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Does the word "paranoid" have an antonym?
December 16, 2003 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Does the word "paranoid" have an antonym? In other words, can there be a one-word opposite of paranoid? My guess is no since it's a defined clinical state; however since it's used casually, has an antonym evolved?
posted by mgtrott to Writing & Language (33 answers total)
 
"normal"

"well-grounded"
posted by bshort at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2003


Buddhist? Zen?
posted by cortex at 4:14 PM on December 16, 2003


Naive, Gullible.
posted by seanyboy at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2003


Credulous? Sucker?
posted by Zonker at 4:16 PM on December 16, 2003


Wordnet suggests "sane", but only indirectly.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:16 PM on December 16, 2003


Some thesaurus.com entries have antonyms, but this one doesn't seem to. I can see where sane and non-lunatic might be considered the opposite states of mind, but both words are far too strong to describe paranoid.
posted by mathowie at 4:18 PM on December 16, 2003


fearless

trusting

carefree

I'm having trouble even thinking of what exactly it means to be the opposite of paranoid.
posted by boaz at 4:19 PM on December 16, 2003


My first instinct was to respond with "dead," but someone might think I was trying to be funny when I wasn't.

"Trusting" does sound close, although it really ought to be a slightly stronger word. "Too trusting" is perhaps as close as it gets.
posted by majick at 4:22 PM on December 16, 2003


Misanthropic.
posted by seanyboy at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2003


"Too trusting" is perhaps as close as it gets.

Credulous?
posted by staggernation at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2003


Sorry, didn't see the "credulous" above.

Pollyannaish?

Orthonoid?
posted by staggernation at 4:27 PM on December 16, 2003


zonker - "Credulous" isn't actually a real word. I think they invented it in 1940 for an episode of "Mr Ed" or something.
posted by seanyboy at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2003


Narapoia: That uneasy feeling that you are unintentionally following someone.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:30 PM on December 16, 2003


fonzy
posted by poopy at 4:52 PM on December 16, 2003


Woody Allen line:

"You're the opposite of paranoid. You think everyone likes you."
posted by condour75 at 5:12 PM on December 16, 2003


see also: paranoying -- (v) the act of making someone paranoid...to paranoy
posted by boaz at 5:13 PM on December 16, 2003


Tell it to the judge, seanyboy: credulous.
posted by Zonker at 5:27 PM on December 16, 2003


mgtrott: good question. I'd say "smug".

What we want is a word that describes someone so spectacularly self-confident and secure that even obvious threats are discounted. "Narcissistic" won't cut it, because you can be a narcissistic paranoid - everyone is out to get you, but in the nicest possible way. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:34 PM on December 16, 2003


I once heard "pronoid" used to describe the opposite of paranoid, but after searching the web I can find no reference to the word. In fact, google wants to know if I'm looking for "paranoid." I can only draw one conclusion: They erased the word from the entire net just to make me look bad. Those bastards.
posted by elwoodwiles at 6:10 PM on December 16, 2003


pollyanna-ish?
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on December 16, 2003


secure?
posted by sugarfish at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2003


Robert Anton Wilson called it "metanoia": Paranoia = "everything wants to destroy me"; Metanoia = "everything wants to help me". I'm not sure if he was getting that somehow from John Lilly's metanoia, RD Laing's metanoia, the New Testament's metanoia, or just made it up on his own.
posted by spacehug at 6:39 PM on December 16, 2003


can hubris be turned into an adjective:

hubristic?

....damn i hate english
posted by NGnerd at 7:55 PM on December 16, 2003


According to the OED, paranoia comes from the Greek para noos meaning 'distracted,' which in turn comes from para 'besides' nous 'mind.' So from one angle I guess the antonym would be the opposite of 'para,' although this depends on how you interpret 'besides.' You could go for inside-mind, in case it might become (pardon my Greek) mesanoia ...

Anyway, these folks disagree over whether "euphoria" is the antonym.

elwoodwiles: pronoia (n.) The sneaking suspicion that the whole world is conspiring to shower you with blessings. [Antonym: paranoia.]

okay, back to work now ...
posted by carter at 8:58 PM on December 16, 2003


Well, I am Greek: paranoia means quite literally distorted mind, thinking that is against logic. Metanoia, means changed mind, or quite literally aftertoughts; from the New Testament it has evolved to mean true and honest regret and. Pronoia means to think of someone/something; it's most usually translated as providence, mostly because of its New Testament usage.

I personally don't think there is a true antonym for paranoia, but I offer 'eunoia' (EV-nee-ah), which literally means thinking well/normally, but is usually translated as showing preference to someone (thinking well of him/her).
posted by costas at 9:23 PM on December 16, 2003


theres a quote from r.d. laing somewhere about there not being a word for when people are out to get you .
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:09 PM on December 16, 2003


Increasing Irrational Fear ----->

Antinoid --> Hyponoid --> Paranoid --> Hapnoid --> Noid --> Hypernoid
posted by scarabic at 10:21 PM on December 16, 2003


Narapoia (short story) was the first thing I thought of, too, mr_crash_davis. I read that story back in junior high or some such...
posted by whatnotever at 11:12 PM on December 16, 2003


Well, if this were organic chemistry, it'd be "orthonoid".
posted by TimeFactor at 12:39 AM on December 17, 2003


Zonker, that definition is bogus. "Gullible" isn't a real word, either.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:33 AM on December 17, 2003


"oppressed"? (indicating the presence of a genuine state, rather than unbased fear of same?)
posted by clever sheep at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2003


I vote for "carefree" from upthread.
posted by Irontom at 10:00 AM on December 17, 2003


I vote for "stupid", but hey i'm paranoid.
posted by jaded at 10:17 AM on December 17, 2003


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