Big Five: Neuroticism

High or Low in Neuroticism

The Big Five
The Big Five utilizes a combination of five traits to assess an individual’s personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. An easy way to remember the five traits is through the acronym OCEAN. Everyone has a different amount of each of these traits; rather than saying people either possess a trait or don’t, the Big Five test notes that each person ranges on a spectrum between the two extremes.

What is Neuroticism?

The Neuroticism trait is a measure of a person’s emotional stability and self-confidence. Those who rank higher in neuroticism tend be more easily upset and less comfortable with themselves. Those who rank lower in neuroticism tend to be more secure and evenly tempered.

More easily stressed people tend to…

  • Lack confidence and be self-critical
  • Struggle with anxiety and negative thinking
  • Experience stronger emotions
  • Stress easily in times of change

Less easily stressed people tend to…

  • Remain level-headed and logical
  • Be relaxed and confident
  • Have a more positive outlook
  • Adapt easily to new situations

Working with someone who is high in Neuroticism

When someone scores higher in this category, they are more likely to be sensitive, shy, and pessimistic. They are naturally nervous and may have a difficult time in less predictable situations. Neuroticism usually leads to higher levels of stress and worry.

Communicating with someone who is high in Neuroticism

Be supportive and encouraging; offer help, when needed, and understand the hardship they may be experiencing.

Careers for someone who is high in Neuroticism

People who are higher in neuroticism tend to do well in environments that offer them safety and security, while allowing them space to breathe and express themselves.

Potential job ideas for those who rank higher in this area are:

  • Writer
  • Artist
  • Accountant
  • Florist
  • Yoga Instructor
  • Freelance Designer

The Big Five embraces five very different personality traits, and each person has a different combination of each. It’s important to note that potential jobs for people who are higher in neuroticism could vary if the person has an additional strong trait.


Working with someone who is low in Neuroticism

When someone is lower in this trait, they tend to be more relaxed and easy-going. They are generally more adventurous and confident and adapt easily to change. Being low in Neuroticism means they are more naturally geared toward being positive and at peace.

Communicating with someone who is low in Neuroticism

Be open and communicate clearly; remain positive and upbeat, encouraging them to spread their positive thinking.

Careers for someone who is low in Neuroticism

Those who are experience less stress and worry tend to do a good well in crises. They thrive in environments that offer new experiences and utilize their stable, composed temperament.

Potential job ideas for those who rank lower in this area are:

  • Police Officer
  • Surgeon
  • Fire Fighter
  • Lawyer
  • Diplomat
  • Social Worker
  • Psychiatrist

Each person is different and has a unique blend of the Big Five traits. Potential jobs will differ if some decide to pursue a career that favors a different personal attribute.


Learn about yourself with a free personality test.
Free Personality Test