Intuition Versus Paranoia: How To Tell When Your Inner Voice Is Speaking

Many successful people refer to intuition as playing a significant role in their success, but what is intuition? Some people call it instinct, and others say it results from years of experience and education. However you define intuition, you cannot deny that instinct plays a role in the seemingly magical ability to understand without conscious reasoning.

For the people experiencing intuition, there is no logical explanation. The experience happens so quickly and effortlessly people shrug it off and go about their day. Still, intuition is significant and guides you through life and often towards goals, but it is not the only inherent feeling invoking your attention.

Paranoia can also influence a person's choices, but it often adversely affects decisions, leading people to pick safer, less prosperous routes for their lives. Success comes with risk, but you need to weigh the risks and listen to your inner voice. Which voice you listen to is pivotal to fulfillment and happiness in life.

Differentiating Between Intuition and Paranoia

Paranoia primarily deals with fear and mistrust. It correlates with previous experience but forces you to assume the worst about a situation or person. For example, if your sibling hurt you in the past and is trying to make amends now, paranoia will force you to question their motives and honesty. The emotional response can corrupt any potential you have for reconnecting.

Intuition is more hopeful and forgiving. It is a gentle voice giving you a nudge to examine a situation. While you may come to the same conclusion about avoiding an abusive sibling relationship, intuition leads to a more open analysis without fear enveloping the issue.

Paranoia is all-consuming and exhausting. Intuition is not. In essence, intuition combines healthy and analytical reasoning with emotional intelligence, whereas paranoia is like anxiety and chronic worry.

If you feel overwhelmed often, or if you feel scared constantly, contact a mental health professional. You can also talk to your primary care physician to discuss possible prescriptive treatments to calm paranoid thinking.

Strengthening Intuition for Improved Clarity and Mental Health

Intuition is subtle, but you can boost your mental antenna, increasing its clarity. Energy experts suggest using your body like an energy reader or meter. For example, in the sibling situation above, ask yourself if reconnecting with your sibling is in your best interest or if it is good for you. Pay attention to how your body responds. Is there a sense of contraction or tension? Do you feel lighter? Your body communicates uniquely, and you must learn to read its signals.

You can receive more precise signals from your body if you remove yourself from the immediate situation and get yourself someplace quiet. When you can sit in silence without distraction, it is easier to feel and acknowledge changes in your body.

Finally, meditation and mindfulness exercises are excellent ways to get more in tune with your intuition and body. Quiet and calm should help bolster the subtleness of intuition. If you experience overwhelming negative emotions, these are likely related to paranoia.

Intuition is not the loudest or most apparent. Paranoia is often overwhelming and chaotic. If you want to rely more on your intuition, you need to turn down the noise and listen to the signs of the body.

7 Body Language Cues That Signal Someone Is Manipulating You

Manipulators are quite skilled at getting what they want through subtle yet damaging actions. In many cases, a person can fall victim to manipulation without even realizing it until it's too late. This can occur in one's personal life, at work and in many other situations.

Safeguarding yourself against manipulators entails recognizing specific behaviors. Fortunately, many people use certain body language when attempting to get what they want, which can signal you to proceed with caution during interactions. Here are a few signs to look for.

1. Fidgeting

Body language provides lots of information on a person's inner mental state. Fidgeting indicates nervousness, which can occur for all sorts of reasons. When a person is normally composed but begins fidgeting during a tense conversation, it could mean that they're experiencing a great deal of pressure. And if the person is in the process of convincing you of something, ask yourself why they might feel that way.

2. Mirroring

Manipulators also want to put you at ease, as they know a relaxed person is more likely to do their bidding. This is the purpose of mirroring, which means they will use similar body language and positioning as you. This builds a false sense of trust and indicates the manipulator has much in common with their victim.

3. Invasion of Personal Space

Entering one's personal space is another method aimed at building trust. Like most people, you probably only allow close friends and family into your "zone". Manipulators know this and will try to mimic those trusting relationships by standing very close to you. If you're not sure, try this trick: take small steps backward to see if the person advances.

4. Excessive Blinking

The average person blinks about 15 to 20 times per minute in normal situations. While that number seems like quite a lot, underlying nervousness can greatly increase a person's rate of blinking. Excessive blinking can also be a sign that the person is working something out in their mind as they're speaking.

5. Shifting 

Manipulators will feign certain emotions in order to gain pity from the victim. Constantly shifting or changing positions can mean that a person is uncomfortable. In this case, the manipulator hopes that you will recognize their discomfort and do something to end it. The ultimate goal is that you agree with their wishes and do as they ask to hopefully end their "suffering".

6. Rubbing Hands or Neck

While it's a cliché, most manipulative people concoct plots to realize their goals. Because plots require mental energy, they may rub their hands together frequently as they gauge your reaction and adjust their approach. They may also rub other body parts, such as the backs of their necks or arms.

7. Prolonged Eye Contact

In addition to rapid, excessive blinking, some manipulators go in the other direction. In general, eye contact is good, as it indicates that you're dealing with a trustworthy individual. Manipulators recognize this as well, so they use prolonged eye contact to garner your confidence. They will also keep their eyes trained on you even after you look away, which lets them assess their strategy and whether it's working.

So, what should you do if you notice the above behaviors? Remember, you give manipulative people power by doing their bidding. You're allowed to say no to any request, no matter your relationship with the person or the role they play in your life.

Stand your ground with a polite but firm no. If the person refuses to accept your answer, remove yourself from the situation. When it comes to working environments, involve managers or human resources staff if you feel bullied or harassed. By being assertive, you can command respect and fight off any manipulators who cross your path.