Neuroticism is one of the Big Five, or the “Five Factor Model”, personality traits practiced in modern psychology. The Big Five traits are the following: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Of the five traits, neuroticism’s definition is not nearly as self-evident as the others, furthermore, it’s difficult to evaluate in people at the surface level. This article attempts to explain what makes this personality trait so dynamic, and how to take control of it in your life.
Definition and More Context
Many personality models within modern psychology measure neuroticism or some variant thereof. Generally speaking, however, it revolves around the idea of stimulation and mental arousal. People that score high on this scale typically have high spikes of arousal given a certain stimulus and take much longer to recover from the arousal. Furthermore, neuroticism almost always measures the presence of negative arousal behaviors, such as anxiety, sadness, and anger. Positive responses to stimulus are usually measured in other personality traits; extraversion in the Big Five.
Neuroticism is usually measured in the Big Five model by self-reported statements, though there are some instances where a third-party proclamation might be appropriate. Third-parties who describe people high in neuroticism as emotional rollercoasters, generally mean or cold, or lacking respectful attitude. High levels of neuroticism have also been known to correlate with the individual’s outlook on their own life, like accomplishments, and their current circumstance.
Neuroticism in Your Life
Do you fear that some of the aforementioned behaviors relate to you or a loved one? That is likely, as most people slide higher on the scale than lower, meaning that more people feel neurotic than don’t.
That said, it is important for us to know that it is okay if ourselves or our partners are going through these feelings; it is very normal. Noted in many psychological studies is a facet of variability within cases of high neuroticism, meaning that this personality trait is not fixed or impossible to change. In fact, many people report overall lower levels of neuroticism in positive periods of their life.
Though there have been no specific studies to prove this observation, many therapists and mental health professionals suggest that being self-aware of these behaviors and speaking about them with professionals can actually decrease some of the behavioral occurrences.
Dr. Jenelle Kim
Dr. Jenelle Kim is an author and motivational speaker whos topics discuss mental and physical healing for the betterment of self. If you or your loved one is experiencing high levels of negative emotions and has a hard time dealing with them, it is highly recommended to seek professional help to avoid any more debilitation in your life. You deserve to be at peace with yourself, so make the first step for yourself today.