Anti-Paranoia

Mentioned by Kevin Kelly in his list of advice-aphorisms, pronoia is a recently made-up word to represent the opposite of paranoia, the irrational feeling that "Everybody is out to get me". Fred Goldner (Social Problems, Volume 30, Issue 1, 1 October 1982, pps 82-91) writes:

Pronoia is the positive counterpart of paranoia. It is the delusion that others think well of one. Actions and the products of one's efforts are thought to be well received and praised by others. Mere acquaintances are thought to be close friends; politeness and the exchange of pleasantries are taken as expressions of deep attachment and the promise of future support. Pronoia appears to be rooted in the social complexity and cultural ambiguity of our lives: we have become increasingly dependent on the opinions of others based on uncertain criteria. This paper discusses individuals who suffer from pronoia, the organizational and interpersonal mechanisms that encourage it, and the connections between pronoia and paranoia. The paper suggests that introspection in a time of conflicting forms of consciousness is both an explanation for pronoia–and a problem in itself.

... and maybe it can be irrational – and maybe it's nevertheless good!

(cf Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Optimistic Pessimism (2003-03-19), Mister Pollyanna (2020-01-28), Be More Optimistic (2020-07-02), ...) - ^z - 2020-09-28