Neurotic personalities would just rather not do anything


It could be that the neurotic person you know who seem incapable of acting, may in fact be able to act, he just doesn’t want to. A new study has a lot to say about why neurotic people avoid making decisions and can’t move forward with their lives. It turns out that when they asked neurotic people if action was positive, favorable, or good they said they just didn’t like it. It may be that persuasive communications, applied convincingly, may be all it takes to get a neurotic person to make a decision.

”You’re so neurotic!”

Neuroticism is a personality trait defined by the experience of chronic negative affect – including sadness, anxiety, irritability, and self-consciousness. It is easily triggered and difficult to control. They tend to avoid acting when confronted with life’s stressors and this leads to negative life experiences and more neuroticism.

Less action is better

Researchers wanted to know under what circumstances neurotic people found action or inaction to be favorable or unfavorable. They looked at whether depression and anxiety decreases the ability to make a decision. They also looked at whether collective tendencies and social consequences moderated negative associations with action or inaction. They found that neurotics see less action as better compared to more emotionally stable people.

They tend to go with the crowd and not take individual action

“People who are less emotionally stable have less positive attitudes towards action and more positive attitudes toward inaction,” the authors stated. “Furthermore, anxiety was primarily responsible for neurotic individuals’ less positive attitudes toward action. The link between neuroticism and less positive attitudes toward action was strongest among individuals who endorsed more collectivistic than individualistic beliefs.”

Learn to value action and make a change

“People who are interested in reducing the harmful consequences of neuroticism in their own lives should think about how their attitudes toward action might be affecting their behavior. By learning to value action, they may be able to change many of the negative behaviors associated with neuroticism and anxiety – such as freezing when they should act, or withdrawing from stress instead of dealing proactively with it,” the authors wrote.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Journal of Personality


The information provided on the is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979