All About Neuroticism

Self-deprecating comedians and complainers wear their neuroticism as a badge of honor. In truth, the negatively biased are more prone to depression, anxiety, self-consciousness and hypochondria, to name just a few behavioral tripwires. Neuroticism is no fun for anyone. The good news: all personality traits, including emotional instability, exist on a continuum, in this case from the very neurotic to the implacably stable. If you can laugh at your hang-ups, you're probably not that neurotic to begin with.

Recent posts on Neuroticism

Eating Disorders: How Far We Have Come

Causes of eating disorders are complex and multi-determined. A succinct understanding of where research and theory are headed.

The Psychology of Insults

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 21, 2016 in The Human Beast
Having been through an election that was won on the basis of insults, it's time to study why we so often put others down.

What Makes People Easy or Hard to Get Along With?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
A brand new meta-analysis brings together two lines of research about human traits: personality and emotional intelligence. Are these labels just two names for the same thing?

Narcissism and Exotic Pets: Is There a Connection?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on October 31, 2016 in Animals and Us
New research examines how narcissism and "dark personality traits" affect our attachments to pets and why some people are drawn to companion rats, snakes, and tarantulas.

The Deviant Psychologies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

In Sex and the City Carrie's love interest, Mr. Big, a real-estate mogul, is compared to Trump, which raises the question: which television character is Hilary Clinton?

People Basically Want to Be Healthy, Not Stay Sick

By Michael Bader D.M.H. on September 06, 2016 in What Is He Thinking?
People want to be healthy, to form loving attachments, feel independent and have a sense of agency. Inhibiting beliefs formed in childhood interfere. But no one wants to be sick.

Othello Syndrome: Passion Can Be Pathological and Deadly

Psychotic jealously sometimes leads to stalking, murder, suicide

On the Malignant Nature of Narcissism

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on August 07, 2016 in Evil Deeds
Should presidential candidates be required to undergo a psychological evaluation?

How Your Personality Can Predict Your Love Life

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on August 02, 2016 in Insight Therapy
In love and sex, character is destiny; research points to a significant predictive association between the big five personality traits and romantic life.

Time Alone Saps the Willpower of People Who Are Neurotic

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 20, 2016 in Living Single
For some people, time alone is rejuvenating. New research shows that for neurotic people, just thinking about spending time by themselves can instead undermine their motivation.

How to Get Over an Ex (and Avoid Some Major Mistakes)

When faced with the loss of a relationship we tend to vilify or idealize our ex. There is a way out of this obsessive thinking that will help you to heal faster.

How Symptoms are Solutions

By Susan Rako M.D. on May 25, 2016 in More Light
Worrying seems to be purposeless suffering. It's actually a solution to existential pain.

The Myth of the Addictive Personality

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 11, 2016 in In Excess
The concept of 'addictive personality' is often used to explain addictive behaviour. This article argues that the concept of addictive personality is a complete myth.

Social Anxiety: Mapping Its 7 Key Components

These key elements help us understand social anxiety.

Just How Different Are Cat People and Dog People?

The commonly held belief that cat people and dog people differ in fundamental ways, put to the test in earlier research, may need to be revisited.

How to Not Pass Along Our "Stuff" to Our Children

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on March 30, 2016 in In Flux
We go through life dealing with our own anxieties, neuroses, issues, and problems.What happens when we don't fully deal with our own issues? Do our children "inherit" them from us?

Victimology: The New Way to Play the Blame Game

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on March 29, 2016 in Memory Medic
The need to walk on eggshells in social interactions makes us isolate ourselves into enclaves of like-minded people.

Clarifying the Nature of Anxiety and Depression

This blog clarifies some points following the first principle that anxiety and depression are symptoms of threats to or losses of core psychological/relational needs.

Why Is Neuroticism So Toxic?

By Christopher Bergland on February 03, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Neuroticism is widely considered the most toxic of the "Big Five" personality traits. Read this blog post for some easy tips on how-to become less neurotic.

5 Ways to Get out of the Indecisiveness Trap

We are constantly making decisions but for some people, these come harder than for others. Find out what to do when you're stuck in the indecisiveness trap.
Wikimedia Commons

Personality Profiles of Great American Presidents

A study finds that presidential greatness is associated with a mix of bright and dark traits. Great presidents have been compassionate yet also knew how to manipulate people.

How Scary Are the Mental Health Risks of Vegetarianism?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on December 15, 2015 in Animals and Us
While most vegetarians don't have histories of psychiatric disorders, some studies have linked meat-avoidance with mental illness. But how strong is the link and why does it exist?

Choosing a Therapy and a Therapist

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on December 14, 2015 in A Sideways View
How do you go to when you have a problem? Why do some therapies and treatments seem to work so much better than others? Are there some ingredients that are common to nearly all?

Personality's 'Big One' and the Enigma of Narcissism

Narcissists can be charismatic yet also alienate others. Narcissism combines adaptive and maladaptive traits. This makes it difficult to reconcile narcissism with the theory that all personality traits express a single underlying dimension such as a general factor of personality.

This Is the Key to Getting Over Worries

For most of us, there’s plenty to worry about in our lives. However, some people seem to figure out how to keep their worries down to a minimum.

Always Reward Your Writing Brain

By Susan Reynolds on October 30, 2015 in Prime Your Gray Cells
When you feel good, your brain releases and bathes itself in what are called the feel-good chemicals—dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and others—which is so pleasurable for your brain that it eagerly awaits new opportunities to repeat this experience.
Diane Dreher

Why Don’t We Feel Safe?

Are you feeling anxious and isolated? You may just need more human contact.

Meet the Femme Fatale

By Rebecca Coffey on September 09, 2015 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
According to research from the University of Liverpool, narcissistic women often use emotionally manipulative tactics like threatening blackmail or vowing to harm themselves.

Ten Tips For People Who Second-Guess Themselves

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Ambigamy
"Why do I second guess myself so much?" Oops. There you go again.

Study Decodes the 5 Types of Facebook Status Updates

Want to know your personality type? A new study says your Facebook page says it all.