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Am I paranoid or are my coworkers mean and passive aggressive?

paranoia psychosis coworkers

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#1 Michael Starr

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 12:31 PM

Context: I was diagnosed with skizoaffective disorder several years ago and I am on an antipsychotic medication and an SSRI.

 

I don't know if I'm being delusional or what, but sometimes my co-workers seem really passive aggressive. But it's really small things; like, the body language is invasive, I have a nervous twitch and they tease it by the way they act when they're around me. It's not overt. In one-on-one conversation they're really friendly. But when I'm just overhearing them in the office or see them walking by, they seem really mean. It's hard to describe because it's very subtle. And because it's so "subtle", I am doubting it's even there and maybe I am having a delusion/hallucination. But it FEELS real to me.

 

What do you think? What should I do, if anything?



#2 pito

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 12:57 PM

It is very hard for someone here to tell whether it might be the case or not.

I can, however, say you that often in cases like this you hear/see what you "want" to see.
Because you think about it, you will see every little thing as something that you suspect.

If you suspect people to talk behind your back and laugh on your behalve.. well the next time you pass by some co-workers you will see them smile and look at you, and there you go: they are making fun of you... (while its not).

 

So be carefull with thinking like this.

 

Context: I was diagnosed with skizoaffective disorder several years ago and I am on an antipsychotic medication and an SSRI.

 

I don't know if I'm being delusional or what, but sometimes my co-workers seem really passive aggressive. But it's really small things; like, the body language is invasive, I have a nervous twitch and they tease it by the way they act when they're around me. It's not overt. In one-on-one conversation they're really friendly. But when I'm just overhearing them in the office or see them walking by, they seem really mean. It's hard to describe because it's very subtle. And because it's so "subtle", I am doubting it's even there and maybe I am having a delusion/hallucination. But it FEELS real to me.

 

What do you think? What should I do, if anything?


If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#3 Trof

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 02:06 PM

As a someone with personal experiences with delusions my findings are, delusions from a principle cannot be doubted. If you have a FEELING and you think about it and say "nah, it's probably a bullshit" and you are OK with it, it is just a feeling. You can use rational arguments to counteract a feeling, if you put some effort. But if you for some time FEEL something so real, and try do doubt it internaly and just that is tremendously offending, that may be suspicious. Reality in fact do not feel "that real". Everything in your life you can doubt, delusions (and in case of some people, firm beliefs, that's why I don't like them, they are difficult to tell apart) are inherently trying to prevent you to do that, trying to push an idea, that they are the only truth, "more real than reality".

In fact, if you are delusional, you cannot rationally argue with it, but you may know, that this is not the correct way of your thinking and take some measures.
(since you DO actually doubt it, I don't think it's likely to be a delusion, not a permanent one anyway)

 

But you don't need to be delusional to have a bit twisted and paranoid view of reality, but that, you can doubt and put to test. You can take it as a hypothesis, that needs proving, not like your life, but a science project. In those, you try to take aside the feelings and focus on proof. Are they really acting in a way to harm you? What would be the agenda behind being nice and actually thinking otherwise of you? Is it that you seem weird to them and they don't want to scorn you, or they want to trick you into thinking they are nice?

 

I've spent a huge part of life doubting about the intentions of people around me (since I don't read them well, I have autism spectrum disorder). When they are angry, is is because of me? Or did they just have a bad day? Are they really "mean" or just tired and sad. And if they act friendly and nice, are they playing a trick on me, so I don't suspect they think I'm an idiot? I got that feeling a lot, the more nice they were, the more I had FEELING that this must be wrong and they playing an ugly trick on me, though my mind said that it is bullshit. So I can imagine how difficult it is... 

Even with enough evidence, that people do respect me and don't do any actions against me, these feelings were hard to shake off. What helped later, was a general increase in my self-confidence, loss of "social phobia" and less anxiety about the feeling of others. So, first you need to find if you are really in hostile enviroment, or it's just the feeling and then you decide what to do.

 

People also can be a lot competitive in the lab setting, depending how it looks there, I know stories of others screwing someone's experiment to gain advantage, but that was highly competitive lab (two people doing the same thing, the winner takes it all) and I would hate to spent time there. But that kind of atmosphere you would probably identify.

Also, people can sometimes feel distrustful towards people who are a bit different.. you may not see it, but your body language may be "off" your reactions.. different, I wouldn't be so surprised (a bit paranoid person looks on the other side like a distrustful, that goes both sides). So if possible you may try to approach them, connect more. If you feel you are left out, then "socialize" more (IF possible, I know..) learn them better and try to judge their motivation and the whole character. Are they a "mean" people or not? If not and you still have the feeling.. then the feeling is most likely wrong.

 

For me it helped to comunicate directly.. to tell them about my problems, to explain that I know that I'm weird, but also I can be helpful and selfless too, let them to correct their first impression too. Without communication there is no understanding. IF there is a space for understanding. 
If you feel strong enough to do that, you may tell them assertivelly, that you don't feel good when they make fun of your twitch and try to appeal on their empathy, how would they feel if anyone was making fun of them. 

Either way, try to learn more about them, and let them know you better (offer help, or something you can do, if possible). After that, at least you will have more "data" to assess, which scenario is more likely, they are hostile or it's "in your head".

But some people can be neither friendly nor hostile. They just don't care and don't particulary like you, but on the other side they don't want to make you any problems, don't want to be mean, as long as you don't make any problems to them. This is probably bearable to work in, but not pleasant and I would need at least one "friendly" colleague.


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I never trust anything that can't be doubted.

'Normal' is a dryer setting. - Elizabeth Moon


#4 Michael Starr

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 03:51 PM

Thank you for the extensive replies, folks. I'd just like to update that I've changed my medication regimen and things have gotten better. I am a strong believer that one's world view heavily heavily influences what conclusions one draws. Reality through the filter of perception and all that. So, if one is healthier, then one's environment will be friendlier. I've gotten healthier (still not perfect but I'm expecting continued improvement as the dosings take time to set in physiologically), and the situation has gotten better.

 

And if you're curious, no, I never brought it up with anyone in my lab / work environment. My logical brain sort of thought it was an issue on my part all along, which can be shitty hard to deal with but opens the opportunity for self-controlled change.






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