In past articles, we’ve addressed several symptoms of generalized anxiety, such as prolonged nervousness, difficulty concentrating, or gastrointestinal issues. If you notice that you experience some of the common symptoms for extended periods or if they interfere with your daily life, please reach out to a therapist.
While past articles were for educational purposes, this article is a bit more lighthearted. It is about six traits people with anxiety might have.
Note, that the traits listed in this article are not meant to glamorize or undermine the seriousness of anxiety disorders. The purpose is to offer a silver lining.
Let’s get started!
A trait that some people with anxiety might have is overachieving. This notion of overachieving can be a way to presumable compensate for perceived flaws. They may want to do everything well beyond what is expected with the hope to avoid confrontation or problems.
Being an overachiever is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. However, try not to sacrifice personal needs for your achievements, and do not let other people’s opinions affect how well you do something.
- Highly self-aware
Another trait that some people with anxiety may experience is an acute degree of self-awareness. In the cannon of self-love and mental health enlightenment, self-awareness is touted as a necessary trait for personal growth. However, many people with anxiety have self-awareness in spades. Being highly self-aware can often lead you to develop self-surveillance, which worsens your anxiety. You become extremely conscious of how you move and interact with others to the point where you start editing yourself.
When you edit yourself, you silence your voice and thus your needs, your thoughts, and who you are. This can sometimes lead to depersonalization or cognitive dissonance.
While self-awareness is a great trait to develop, make sure it is balanced. Do not let it run out of control until it becomes surveillance.
- Active imaginations
Many people with anxiety have active imaginations. An active imagination usually means you are more creative. But, it depends on what your use your creativity. Unfortunately, anxiety can grab ahold of your creativity and craft catastrophic scenarios which trigger even more anxiety.
On the other hand, having an active imagination can provide you with an outlet to sublimate all of your anxious thoughts.
- Orderly and tidy
Another trait of people with anxiety is being orderly and tidy. Before I delve into the explanation, I would like to highlight that this trait does not necessarily point to OCD. OCD, while sometimes concomitant with anxiety disorder, is in a separate criteria.
This trait refers to a prefernce for order and tidiness becayse they provide a sense of security. The same way that those with anxiety prefer to re-watch movies or tv shows– because you already know what to expect. Order and tidness is not relegated just to an external environment. It can manifest itself in avoiding anything that deviates from a routine or stress cleaning. Order provides a sense of security, safety, and ease for those with anxiety.
- Shy or introverted
Another trait of people with anxiety is shyness. While being an introvert is a legitimate personality trait, choosing to avoid social situations may be a sign of anxiety. Dr. Lisa Stroham points out that sometimes feelings of anxiety can mask themselves as needs for alone time. The reason? Well, being alone is a way to manage or control social situations or safeguard from potentially embarrassing ones.
Whether you have anxiety or relate to the traits listed in this article, please do not let them define you. If you struggle with anxiety, seek professional help.
As always, take care!
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Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, May 4). Anxiety disorders. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961.
Taylor Grant, E. (2018, September 10). 7 anxiety symptoms people often mistake for personality traits, according to Therapists. Bustle. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.bustle.com/p/7-anxiety-symptoms-people-often-mistake-for-personality-traits-according-to-therapists-11782716.