Some features of people who have bizzare beliefs but are not delusional

February 28, 2011

Many people have what others might call “bizarre beliefs” or even a hint of paranoia. Not all of these people are delusional.

People have hobbies, and things they like to learn about. Things they believe that other people don’t. It could be aliens, it could be cutting-edge technology or weather control, it could be an unhealthy obsession with collecting dolphin figurines. Who knows.

  • But they don’t let it consume their life or get in the way of important things.
  • They know the probability of the things they read about happening to them specifically is minimal.
  • They know they aren’t important enough or visible enough to be targeted.
  • They make theories but know it’s just a theory.
  • They know who to talk to these things about.
  • They know when to stop talking about it

I think this last one is the most important. They don’t talk about it too much about it, but if people show interest then they go on.

There is a rule in the writers circle, it’s about explaining your novel in one to three sentences. If people show interest, give them 5 – 10 sentences. Then you stop there unless they press for more information and seem genuinely interested. It is a good practice and you don’t drive people away. You have to write these out/ plan them out before hand though. Otherwise they will stretch on too long.

After this the general advice is to ask a reciprocating question such as “Well now you know I write/read alien conspiracy magazines/am convinced bears are a big threat even in the city. What you do in your spare time?” And then you listen to them talk about their ’72 Pontiac they’ve been restoring in their garage for the last ten years, and ask questions as well.


Here’s an example: I read about and believe in telepathy and dreams that come true and other things like that.

If I were going to tell people about my belief in this area, I would say it like this. “I believe things like telepathy exist, it’s something that just happens sometimes on a rare occasion, not something you can make happen. For example a mother waking up one night hearing her daughter cry for help when she’s actually a hundred miles away and no one knew she was in trouble. There are documented cases like this.”

If they showed interest, I would start with the least dramatic example. This reassures them you’re being honest and genuine and not looking for attention. I would tell them about the time I had a dream once that my grandmother was making me a quilt. I knew she was making me a quilt eventually, she had told me two or three years ago. However she called that morning when I woke up and told me she had finished it. I was astounded, and it was on my mind for days afterward but I knew it was just something that happened, and not to expect anything else.

After this I would ask if they have had any bizarre experiences that science can’t explain. A very interesting conversation could bloom here, all because I didn’t keep talking about myself.


One example I would not share is this one, even though both examples are true.

One night I woke up and I couldn’t breathe.

(I didn’t know why, but it happened many times after that where the air would become thin and I felt like I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I think it might have been because my body was weak from not eating which triggered something else, who knows)

Anyway I found out the next day a friend of mine who I had been talking with every day and become very close to over the last few months, woke up that very same night from a dream where she couldn’t breathe, and she started praying for me, worried. We didn’t think it was a coincidence.

I know now that when people care about each other a connection is there that couldn’t otherwise be formed, and it doesn’t mean I have special powers, or was apart of some cosmic drama. It just means that sometimes in life the right things line up and anyone at all could have these experiences (not everyone does) but they’re not things you force, they just happen when you need them to. I don’t wait with bated breath for the next event like this. Who knows if it will happen again? It might not, I’m ok with that.



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