Neuroticism is the trait disposition to experience negative affects, including anger, anxiety, self‐consciousness, irritability, emotional instability, and depression1.
Some common examples of neurotic behavior can include:
Being overly critical of one's self or work (perfectionism that gets in the way of progress) An outsized reaction to a minor problem, such as “road rage” or crying because dinner was burned and couldn't be eaten.
People who experience trauma, stress, and adversity are also more likely to develop neurotic personality traits and behaviors, particularly when these events happen early on in life.
Neuroticism is associated with distress and dissatisfaction. Neurotic individuals (that is, those who are high on the neuroticism dimension) tend to feel dissatisfied with themselves and their lives. They are more likely to report minor health problems and to feel general discomfort in a wide range of situations.
Common Neurotic Traits
- An overall tendency toward negative emotions.
- Feels of anxiety or irritability.
- Poor emotional stability.
- Feelings of self-doubt.
- Being self-conscious or shy.
- Experiencing moodiness, sadness, or depression.
- Easily stressed or upset; unable to handle stress well.
- Dramatic changes in feelings.
Neuroticism. Neuroticism is a trait characterized by sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability. 1 Individuals who are high in this trait tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness. Those low in this trait tend to be more stable and emotionally resilient.
Here are some examples of neurotic anxiety in people who struggle with social anxiety disorder: Excessive worry or dread before social interactions. Extreme self-consciousness and discomfort during social interactions. Overthinking everything they say or do during an interaction and self-censoring.
But remember, being “neurotic” is not a medical condition or even a diagnosable mood disorder. It is a personality trait and a state of being that some of us tend to have more of than others. Living with a higher dose of neuroticism than most people can be challenging.
Average levels of Neuroticism generally declined with age but increased slightly starting around age 80.
Like other traits, such as height  or intelligence , neuroticism is heritable . Twin and family estimates indicate that around 48% of phenotypic variance can be explained by genetic effects .
Otherwise known as neurotic parenting or over-parenting, the term helicopter parenting was first coined in 1990. It's used to describe parents who are extreme in their focus, always hovering around their children and worrying about their safety, as well as their physical and mental wellbeing.
The opposite of neuroticism is calm/tranquil. Those who score low in neuroticism are emotionally stable and don't tend to ruminate over every little thing.
The five broad personality traits described by the theory are extraversion (also often spelled extroversion), agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.
The opposite of neurosis is a condition Horney calls self-realization, a state of being in which the person responds to the world with the full depth of their spontaneous feelings, rather than with anxiety-driven compulsion.
People who are highly neurotic usually prefer jobs in Material Science, Web development, Archiving etc. People who are less neurotic often prefer jobs such as Telephone Operator, Critical Care Nurse or CEOs.
A study published in Nature Human Behaviour reveals that there are four personality types — average, reserved, role-model and self-centered — and these findings might change the thinking about personality in general.
Neurotic means you're afflicted by neurosis, a word that has been in use since the 1700s to describe mental, emotional, or physical reactions that are drastic and irrational. At its root, a neurotic behavior is an automatic, unconscious effort to manage deep anxiety.
Neuroticism is a risk factor for selected mental and physical illnesses and is inversely associated with intelligence. Intelligence appears to interact with neuroticism and mitigate its detrimental effects on physical health and mortality.
Studies have found, for example, that artists and other creative people score higher on tests of neuroticism than people who aren't in creative fields. "This is something that bothered me for a long time," said Adam Perkins, a lecturer in the neurobiology of personality at King's College London.
Environment. Both shared environments (common to family members) and nonshared environments like a child's individual classroom are associated with the likelihood of developing neurotic traits. Mental health conditions associated with neurotic behavior include: Anxiety.
Many different genes are likely to contribute to the personality trait. Researchers have long known that neuroticism—a personality trait characterized by a tendency toward negative emotions as well as anxiety, anger, envy, guilt and depression—is influenced by genetics.