Neurotic people are a constant in our society. Despite the fact that we call ourselves “rational animals”, emotional instability is widespread among the human species.
The meaning of the term “neuroticism” basically alludes to this: the relative instability of emotional and sentimental states, specifically, due to a bias towards ideas and negative and anxiety-generating emotions . This means that in a matter of minutes a slight stimulus, which is unimportant for the majority, causes a lot of discomfort in the neurotic person. Now, in practice… what exactly does it mean to be a neurotic person? Let’s look at it.
This is what neurotic people are like
The word “neuroticism” was used by psychologist Hans Eynseck to refer to a personality trait that indicates a tendency to delve into negative and stressful thoughts, which can erupt almost at any time. Below we will see how this translates into everyday life.
1. Constant search for references
Neurotic people need to feel anchored to reality through the example they see in other people, charismatic people in whom they are reflected and to whom they want to be like . In this way, they try to give consistency to their life objectives by borrowing the attitudes and values of someone whom they normally idealize.
Of course, this works in some cases, but in others it causes even more problems. Why? Because the very fact of not looking like that reference figure gives more reason for frustration. On the other hand, the fact that they idealise their idols also contributes to the fact that the actions of neurotic people can follow an unreasonable behavioural pattern.
2. They can be very direct
In their personal relationships, neurotic people are able to show themselves in a significantly invasive and even inappropriate way to others, even without being angry. The reason for this is that although they know the theory of what is considered “polite behaviour”, in practice they often find it difficult to take it into account, since they let themselves be carried away by the emotions of the present regardless of whether this leads them to be very invasive with others.
3. They often contradict each other
Another characteristic of neurotic people is that there is relatively little consistency in their actions and speech. The reason for this is that the emotional state of the moment has a great influence, and this makes the reasoning that could structure the thought disappear or lose importance during the time in which the emotional wins the game.
4. Often fall into anticipatory anxiety
They easily fall into stress
In the face of setbacks, stress manifests itself intensely in neurotic people. Normally it occurs in limited quantities, but it can lead to crises in which control is lost.
5. They make forecasts in terms of black or white
The nuances and details are often overlooked when there is something that catches our full attention. This is exactly what happens to neurotic people when they make predictions; there are possibilities so frightening that everything is analyzed according to whether certain actions bring us closer to that possible scenario or if they take us away from it.
6. Do not tolerate frustration well
We have seen that neurotic people are prone to make very pessimistic forecasts of the future , but, paradoxically, when something goes wrong that also affects them more than the rest, often producing an explosion of emotions. This is because the problem of perceiving failure is compounded by the difficulty of knowing how to act from that moment on to recompose the present and make it more tolerable.
7. They are sensitive to criticism
It is very common for neurotic people to have unstable self-esteem, usually relatively low because of the episodes of constant uncertainty they usually go through.
That is why criticism can easily hit the target and hurt their feelings; not only because they believe there are many reasons to criticize them, but also because as we have seen they adopt a catastrophic interpretation of things .
On the other hand, criticism can also be taken as an indication that a veiled message is thrown, something that indicates that the person knows a secret about us and expresses it indirectly. This possibility, based on an almost paranoid thought , is frightening for neurotic people.
8. They are more sensitive in general
What defines neurotic people is not so much going from one end of the arc of emotions to their opposite, but the ease with which they fall into negative emotions (i.e. unpleasant for the person experiencing them). Therefore, it is easy for them to feel bad about all kinds of situations , from a sad movie to something that may be slightly offensive.