I was reading a book about positive psychology (It has been written by Latvian Psy.D/ dean/ writer, the name can be useful for those who understand Latvian. “Pozitīvā psiholoģija” – Guna Svence. There are a lot of books for English speaking people as well), some refreshment from basic psychology where the focus is more on treating mental illnesses than satisfaction in life. I prefer this sub-sector, it gives useful content, positive emotions, and can help to understand yourself and others better by using a positive approach. There is a section that catches my eye and it isn’t 100% positive, but useful. It describes neurotic/ stable people which are as well extroverts or introverts. So I started to search more information about this subject. As it seems like, I would describe myself as a neurotic extrovert, that’s the reason for this post. In the first part, there is an explanation, in the second part – how to deal with it and the positive impact of it. As we know, I am not the only one in this world so it can be interesting and useful for you as well, my dear reader.
“Neuroticism is one of the big five higher-order personality traits in the study of psychology characterized by anxiety, fear, moodiness, worry, envy, frustration, jealousy, and loneliness.
They are often self-conscious and shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification.
High neuroticism indexes a risk constellation that exists prior to the development and onset of any of the “common mental disorders”, such as depression, phobia, panic disorder, other anxiety disorders, and substance use disorder—symptoms that traditionally have been called neuroses.
Galen of Pergamum popularized the idea that mixes of four bodily fluids or humors resulted in four personality types or temperaments. The Melancholic personality type, which can be seen as the conceptual predecessor of Neuroticism, was characterized by being mentally unbalanced, fearful, anxious, or sad, and according to Hippocrates due to too much black bile.
Neuroticism mean levels change throughout the lifespan as a function of personality maturation and social roles but also the expression of new genes. Generally speaking, the influence of environments on neuroticism increases over the lifespan, although people probably select and evoke experiences based on their neuroticism levels. It has been shown that people change in neuroticism after positive or negative life experiences.
Disorders associated with elevated neuroticism include mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, dissociative identity disorder, and hypochondriasis. Mood disorders tend to have a much larger association with neuroticism than most other disorders.”
“Neurotics / unstables tend to be anxious, worrying and moody. They are overly emotional and find it difficult to calm down once upset.”
“Stables are emotionally calm, unreactive and unworried.”
**Extraversion and introversion
“Extraverts are sociable and crave excitement and change, and thus can become bored easily. They tend to be carefree, optimistic and impulsive.”
“Introverts are reserved, plan their actions and control their emotions. They tend to be serious, reliable and pessimistic.”
Yaay, that was a positive description, right? NOT. Hahaha. Some of that I really use to have. And every now and then, still pops something up. This is just a brief look at this subject. It is not a stamp on your forehead or excuse for yourself. Everyone has different personality traits and in the end it mixes all up like a nice four-season vegan salad. Even though genes have a big impact, with willpower, perseverance, and patience, you can change some things here and there.
How do I deal with it?
My life is has been a roller coaster. As fun as it may be in times, it can be also stressful and exhausting.
I work – on myself, by myself, for myself.
I work A LOT. Nothing comes for free, right? Not even my own personality. Well…life isn’t fair and it can be harsh at times as we know. Although, I don’t mind working on it. I have this little creature in my head, which is constantly curious and it has this tremendous urge to find a variety of ways, get to know a lot of new and see unseen.
Except working with my mind, attitude, and perception of life I also have some practical things which help me and I enjoy doing them. Like – to be active (walks, hiking, yoga), meditation, meet new people, do my job and travel. Oh, I love to travel!
And if I need to be honest, I like to be a little neurotic. Because I tend to worry, I like to check things out, do research, try and experience new things in life. Like that, I take off these worries of not knowing. Before some stressful situations I tend to think about worst scenarios which could happen, so when I’m in a situation, it never goes as bad as my imagination told me and I am thrilled about the solution. As well as I feel grateful. (This habit is a bit gone, now I tend to think positive even in stressful or scary situations) Because I tend to worry about myself and others, I do my best to make sure everything is OK. Because I tend to overthink when I’m being lazy, I start to worry or get a bit depressed, I tend to find things to do. I like to be on a move. I can express myself quite clear if needed. After no care whatsoever about my health, and having some true bad sh*t during years, after which I started to get worried even if something little goes wrong with my health, I get checkups quite often. Now I’m used to caring more and I am healthy and happy. Even though I can be spontaneous and crazy at times, I always think before acting – if something would go wrong, will I regret it? If the answer is no, I will do whatever nut-case it is at the time. One thing I always do in my life – I don’t regret. Even if I have done some stupid, crazy things during years, they made me who I am and it’s fine with me. OK, I’m a human being, so there is one thing that I could think of, but even that one I see as a good life lesson. And because every now and then I tend to get moody, anxious, sad, afraid, I work on myself twice as much to feel satisfied and happy. And the last but not least, I am a bit neurotic – crazy chick, but, hey, life is too short to be absolutely normal. It would be f*** boring! So, I like the way it is.
What are your personality traits of individuality? Do you approve? If not, what are your tips to smooth them out?
*information obtained from wikipedia.org
**information obtained from simplypsychology.org
NOTE: I don’t have a degree in psychology, so everything (except quotes) in this content is based on my personal experience. With serious psychological disorders, please, seek professional help.