The question came up in the recent Ladies Concealed Carry Class about the difference between being constantly aware and being paranoid. This raises an interesting point. I’ve been giving this question some thought, and it seems to me that the best answer is that being paranoid means that you really do believe that everyone is out to do you harm and you are fearful of that. And the reality is that while most people are probably not out to do you harm, there are some who will do so if they think they can get away with it.
On the other hand, being aware means you are constantly looking for anyone who might want to do you harm, but you are not as fearful because you know you have the skills to respond appropriately. By being constantly aware, or as aware as possible, you are making it difficult for someone out to do you harm to do so and providing yourself a chance to avoid the situation or to respond in the event that they decide to attack.