As defined, Paranoid is..
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental disorder characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. Individuals with this personality disorder may be hypersensitive, easily feel slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions that may validate their fears or biases. Paranoid individuals are eager observers. They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, potentially not appreciating other evidence.
They tend to be guarded and suspicious and have quite constricted emotional lives. Their reduced capacity for meaningful emotional involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience. People with this particular disorder may or may not have a tendency to bear grudges, suspiciousness, tendency to interpret others' actions as hostile, persistent tendency to self-reference, or a tenacious sense of personal right.
I never thought of myself as being paranoid, but I look around my house and see all the windows are masked. I remember the discussion of why the elderly woman next door is looking through our windows. I remember the rants with the other neighbor on the boarder line.
Sometimes it just happens. There is a point when your personal privacy is more important than appearance.
Now I get along with people and can mingle, but did you ever wonder what that group over there was talking about while they were looking over at you? It is just human behavior.
Being a manager of people I remember reading an interesting article about how those you supervise follow your every motion and statement. That makes sense because you control their livelihood. A brief comment or observation can bring about a review and possible termination.
I was not as concerned as the neighbors because I personally didn’t have any probably with them, but I was never home. The paranoia came with lights and cameras and an 8-foot fence.
I think in the long run, paranoia is not a bad thing. It is best to be aware of those who are around you at any given time. The other day when I was unlocking my bike a guy came up and asked for money. He said he needed money for gas. I had heard him ask another shopper before so was not surprised. I refused the request and he wandered off.
I do look around when I walk out in public. If there is unusual activity I avoid it. My thoughts involve unlocking the bike and knowing I am holding a weapon. Watching a drug deal go down in front of me in the parking lot makes we remember carrying a knife.
Those who travel in tin boxes feel somewhat sheltered than the two-wheel traveler. The ploddy ploddy foot traveler has little choice but to deal with strangers.
I think of places I have been in the worst possible situations and survived, but I don’t take bets on them again. I don’t ride much at night. I know certain areas of town I don’t travel. I’ve been lucky, so far, at encounters with people who may cause personal harm.
So when I look around while packing up my grocery pack for the day, I’m not paranoid. I’m just cautious. I don’t want to relive the experience in college where a man walked up to me with a knife and I reached into my pocket and pulled out my 10-inch folding fishing knife and said, “No thanks, I already have one.”