinterpret an offer of help as implication that they are unable to do the task on their own.
If they think that they have been insulted or injured in any way, they do not forgive the person who injured them. They tend to counterattack or to become angry in response to these perceived injuries.
Because they distrust others, they feel a need to be self-sufficient and in control.
Effect on Relationships
Individuals with paranoid personality disorder are hesitant to confide in or develop close relationships with others because they worry that the information may be used against them.
They doubt the loyalty of friends and the faithfulness of their spouse or partner.
They can be extremely jealous and may constantly question the activities and motives of their spouse or partner in an effort to justify their jealousy.
Thus, individuals with paranoid personality disorder can be difficult to get along with.
When others respond negatively to them, they take these responses as confirmation of their original suspicions.