The difference between a neurotic and a healthy person is that a neurotic expects everybody to change to accommodate his neurosis. We saw this during COVID when some people took the position that everybody needed to change their lifestyle to make them less anxious. A healthy person, instead, changes her own behavior and deals with her anxiety herself without farming it out to others. The neurotic approach is doomed to failure because anxiety has an internal source and can only be controlled internally.


3 thoughts on “Neurotic

  1. “The neurotic approach is doomed to failure”
    Dear Clarissa, at the moment, unfortunately, in the US and the Anglosphere generally, the neurotic approach is enjoying a roaring success, spreading from the campuses of elite colleges to HR departments in countless companies, down to the remotest workplace, conquering newsrooms (both printed and spoken media), churches, police departments and the army. What gives?
    I know I shall draw the ire of many a reader of this blog, but I detect a direct connection between the rise of neurotic behaviour in places where until recently this flagitious phenomenon used to be condemned and suppressed, to the corresponding rise of (predominantly white) women in all spheres of influence.
    I say this as a very temperamental person myself (think of my poor students!), high in neuroticism, agreeableness, mood fluctuation and extreme openness, which are, in psychological terms, typically feminine personality traits. This also explains why, when they are asked, the vast majority of women prefer to work for/with a male boss.


    1. I personally prefer a boss who can say yes or no clearly and without unnecessary dithering and waffling. I haven’t seen any gender differences in who possesses this quality.


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