Would you like to be unhappy? Choose a neurotic partner

by | Oct 15, 2010 08:20 AM ET

This is an article on happiness, but it also lists a "surefire way to be unhappy":

German study finds happiness is based on choices, not genes

Here's the quote:

Relationships are very important, but according to Wagner and his colleagues choosing a neurotic partner is a surefire way to be unhappy.

This brings up the question: What does it mean to be neurotic? According to PsychologyWorld.com, a neurotic person is someone with "the tendency to experience negative emotions."

They respond emotionally to events that would not affect most people, and their reactions tend to be more intense than normal. They are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of time, which means they are often in a bad mood. These problems in emotional regulation can diminish a neurotic's ability to think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress.

You may have heard the description "Drama Queen" or "Drama King". Yes, it is easy to see how a partner like that would drag you down. If you want to be unhappy, hook up with a neurotic person who is unable to "think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress."

The next question: how do you tell if your partner is neurotic? You could have him or her take a test (or you could take it for him/her based on your experiences). Here are a couple of tests to try:

1) Neuroticism Test

2) The Neurotic Test

This is a longer test looking for a range of personality disorders: Personality Disorder Test

Another reason you may wish to shy away from a neurotic partner - neurotic people are expensive:

Neurotic people can each cost society $22,000 a year

Researchers from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam analyzed the cost of being neurotic and found while the least neurotic individuals cost society less than $3,000 per year, the most neurotic people cost more than $22,000 a year.
Neuroticism — a proclivity toward worry, anxiety and emotional ups and downs — is considered to be a personality trait with genetic roots, and is strongly associated with several types of mental illness, including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

What if you find yourself in a situation where your partner is neurotic? Both of you are miserable - how do you solve the problem? Breaking up is one solution. The other is therapy:

Treatments for Neurosis

See also:

- What is Neuroticism?

- A model for self-treatment of four sub-types of symptomatic ‘depression' using non-prescription agents: Neuroticism (anxiety and emotional instability); malaise (fatigue and painful symptoms); demotivation (anhedonia) and seasonal affective disorder ‘SAD'

- Neurotic Women Can Have Unhealthy Babies

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