Neuroticism Personality Trait is the last trait in the OCEAN Model or the big five personality model. It is primarily responsible for your drive in all the things you do. All our behavioural characteristics, major or minor, reflect our personality. It is the factor accountable for your intelligence, humour, and practical outlook on situations in life.
Do you frequently feel anxious or depressed in your life? Do you doubt yourself often? The experience of negative emotions signifies that something is wrong in the world or something is wrong with us. If we dive deep into the ins and outs of Neuroticism, it is a tendency to experience negative emotions. These negative emotions include fear, sadness, anxiety, guilt, and shame.
Where Did The Concept of Neuroticism Come From?
The concept of Neuroticism came from ancient Greece and the Hippocratic model of four basic temperaments (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic, the latter most closely approximating Neuroticism).
In modern psychology studies, we identify it as the first general factor that has the broadest power in explaining individual differences.
The term “Neuroticism” was first coined by German Psychologist Hans Eysenck in the 1950s by including it as a critical scale in his popular personality inventory!
Neuroticism is one of the significant factors of The Big Five Personality Model. The Big Five Personality or OCEAN Model includes openness, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
Factors Influencing Neuroticism Personality Trait
We know that some characteristic traits of neuroticism appear to be universal. In other words, these traits are likely to have some biological origins. Some researchers believe that neuroticism is an evolutionary phenomenon.
Moreover, a recent study by WHO suggests that globally more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. People who are at the high end of neuroticism are more likely to get depressed.
Some evidence shows that neuroticism and startle reflex are correlated. The startle reflex is responding to loud noise. This further indicates that individuals high in neuroticism may be genetically different from others and are naturally prone to the various outside stimuli.
Major Factors Which Influence Neuroticism Include
Researchers have recognized the genetic relations of neuroticism. It is a personality trait essential for psychological well being. Heredity affects neuroticism to a large extent. For instance, if parents are high on the scale of neuroticism, chances are their children too have a neurotic personality.
Shared Environment Influences
The environment we live in naturally influences our character. Stressful life events such as the death of loved ones, broken relationships, loss of a job, or a major illness can affect our personality.
Non-Shared Environment Influences
The people who surround us influence our lives. Friends, teachers, or our colleagues impact our lives to a great extent. The more positive our environment, the fewer worries, and anxiety.
6 Signs of a High Neurotic Personality
We all experience various negative emotions from time to time. It is normal to feel these emotions.
Furthermore, some people feel these emotions more frequently than others. So here is a checklist that will help you understand what it means to have a higher neuroticism level:
- An overall tendency toward negative emotions
- Feeling anxious, irritated, moody, sad, or depressed.
- Poor emotional Stability
- Feelings of self-doubt
- The tendency to view minor problems as overwhelming and neutral situations as threatening
- Difficulty controlling urges or emotions at the moment
These are the common markers that a person has a higher level of neuroticism. Therefore, he or she needs to make some changes in the way he or she thinks.
Sub-Traits of Neuroticism Personality Trait
The Big Five Model covers the following sub-traits. They help to study the personalities of individuals with the varying score on the neuroticism scale.
Anxiety–How frequently do you feel worried?
Anxiety is a feeling of fear and uneasiness caused in response to stress. People with higher neuroticism scores feel more anxious than those with lower neuroticism scores.
Anger–How easily do you get frustrated?
Do you feel angry often? Do you get irritated for no reason? Some people are prone to getting angry easily. Individuals who score higher on this facet are more likely to get anxious in stressful situations. People with a low score keep calm in stressful situations.
Depression–Do you feel depressed?
36.7% of the people in the world suffer from depression. It is a mental health problem that causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Someone who scores high on depression is not in good mental health. On the other hand, people with low scores are more cheerful.
Self-consciousness–Do you feel embarrassed around people?
Self-consciousness is a factor that determines the sensitivity of how people look at others. Not only this, but it also checks whether people feel awkward or ashamed.
People scoring high on this facet feel shy around people. On the contrary, people scoring low feel confident and comfortable around people.
Immoderation–Are you impulsive?
Immoderation is an inability to resist urges. Someone who scores high on this spectrum is unable to control their impulses. Therefore, reacts more intensely than normal. In contrast, people with low scores have stronger control over emotions and urges. They are usually less reactive.
Vulnerability–Are you able to handle your stress?
We all encounter stressful situations in our lives. Although some encounter stressful circumstances more often than others. But the problem is not how many times we experience stress. It is how we deal with these situations. People with low scores on neuroticism are more likely to handle stress effectively.
The Big Question – How to Check My Neuroticism Score? (Neuroticism Test)
Neuroticism describes a tendency to have unsettling thoughts and feelings.
If you haven’t been able to guess/relate to these qualities, yet. Don’t worry, some tests analyse your personality and tell you which category you fall under.
Here is a list of tests that have come around with time. Each tests your personality and gives you measurements on each aspect. Some of these tests are direct. Others ask you to rate on a scale how you might act/feel in a situation.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test
This test has put people into 16 broad categories based on permutations of 4 binary aspects. The mother-daughter duo Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the test. The test tends to be very long, but precise.
Emotional Intelligence Tests
Emotional quotient plays a great role in your personal as well as professional life. Hence, it is emphasised a lot by employers. Emotional Intelligence is your ability to process and manage your own emotions. We can consider it as important as your IQ.
The Big Five Personality Test
The big five Personality test tests you on five dimensions, namely Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. We also refer to it as the OCEAN/CANOE test.
Eysenck Personality Inventory
Eysenck’s theory takes into consideration two dimensions: extraversion and neuroticism. And scores each individual based on the two independent dimensions. As a result, individuals are placed under one category: Choleric, Melancholic, sanguine, and Phlegmatic. The EPI test asks 57 yes/no questions and gives out scores on three verticals: Extraversion, Neuroticism, and a Lie Scale.
Carl Jung’s Model
Carl Jung was the psychologist who coined the term extraversion and introversion. Jung primarily divided people into two categories viz. Extroverts and introverts. In addition to this, he also said that people could have different conscious and subconscious personalities. So you can take one of the tests based on his model too.
HIGH Neuroticism Score LOW Neuroticism score
Some people may conclude that a person with a low score is superior to a higher score. That’s not the case. Along with negatives, there are many positive aspects of having a higher neuroticism score. For instance, high scorers on the spectrum always try to improve themselves. This can push them to a higher level of achievement, as failure can be a motivation source.
Conversely, people with a low Neuroticism score don’t think too much about potential risk or danger beforehand. Besides, they lead a carefree and relaxed life is not necessarily a happy one. Their attitudes are more likely correlated with higher levels of Extraversion.
Career based on your Neuroticism Personality Trait
Let us take a look at how the neuroticism score affects your career.
If you are a person with Low Neuroticism, then undoubtedly you can consider the following jobs:
The people with low Neuroticism are high on emotional intelligence, so they are an excellent fit for this role. As a social worker, your primary duties include helping others and providing assistance. Most people in this role assist clients of different age levels with mental, emotional, or physical ailments. You may have to do some counselling and communicate in certain circumstances.
Another good career path which a person with low Neuroticism can pursue is being a psychiatric nurse. As a psychiatric nurse, your primary duties will be to diagnose and treat various mental health issues. Also, you may refer your patients to non-medical care providers like social workers or family therapists.
If you score high on Neuroticism, you can work well as:
As a librarian, your primary duties will be to assist library visitors and organize library books. The job of a librarian is slow-paced and can offer many challenges. This makes this position highly suitable for someone with high neuroticism score. Libraries are quiet places; the atmosphere is ideal for helping the neurotic personality react to problems more perfectly. This can also help them reduce their anxiety level.
Writers and Authors
Many writers and authors have earned the reputation of having neurotic personality tendencies. Neurotic personalities often find happiness in writing books, articles, blog posts, and scripts. Any criticism from editors or readers sometimes harms their emotions. They can, somehow, cope up with that. Besides, Writers and Authors enjoy having a very flexible schedule. This allows them to have time to work on fresh challenges at their own pace. The result of which is a positive response to various problems. It is also helpful in reducing their anxiety levels.
What Does your Neuroticism Score Mean?
A high score of Neuroticism can mean, You:
- Often feel vulnerable or insecure.
- Get stressed easily.
- Struggle with tough situations.
- Often have mood swings.
You may blame yourself when things go wrong. Also, you might get frustrated with yourself easily, especially if you make a mistake. Further, there are chances that you’re also prone to worrying. However, you’re more reflective than others, which helps you to examine and understand your feelings.
If you score low on Neuroticism, you likely:
- Keep calm in stressful situations
- Are more optimistic
- Worry less
- Have a stable mood
A low neuroticism score means you’re confident and also may have more resilience and find it easy to keep calm under stress. Relaxation might even come more easily to you. Therefore, try to keep in mind that this might not be easy, so be patient.
This was everything you would have wanted to know about Neuroticism.
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