Why Being Called Neurotic Is Actually A Compliment

Alain Saint-Dic
Alain Saint-Dic, Health and Fitness Editor at 20something, brings over nine years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Though he studied pre-law, his love for the human body, it's adaptive ability and unlocking the largely untapped potential of human beings led him to pursue a passionate career in health, fitness, and athletics.

Neuroticism is a term that we use freely to classify anyone with off-the-wall behavior, but not quite straight jacket crazy. The term is often misused, though it’s aimed in the right direction. It’s a personality trait which gets a bad wrap but has a decent upside. Although they exhibit traits of mood swings, anxiety and possible depression, neurotics actually tend to have a well groomed creative side.

Really, a neurotic can also be a mad genius, a title often attributed to great minds with abstract thoughts all while being perceived as a bit unhinged.

Though we live in a world which has been shaped by the likes of “mad geniuses” with forward thinking vision, as millennials, we too are pushing the boundaries of creativity through technological advances and the ability to bring to life almost any idea. Newton, Edison and Steve Jobs are all known as great innovators and had neurotic tendencies.

Traits of Neuroticism

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Moodiness
  • Frustration
  • Worry
  • Jealousy

These traits on first glance look like they would lead to a generally unproductive and miserable life. However, studies show that neuroticism is correlated with high creative and productivity levels.

How Neuroticism Affects your Creative Side

Neuroticism usually produces a dwelling thought pattern which can be found in many brooders and overthinkers. It turns out that the part of the brain responsible for this thought generation shows high expression in the above mentioned traits of neuroticism and creativity. Neurotics also have highly active imaginations, which act in response to perceived threats, both sending them into panic-like modes, or in a solutions finding pattern. Neurotics also tend to be good at problem solving and accomplishing tasks that they choose to focus on.

Next time someone calls you neurotic, google a list of highly successful neurotics. They’ll be surprised that what they originally meant as an insult, just described you has someone who might one day solve the world’s problems.

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