Is your ‘N’ (Need for stability) score affecting your relationships?

How does ‘need for stability’ affect relationships?

There are a number of possible negative impacts on your personal relationships if you have elevated levels of this trait, according to the Big Five Personality theory. Let’s explore a few;


Perceived by others as ‘annoying’

Perhaps the most obvious complaint of those who know people who are high on their ‘need for stability’ or neuroticism scores is that their behavior can become annoying to others who are in relationships with that person.

For example, a neurotic person may be predisposed or  have a tendency to do the following which may get on the nerves of the people who interact with them.  They have a tendency to complain a lot; be critical of other people; constantly ask for reassurance; be overly dependent on others or keep asking for help instead of figuring things out for themselves; get rapidly angry in adverse situations; make mountains out of molehills

They pass on their worries

If you are high in neuroticism and have children, you might inadvertently pass on your worrying behavior to your children through modeling it to them. For example, telling your children that they can’t play at the park because they might fall and hurt themselves. Children will learn that all situations are dangerous and that they need to be watchful for threats at all times.  They are prone to look at what would potentially go wrong to the extent of freezing action.

Prone to anger and resultant conflicts

If you have a high score on neuroticism you are prone to frequent outbursts and get rapidly angry. For example, if you become enraged over minor mistakes, such as if someone cuts you off while you are driving, then you might end up in a conflict with others. If minor problems send you over the edge, you might yell or become angry at the people you feel have caused you stress.

Some people high in neuroticism might also accuse other people of doing things out of their own worry. For example, your constant worry that others have ill intention and may take away your spouse from you, might  cause you to accuse your spouse of cheating without any evidence. Your perception of threat around you is so high that people might get stressed being around you which will eventually drive them away from you.

Also, if you obsessively attentive to details and area also predisposed towards perfectionism, then you might not complete tasks that other people ask you to do, thereby creating tension and conflict.

May appear unreliable

Cause you keep worrying from time to time, you will have a tendency to constantly fly off the handle.  People will eventually learn that they can’t rely on you to be stable. They will feel as though they can’t count on you, if you are going to panic at the sign of the smallest threat. In other words, if your low tolerance for stress means that any little thing can ruin your day, people will decide that you are not the person to give the job promotion to or the one that they want to spend their life with.

High rebound time

You will take a long time to bounce back from setbacks.  You will keep ruminating on past mistakes which will start having a influence in all your current transactions. You may accumulate lot of garbage from the past and find it difficult to let go.  You may have an angry outburst on someone and the person may be left puzzled as to what made you behave that way.  It might have been a result of some bad transaction you might have had with someone else.  This has a lot of influence in your marital relationship.

Feeling of Guilt

Being highly neurotic can also lead you to feel guilty about things that’s not your fault. If you apologize for every little mistake or obsess about things you’ve done long after it’s necessary to worry about them, you may start to push people away. While you might feel as though this guilt is necessary or helpful, it’s actually hurting your relationships.

The good part ->

It’s important to note that it’s not all that bad if you have a high level of ‘neuroticism’ score.

The positive side is that it means you are sensitive and aware in a way that some others might not be. You are also likely to be the one who is always looking out for other people and trying to be sensitive to their feelings.

If you can combine these positives with some inner work to learn how to better manage your negative thoughts and emotions, then you can channel your behavior in the best possible direction so that it serves you rather than detracts from you.


Leave a Reply