Who Else is High in Neuroticism?

(Eric) #1

I’m hoping to find some other’s on here with similar personality traits because I have been finding it very difficult to proceed in a direction I would like with my life and I want to see what other’s may be doing to better their situations.

I am finding it unduly difficult to move anywhere. I find myself continuing to build up plans for myself - well thought-out plans that would probably work to better my current situation - only to be thrown aside during a bout of anxiety. I also find myself struggling immensely to do what I find interesting. I have chronic anxiety. In both the JBP version and the HEXACO version of the personality trait test I scored very high in neuroticism.

I think it would be very beneficial to have a discussion with others facing similar difficulty. The reason is because if you are high in neuroticism it seems difficult to even clarify the issue you are facing because you have so much anxiety about it. Its like the anxiety prevents you from clearly articulating what the actual problems are because your mind is constantly misconstruing the reality of the situation.

Anybody else on here experiencing something similar? If so, what do you think about the issue and what have you tried to make the problem better?

Here are some things I noticed that have previously helped me (significantly):

  • Being in an intimate relationship with somebody low in neuroticism - my ex-girlfriend was much lower in this trait which I found very helpful, it was somebody to keep my head level on a daily basis - I suspect having a close friend low in neuroticism would produce the same effect
  • I noticed that some days (rarely), I can get myself into a mindset where I can completely remove any anxiety I am feeling by convincing myself that I have plenty of time, or by reminding myself that people who succeed in their goals seem to be driven by intense fascination by what they are working on and that forcing myself to learn things will not encourage that fascination - I think this could be a highly valuable technique if you could produce it regularly, but I’ve found it difficult to implement more than 1 day because something anxiety-provoking inevitably occurs soon afterward
  • I am just beginning cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and it seems potentially helpful in producing a change of mindset, but I need to test it for a while to see if it works

Let me know what you think!


I don’t suffer from high neuroticism according to the big 5 on understandmyself or my own big 5/30.

That said, I do have moments when I have severe anxiety, where I just lay in bed in turmoil because otherwise I’m fretting.

In over-simplified terms, axiomatic, a couple things that help me are:

  • disrupt the current environmental and psychological realms, by physically going somewhere unusual, different to where you are normally familiar with, and then finding something purely novel to consider, I had to do this recently to actually literally stay alive, had to move to a different country in a different part of the world in response to the turmoil;
  • disrupt your sense of time span and routine, by putting some current goals on a hold (say for an hour or a few hours or a day or two) and considering new novel goals that are either much shorter, or much longer to achieve… doing this will allow you to refocus;
  • develop mantras based on big 5 trait questions

I want to add more but will leave this for now.


In NEO-PI-R, under Neuroticism-Anxiety, there are the following negatively keyed questions:

Am not easily bothered by things.
Am relaxed most of the time.
Am not easily disturbed by events.
Don't worry about things that have already happened.
Adapt easily to new situations.

So for a mantra, I might develop a phrase like “I’m more relaxed than anyone.”

And then practice being relaxed.

For another mantra I might develop a phrase like “Right now my feet are on the floor, and I’m alive, and I love good food.” Then I might go make a sandwich. In fact I think I’ll do that right now.

Being aware of the easy self-analysis questions that the tools are based on, is seeing a tool that can be used, but instead of just seeing it, grabbing hold of it and figuring out some new way to use the tool for your own empowerment, that’s what I did a year and a half ago.

(Eric) #4

I appreciate the responses Tom.

I’m curious if you’ve explored the cause of your bouts of anxiety. The reason I get anxiety is mostly from having too many goals laid out and worrying that I’m not reaching any of them. I feel overwhelmed, and I think part of that is because I’m high in creativity. I don’t know if that is the case for you. But this is what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps with. It makes you separate the anxiety-provoking thoughts from the anxiety itself, and then encourages you to develop a “balanced” thought which is a thought that counterbalances the anxiety-provoking one.

So for me I will perhaps see a friend get a promotion, then the thought I have is something like “wow that person is getting ahead of me, I’m not going anywhere” which will cause a lot of anxiety. So you produce a counterbalancing thought like “actually, I have come pretty far from where I was before” or “that person probably put a lot of work in to get that promotion”. This is meant to remove the negative emotion by making the reality of the situation clearer. However, it still doesn’t really solve the fundamental problem, it just allows you to manage the emotions.

I like this idea because it seems like it would allow you to act out a more productive version of yourself. Perhaps I’ll try this out.


First off, all minds are neurotic. All. No matter what people look like on the outside. Some life circumstances allow some to be or appear to be less neurotic but change the circumstances and see what happens.
I suggest listening to Eckhart Tolle cd Practicing the Power of Now
He explains how minds work
Give it a try… helps me