People with a tendency to obsessive behavior manifest it in their daily way of acting.
Throughout life there are numerous situations that are able to trap our mind in a loop that seems eternal.
Recurring thoughts, unjustified anxiety due to phenomena that constantly attract attention … These are characteristics of the obsessive personality, which, although not pathological by itself, is statistically associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and certain anxiety problems.
What is obsession?
Psychologically, the concept of obsession refers to the presence of an idea, belief or mental image that repeatedly interferes with the person’s state of consciousness and makes their thinking go “on rails”. In other words, obsessions limit the spontaneity with which one acts, since they go hand in hand with a thought loop that feeds off its own effects.
Rumination, which is precisely this vicious circle of mental processes, is a phenomenon that goes hand in hand with obsession. In addition, the consequences of this are usually an increase in stress and anxiety, as well as premonitory beliefs about the future new appearance of these obsessive thoughts.
The 10 habits of the obsessive personality
But … what are the signs that reveal the existence of an obsessive personality? To do this, you have to look at the habits that emerge from day to day. The main ones are the following.
1. It is constantly planned
Obsessive people tend to spend much more time making calculations or estimates about what may happen in the future, thus keeping alive the idea that they have everything under control.
2. Escapist habits
The obsessive personality needs to lean on moments of escapism so that it does not have to constantly endure the anxiety of always having to be in control of what happens. Weekend getaways, long games of video games, or just periods of isolation are usually statistically more common than normal in these people.
3. Use of dichotomous thinking
The obsessive personality is based on a style of thinking that is very categorical and that radically distinguishes what is right from what is wrong. That is why a lot of concern is put into doing things well, since in case of failure there are no nuances that allow to cushion the unpleasantness of that experience.
4. Constant emphasis on responsibility
These people always have in mind the idea that if they don’t act proactively, things tend to go wrong, and the rare thing is that they go right without even trying. That is why they always put a lot of pressure on human actions, whether they be from others or, in many cases, only on their own.
5. Avoidance of the option to delegate
The obsessive personality is controlling and, therefore, usually goes hand in hand with a characteristic habit: it does not delegate, and there is a clear preference for doing the important things oneself. Leaving things in the hands of others would imply taking a risk that for some is too high, and that is why it is preferred to have a conscious control over what is happening, even if that option is more tiring.
6. Search for acceptance
Those with obsessive personalities tend to seek acceptance from others to a somewhat higher degree than the rest of the population. Unlike what happens with narcissists, this does not have to do with the need to maintain a very idealized and bloated self-image, but with the need to believe in one’s own abilities so as not to feel weak in the face of day-to-day problems.
Having a bad public image means having a mirror in front of us in which our abilities are questioned, and this makes worries about what may happen to us more easily assail us.
7. Defense of the value of justice and order
This class of people prefers order to the unpredictable and spontaneous, since the second option generates more uncertainty, worries and, consequently, obsessive thoughts that wear us down psychologically. This is also reflected in their way of expressing their ideals, although that does not mean that they should be conservative; they simply defend the idea of basing relationships on well-established covenants whose violation entails compensatory consequences.
8. Tics and stereotyped behaviors
Some people with this personality class show stereotypical actions in their day-to-day lives, without becoming so serious or invasive as to be considered a symptom of OCD. They are a way of giving structure to what is being experienced, making each moment experienced as something connected with others and there is a feeling that everything that is experienced is integrated into a unit. Of course, most of these actions are involuntary and almost automatic.