How well do you handle negative emotion? Are you easily offended? Do you react easily to criticism?
Neuroticism is a trait that dictates your responsivity to negative emotion. Psychologically, it is well understood that those who are high in neuroticism have an harder time with depression and anxiety. But an understanding of this trait can really open you up to change, particularly with how you react with others.
I work with many clients who need to overcome high levels of negative emotion, here is some advise I can give you from my experience.
Evaluate yourself on a scale of one to ten (neuroticism)
How neurotic are you? Think about how you feel on a daily basis. How hard is it for external events (comments from others or your daily activities) to take you out of a good mood?
On a weekly basis, how many good-days do you have compared to bad-days?
Thinking about yourself in relation to others around you, how would you rate yourself on a scale of one to ten?
Don’t take things (or yourself) too seriously
Being less serious allows us to take other’s opinions with a pinch of salt. Empowering others to take control of our own viewpoint or emotion is never a good idea, no matter who they are.
There are some people and situations you need to take seriously, but life is not always serious. Taking things in jest and allowing humour into your life will brighten up your day like nothing else could.
Develop the discipline and courage to stand up (only when necessary)
It could be that you are highly agreeable, and neurotic. This can result in resentment and self-loathing, as you’re either arguing with the wrong people (your loved ones) and taking out on those around you, but daren’t put people in their place when it’s needed.
Be disciplined, make sure you’re not always on the defensive, particularly when you are with your loved ones. Ensure that you have the courage and strength to stand up for yourself.
Surround yourself with positive people
Do some people always make you feel bad? They’re probably toxic, and certainly aren’t your friends.
Neuroticism affects our lives. But if people always make us feel bad, usually it’s a sign they’re not good to be around themselves!
Have a good think before doing anything drastic, but clearing up your friends and becoming less involved with certain people in your life that are making you feel bad will strengthen the relationships that really matter.
Apologise when you fly off the lid
Do you tend to get angry and take your negative emotion out on others? Are you easily offended and lash out at friends or family?
An apology and explanation can work wonders. Tell them you over-reacted and that you need to learn to handle situations better (which is normally the truth).
Highly neurotic people take offence to things that other people may not have realised was offensive. If you confront people, they are often surprised, give them the benefit of the doubt. And if you took the last step (being around the right people), there may be less situations in which you need to apologise.