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It could be that the neurotic person you know who seem incapable of acting, may in fact be able to act, he just doesnâ€™t want to. A new study has a lot to say about why neurotic people avoid making decisions and canâ€™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 didnâ€™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.
Neuroticism is a personality trait defined by the experience of chronic negative affect â€“ including sadness, anxiety, irritability, and self-consciousness. It is easily triggered and difficult to control. They tend to avoid acting when confronted with lifeâ€™s stressors and this leads to negative life experiences and more neuroticism.
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.
â€śPeople who are less emotionally stable have less positive attitudes towards action and more positive attitudes toward inaction,â€ť the authors stated. â€śFurthermore, anxiety was primarily responsible for neurotic individualsâ€™ 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.â€ť
â€śPeople 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 â€“ such as freezing when they should act, or withdrawing from stress instead of dealing proactively with it,â€ť the authors wrote.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Journal of Personality
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