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Chapter 4. Paranoid Managers > Origins of Paranoia

Origins of Paranoia

Paranoid individuals externalize all blame for problems and failures. “It is their fault, not mine; I did not fail, they undermined me.” As a result, instead of being upset with themselves for being weak and failing, they are angry with the world for trying to hurt them.

The underlying problem for some paranoid individuals is fragile self-esteem and an inner world filled with anger and negative self-images. Since they have such negative images of themselves, they assume others must as well. To protect their fragile self-esteem, they bury their self-doubts and negative self-images and replace them with arrogance. They are left with the belief that others are out to hurt them. This belief explains their failures, without damaging their self-esteem, and justifies their anger.


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