Neuroticism is a personality trait highlighted in Costa and McCrae’s Big Five theory describing personality as having five main traits (extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness). Neuroticism is the persistent tendency for humans to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, anger and depression. Combined with low emotional intelligence, this personality trait can usually imply a decrease in motivation in the individual. It is also a factor in depression, anxiety and mental health disorders.

Neuroticism, a predisposition to burnout ?

Neuroticism is a personality trait that leads the worker to see things as more stressful and threatening. Therefore, the presence of neuroticism in the worker will tend to make him more anxious and stressed. Burnout is often correlated with these two factors. Neuroticism can therefore impact workers’ mental health, generate burnout and increase their likelihood of absenteeism.

Is neuroticism a fatality?

However, it is essential not to consider neuroticism as a fatality and a decision not to hire. Although neurotic traits are predisposed to burnout, it is only when they are correlated with particular situations or events that they prove harmful for the worker.

Furthermore, according to the Big Five theory mentioned above, neuroticism is part of a system of five traits. Consequently, other characteristics such as extraversion or openness, in particular, can reduce the effects of neuroticism on the individual. Therefore, it is necessary to take the personality as a whole and not reduce the individual to a single trait.

neurotism at work

Palliate neuroticism?

Since it is a personality trait, combating neuroticism can be particularly complex. Therefore, it has to come mainly from the individual himself.

Nevertheless, allowing a diagnosis of this personality trait may lead the individual to realise it and work on it and change. Once the diagnosis has been made, it is essential to provide psychological help and support to the individual so that they can work on this personality trait more effectively.