10 Truths About Being Neurotic

It's not necessarily a bad thing.

Neurotic folks generally have a bad reputation. They're regarded as high strung, tense or moody. They over-think every situation. They don't let things go easily.

By all definitions, being neurotic isn't considered a good thing (after all, the behavior is associated with some risks to health and happiness). However, the trait isn't totally negative. Those who have a healthy handle on their neurosis may actually benefit from their overactive minds and their raw emotion in ways that others can't.

Below are just a few truths about what it really means to be neurotic.


1. "Going with the flow" feels uncomfortable.

It's challenging for a neurotic person to roll with the punches. Neurotic people are planners because they tend to avoid unwanted surprises. While it can be to their benefit to learn to go with the flow a little more, their preparedness isn't always a bad thing. Who else can you trust to plan that co-worker's birthday gathering?

2. They can be fierce friends.

Neurotic individuals want to make sure they tend to everything and are hyperaware of how they are perceived by others. This kind of person won't forget to call you on your birthday or will send you a congratulations card when you get a promotion. It's this level of conscientious behavior that could contribute to what researchers dub as "healthy neuroticism."

3. Being neurotic can make them healthier.

Those who have a good combination of conscientiousness and neuroticism may reap a few wellness perks. Research shows these healthy neurotics may "have fewer chronic health conditions, they have healthier body weights, and they have lower levels of inflammation," Nicholas A. Turiano, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, previously told HuffPost.

4. They tend to get anxious.

It's no secret that anxiety isn't necessarily a positive emotion, but healthy neurotics may use that stress to their advantage. "Those high in conscientiousness may have anxiety but it is not making the person freeze while they ruminate on their life problems," Turiano told HuffPost. "They act on their anxiety and that is what motivates them to address what they have anxiety about."

5. Romantic partners help them calm down.

Ever been around a stressed-out person only to see them instantly relax when their significant other steps in? It may seem like magic, but it's no coincidence. Research published in the Journal of Personality found that a loving, romantic relationship may have a stabilizing effect on a neurotic personality.

6. Every decision feels monumental.

It doesn't matter if it's choosing a new career or what to order for dinner, every selection has weight and every decision has consequences.

7. Their neurotic habits might lead to higher intelligence.

Consider this a tiny silver lining to an otherwise negative characteristic. Stress -- in moderation -- may fuel performance and a small study from the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York suggests that worriers may score better on IQ tests than those whose anxiety symptoms were less severe. And if there's one thing neurotic people specialize in, it's worrying.

8. They overanalyze everything.

That passive-aggressive text message or that backhanded compliment is kryptonite for a neurotic person. They'll spend a period of time thinking about what went wrong -- and then even longer figuring out how to fix it.

9. They usually jump to the worst possible outcome.

Neurotic people tend to be glass-half-empty thinkers. According to a paper published in the journal American Psychologist, neurotic people have "tendencies to respond with negative emotions to threat, frustration, or loss." Not exactly the most ideal reaction, but hey, research suggests a little pessimism can be healthy. Everything in moderation!

10. They're extremely self-aware.

Neurotic folks are hypersensitive to their own thoughts, words and actions. This level of self-awareness can come in handy both personally and professionally if it's in healthy moderation.

Just like every other personality trait, there are strengths and weaknesses. The difference is that a neurotic person is already overly familiar with their flaws and assets because they think about them so much -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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