15 Signs of a Neurotic Behaviour and How to Treat It

The first step towards creating a beautiful and balanced life is knowing what is not working. If you don’t know what the roof of the problem is, you won’t be able to fix. Everyone talks about being positive, removing negative thoughts, expressing gratitude, and so on. I agree that all of these things are recipes for success, but the reality is that implementing this is much harder for people who are wired to see the glass as half-empty. Many of those people do not realize that they are not just having negative thoughts – they are literally conditioned to see the world though a negative lens. In many cases, a condition called Neuroticism is responsible for making their life miserable.

I want to help you discover that you or your loved one might actually have neurotic tendencies, that you have been programmed to perceive the world, and everything that it comes with, far worse than it actually is. Discovering that you might have neurotic tendencies is actually a blessing! Once you realize that your thinking patters and behaviour are not balanced (and are responsible for deteriorating your wellbeing and overall happiness) you will finally be able to get off the autopilot and take control of your life!

What is Neuroticism?

Neuroticism is basically a tendency to be in a negative or anxious emotional state for long periods of time. The most important fact is that it is a conditioned state. A state that CAN be reversed.

Neurosis is an internal conflict. The individual struggles between what he is and what he believes he [or the world] should be. It’s effect is to deplete the person’s energy and to destroy his peace of mind.

Alexander Lowen

People with neuroticism tend to have more depressed moods and suffer from feelings of anxiety, guilt, irritation and anger more frequently and more severely than other individuals. They may see everyday frustrations as major problems. They may feel overly self-conscious or vulnerable and as a result act more hostile and defensive than the situation warrants.

15 Most Common Neurotic Behaviours:

  1. Reacting negatively to neutral events, being unreasonably upset and easily offended- for instance, your mail carrier might place a package on your doorstep rather than knocking first to get your attention. If you get upset anyway, even though you heard the carrier, saw the carrier, and received the package without a hiccup, then this a clear sign of neurotic behaviour;
  2. General irritability – constantly complaining about minor issues;
  3. Complaining about medical issues without medical cause;
  4. Chronic worrying;
  5. Low self-esteem and self-worth;
  6. Perfectionism and manipulating others;
  7. Guilty behaviour – feeling guilty and easily embarrassed by minor mistakes that others may have not even noticed or wouldn’t care about;
  8. Being too dependant on others to meet your needs – feeling that it is someone else’s job to make you happy, constantly blaming others for disappointing you and letting you down;
  9. Excessive nagging, complaining, controlling, jealousy and blaming, especially your children or spouse.
  10. Displaying emotional instability; being very touchy, sensitive and defensive – having a track record of blowing up and losing control of your emotions;
  11. Impulsive-compulsive acts; unpleasant and disturbing thoughts; phobias of all kinds;
  12. Phobic avoidance and isolation – avoiding certain situations or behaviours at all cost, even if it means removing people form your life/changing your lifestyle or forcing others to change theirs. Avoiding people, having no interest in other people’s lives, preferring to spend time in isolation;
  13. Preaching and moralizing – telling your loved ones how to live their lives, especially your children or spouse.
  14. Excessive arguing and stubbornness;
  15. Being vindictive and not able to forgive yourself or others;

REMEMBER: Neuroticism is nothing more than a set of conditioned neurotic responses.

It is important to remember that you conditioned yourself to become neurotic. As such you are able to REVERSE this process. The only solution is to use the same method, but use a different message doing so. You need to reprogram yourself, you need to override the old set of negative responses with ones that you WANT to live by.

How to Reprogram you Subconscious Mind?

Being conditioned means that you act impulsively, you react before you have the chance to think. You no longer evaluate the situation when it presents itself to you. Your response is immediate and automatic, but always based on your program.

We are all programmed. 95% of our daily actions and thoughts are subconscious/automatic, only 5% of our waking state consists of conscious actions.

What does it tell you? That 95% of your reactions to any given situation are unconscious. You FEEL that you need to behave a certain way, you feel that you should get angry, sad, or upset, you feel that your behaviour is reasonable and justified, even if it IS NOT!! You live your life based on the set of conditions you adopted years ago.

It’s important to understand that your neurotic behaviour was developed to protect you. Everything we do in life is either to seek pleasure or to avoid pain. At its root, a neurotic behavior is an automatic, unconscious effort to manage pain. You have unconsciously convinced yourself that certain behaviours, situations could harm you and, therefore, should be avoided or eliminated (by nagging, criticizing, complaining, getting offended, yelling). The question is not whether you are justified to react this way, but rather is it worth it? Is your life easier or harder as a result?

What if you were more easy going? What if you were not getting offended this quickly? What if other people would stop triggering you? Wouldn’t that be an easier way to live?

Can We Change Neurotic Responses?

In order to break any conditioned response, you have to first be aware what it is. To find out, list all of your main triggers and pair them with your instinctive reaction. Then, once you establish your patterns, scrap the negative reactions and pair the triggers with your desired responses. Choose a positive behaviour that you will be implementing each time when you get triggered.

Let’s face it. Breaking your current conditioning will be challenging and extremely uncomfortable, but you have to push through! Don’t be harsh with yourself when you slip. It is okay to slip and it will happen many times. The most important is that you keep on trying. Remember that you spent years reinforcing your neurotic responses, so it is only logical that breaking this pattern will take time.

REMEMBER: Just as you were able to produce a neurotic response, you are able to create a healthy one!

The key is to repeat your desired response endlessly until it becomes your go-to reaction. It is worth your effort! It will pay you off with a beautiful, harmonious, and peaceful life. The life you always wanted.

To speed up the recovery, you may consider making space in your life for the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (training your brain to respond differently to certain situations) – you will need help from a therapist to implement this;
  • Yoga & Meditation – it will help you become more present and will naturally lower the level of stress you feel. You will be better able to reframe your thoughts and think differently in general;
  • Exercise – will help boost your dopamine levels, the hormone responsible for making you feel happy;
  • Cut back on alcohol and caffeine;
  • Get enough sleep;
  • Eat well – I recommend watching Game Changers on Netflix.
  • Stop fighting – surrender your struggle to the Higher Power. The Universe has all the answers. Once you let go, the right solution will come to you. The answer will show up. The problem will get resolved. You don’t have to do anything. Just let go now.
  • Learn to love Yourself – this is crucial. Once you learn to love yourself the way you are, your whole life will change. You will even become more loving and forgiving towards other. You may start with this video by Louis Hay.
  • Learn to accept the outside world as it is – stop blaming your circumstances and other people. Give gratitude for everything that is going well, and let go of everything that is going wrong. You won’t enjoy life nearly as much as you could if you don’t accept things for what they are. The secret is that once you do, everything will change for the better. You can’t get there if you keep fighting your circumstances or other people.

Next time when you get triggered, pause for a moment to question your instincts. Evaluate your reaction, rely on your logic, not emotions. Try to take control and swap your instinctive reaction with the desired one, the one you picked in the pairing exercise above. Now, see what happens. How do you feel as a result. Do you feel better? Is it easier to live this way? Do you want to choose to react differently next time as well?

Listen to your heart. Do whatever makes you feels better. Not only in the moment – longterm. Chose what makes you feel better about yourself long after the emotions are gone. This is the key. Longterm happiness over shorter gratification. It is never easier to do the right thing, but, at the end of the day, nothing compares with the feeling of satisfaction that doing the right thing gives you. Feeling whole, peaceful, and complete. Feeling well in your own skin, feeling proud of yourself and your progress – nothing compares with this.

I am cheering for you and for your success!


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