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66. You are so neurotic! But maybe that's a good thing.

You are so neurotic!

But maybe that’s a good thing.

The most popular and well-validated framework for evaluating personality traits is the Big Five: conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness, extroversion-introversion, and finally, the focus of this post, neuroticism.

The only trait that reeks of being “bad” is neuroticism. But is it really all that horrible?

Individuals higher in neuroticism tend to react with strong emotions, even when the stressor is relatively minor. This “emotional instability,” as it’s called, manifests as perfectionism and a high need for control.

While extreme levels of neuroticism might be debilitating, I’d argue that some degree of neuroticism is healthy and productive.

The author, Dan Harris, is quoted as saying “the price of security is insecurity.” One interpretation of this quote is that when we fear insecurity, in this case, our ability to stay employed and earn a living, it can be a strong motivator for effectiveness.

Indeed, our emotion-laden, fight or flight response system is deeply ingrained in our psyche. Strong emotional reactions drive us to survive and thrive

So everything in moderation…even being a little neurotic.


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