NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS

PARANOID



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HELPFUL TIP:

Characters with this flaw will be extra sensitive to certain emotions, so think about how events in your story might specifically trigger these feelings to generate compelling tension and conflict. Another idea is to give a supporting character a positive attribute that is an opposite of this flaw, which will get under the skin of both characters and cause friction in their relationship.
DEFINITION:
Inclined to excessive worrying and irrational suspicion

POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Drug or alcohol abuse
Insomnia
Stressful life events or past traumas (surviving a kidnapping, abuse, etc.)
Growing up in a situation where one was constantly criticized or ridiculed
Schizophrenia, paranoid delusions, bipolar and paranoid personality disorders
Intense feelings of inferiority
A head trauma or brain damage
Extreme trust issues
Growing up with untreated mentally ill caregivers
Frequent exposure to suspicious ideas and negative thinking

ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES:
Becoming socially isolated
Living a life that is overly safeguarded and secure
Obsessive behaviors (cleaning one’s guns, looking through the front door’s peephole, etc.)
Making accusations
Watching, following, and stalking others
Adhering to certain routines for safety (eating the same carefully prepared food day after day)
Changing routines in an effort to avoid detection (leaving the house at odd times, etc.)
Tics and other nervous actions
Reacting defensively
Jumping to conclusions
Muttering and mumbling
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ASSOCIATED THOUGHTS:
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ASSOCIATED EMOTIONS:
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POSITIVE ASPECTS:
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NEGATIVE ASPECTS:
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EXAMPLE FROM FILM:
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OVERCOMING THIS TRAIT AS A MAJOR FLAW:
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TRAITS IN SUPPORTING CHARACTERS THAT MAY CAUSE CONFLICT:
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