par·a·noi·an. A psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution with or without grandeur, often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason.

Not that I’m distrustful of anyone, mind (or psychotic, generally). I am leery of some things, and probably with good cause. You know, like car salespeople and internet moneymaking schemes. But on a more personal level, I must admit that the feeling of uncertainty with regard to what others are thinking is not a pleasant experience.

I basically know two kinds of people: 1) those who don’t care what others think, and 2) those who care a great deal about what others think. I’ve really never met anyone in the middle ground, despite what they might claim.

Performance artists generally fall in the “2” category. They may say they perform for the individual fulfillment and fun of it, but I’d be willing to bet that a large part of the picture involves acceptance and validation. But that doesn’t involve paranoia, usually. My personal definition of paranoia, as it relates to me, is not knowing if I’m behaving in a way so as to garner the loyalty of my friends/coworkers/etc. Do any of you feel that way?

*feeling forehead* Am I rambling?

Some would say I worry too much about what others think. They’d probably be right. I’m a 2, mos def. What about you?

Hey, I get to see Helen today! She’s coming to spend the morning with me at school for a college observation assignment. Who’s a lucky rat? :-)


Image: FOX Broadcasting Co.

8 thoughts on “Paranoia

  1. Kay

    I am the early bird!!! [it is 12.19 in SLO]
    Is it possible that one can care a great deal about what others think in regards to certain aspects of our lives and and not care a diddle about other things? As a performer, I did care a lot about what my audience thought about my singing because I was performing for them. But did I care about what they [or anyone else] thought of my clothes, hair, house, personality, family, glasses, perfume, political leanings or life choices. Not a diddle!!!
    That might be sitting the fence a bit?
    I love you and I am glad you care what I think cause you are the diva of EVERYTHING!!

    1. Rat Fink Post author


      You just say that because you love me. And it takes a fabulous diva to know one. :-)

      Fence-sitting on this issue is perfectly acceptable! I can’t imagine having so much baggage that you’d actually worry about what people thought about the little things. I’m sure there are people like that out there, poor slobs. But I’m not much better, because (as you know) I am largely driven by fear, professionally. No wonder I’m all gray beneath this fake blond.

      You still have that purple streak in your hair? I luv it. And you.

      1. BoomR

        THIS “Div-O” **KNOWS** you are **THEEEEE** GRAND DIVA of everything you touch! You have been hitting home runs every time you open your mouth to sing, or when you set foot in front of those kids in a performance situation. Time now to just “keep doing diligently what you’ve always been doing”…. then RELAX and trust that things will continue to be stellar performances & happy kiddos. And YOU can finally ENJOY!!


        1. Rat Fink Post author

          I LOVE YOU, B-to-the-oomR. You’re a lot like Mavis and Kay: you always know how to say something nice and put things in perspective. HUGZ!

  2. Stoney

    Boy, this hits home. I care what people think of me to the point of trying to make everyone happy. And I know intellectually that never happens. I am trying to change my ways. I know there are many people who find me annoying and dislike me-and I just need to accept that and be okay.

    And paranoia about your friends? My dear, you are true blue. I luv ya.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      The people who think you’re annoying can just go hang! I know you and I are of a kind; we both worry about measuring up. It’s hard to change, but we need to do it for *us*, right? Love you!

  3. kodye

    Love the image used for this post. That’s one of my all time favorite Simpsons episodes. Bart gets put on medication for ADHD and goes insane, figuring out that Major League Baseball is watching our every move.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Ah-ha. So that’s why that particular image came up in Google Image Ripper when I typed “paranoid” into the search bar…


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