Thinking is a natural characteristic of every human being. Our thoughts can comprise of a lot of things which can be positive or negative, helpful or useless, realistic or unrealistic, and urgent or unurgent. Our thoughts also often include worry.
Worrying deals with realistic, helpful, and urgent parts of our thoughts. While some thoughts intrude unconsciously, Worry is often conscious and is based on the probability of how negative something may turn out.
One of the common adjectives for a person that’s worrying is ‘Anxious’. This word couples anticipation of a future event with worry about how negative it may turn out. This word, however, doesn’t refer to all kinds of worrying.
15 words for someone who worries too much
There are several words that qualify a person that is worrying. Some refer to certain kinds of worry while some are generally used for the state of worrying. Here are 15 adjectives and nouns for someone who worries too much or is in a state of worry.
- Nervous wreck
‘Worrywart’ is the name for a person who worries excessively about everything, including unimportant matters. If a person is ‘being a worrywart’, he/she is worrying more than you find reasonable, especially over a particular matter at hand.
Worrying is natural but it shouldn’t be a constant practice. While thinking can be usual and necessary, worrying should neither be usual nor necessary. This is because thinking encompasses the negative and the positive so a person can engage his/her mind in deliberating the best decisions or figuring things out.
Worrying, however, is a constant reminder of what saddens or scares a person and this doesn’t solve the problem. This is the right word for a person who constantly plunges himself or herself into worry, especially if the subjects of his/her worries are often trivial.
- You’re such a worrywart. Just forget it.
A suspicious person is one who is distrustful or tends to suspect. It also refers to something that arouses suspicion. A suspicious person worries about what negative things other people may be up to and how it affects him/her.
Suspicious is a commonly used word that may not be recognized as a kind of worrying but it is. Worrying can be intruding thoughts on how negative a future event may be. It can also refer to intruding thoughts on what negativities may be in progress against him/her.
When a person is suspicious, he/she isn’t thinking positively but allowing his/her mind to dwell on the possibility that something wrong may be going on.
- I could tell he was suspicious when I stepped in. I can’t work with someone who worries about what I may be up to.
Apprehensive is ‘Anticipating something with fear or anxiety’. When a person is apprehensive, he/she is expecting something but worried that it may not favor him/her.
An apprehensive person can be one who is quick to learn. He/she may also be one who is worrying at the moment. Like ‘Suspicious’, it doesn’t have to refer to constant worrying but is used for a person who seems to be worrying at the moment.
If you are referring to a person who seems to be expecting something with fear of how wrong it might be, you can call him/her ‘Apprehensive’.
- I got apprehensive when I heard the release date for the results.
Being anxious is simply another word for ‘Worrying’. ‘Anxious’, however, doesn’t necessarily refer to upcoming events.
A person can be anxious to do something. This implies that he/she is very eager to do it, anticipating the chance to do it, and expecting a certain result from it. This is where its second meaning comes in i.e. worry concerning whether or not the results will turn out as desired.
- I was too anxious to step out.
Defeatist is a name for someone who feels hopeless in a situation where others would try their luck. A defeatist is a person who expects defeat or accepts defeat without struggling.
A defeatist worries less but may be plunged into worry when it is important for him/her to win.
Being a defeatist is expecting to lose something, losing hope, and reacting to a doom that is yet to befall. A defeatist may also choose to wait for results but there is the mindset of failure in him/her.
- He was being such a defeatist but he knew what was at stake if he lost.
A perfectionist is a person who “will not settle for anything that isn’t perfect or doesn’t meet very high standards. He/she worries about how to make his/her work perfect and may consistently find faults.
A person who is obsessed with perfection may find it difficult to stop worrying about his/her work while trying to make everything perfect. This feature can make him/her fault-finding or constantly worrying about how wrong he/she may be.
- Stop being a perfectionist. This is good enough.
An unconfident person is one who is insecure or not sure of something. It also refers to a person who is not self-reliant or sure of himself or herself.
When a person is unconfident about his/her expectations, he/she will worry about how well they may turn out.
Worrying is caused by a lack of surety, as mentioned earlier. Worrying is not only the possibility that something is negative but also the inability or reluctance to confirm at the moment.
When a person is confident about what he/she has done, there can’t be negative intruding thoughts since he/she already believes himself or herself to have done right.
However, when he/she isn’t so confident, it is very easy for negative thoughts to intrude.
- He was way too unconfident to join the meeting.
A neurotic person is one who is overly anxious, as though affected by a neurosis. This word is used to refer to a person who is affected by neurosis. It is also a hyperbole to compare a person’s excessive worry to neurosis.
Neurotic takes worry to a different level. Excessive worrying can be a sign of a mental disorder called Neurosis. People with this disorder are called Neurotic.
Having neurosis makes a person constantly filled with excessive fear or anxiety. This word doesn’t necessarily have to refer to mentally deranged people, however.
You can consider this a hyperbolic expression for referring to someone who seems to be worrying excessively or needlessly.
- He was neurotic when I stepped in.
Worrisome can refer to a situation or upcoming event that is capable of making a person worry i.e. it is something worth brooding about.
The word can also refer to a person who is often worrying about things. If you are referring to a person who tends to worry about things, you can call him/her worrisome.
- He used to be very worrisome but he seems very vibrant now. That’s good for him.
Paranoid is another word for ‘Suspicious’ but is more extreme. You can use this to refer to a person who seems to always be suspicious of others.
When a person is filled with fear of things or people, he/she expects something negative or scary to happen and this will make him/her get worried.
Also, when a person can’t trust others, he/she will always expect someone to try to backstab him/her.
- Being in that room with those thugs made me paranoid.
Doubtful can refer to something that can be doubted or that one should be suspicious of. A person’s statement is suspicious if you think he/she is lying or hiding something else.
The word, ‘Doubtful’, can also refer to a person’s lack of confidence in something or someone. When a person is doubtful, worrying is inevitable, especially if he/she cannot confirm the situation that is being doubted.
While there is hope for the positive, doubts will keep intruding.
- He was doubtful of how good he was against his opponent but I let him know how unhelpful his worries were to him.
A nervous wreck is a very stressed or anxious person. This may also refer to a person who is inclined to worry. A person who is easily brought to worry by both important and trivial matters is called a Nervous Wreck.
This term can refer to a person who is only worried at a particular moment. You may also use it to refer to someone who has a disposition to worry.
- I used to be a nervous wreck till you taught me to believe in myself. I’m still very grateful.
A pessimist is a person who has made it a habit to expect the worst outcome. A pessimist can get extremely worried when dealing with an important situation which must turn out positively.
A hopeful person will be less worried if he/she has more positivity in mind. However, confidence is more important. With confidence, only a positive result is expected so worries can’t come in.
While a pessimist may give up and not necessarily be anxious, he/she may be pessimistic about something important and this will make him/her worry about the consequences of the negative results he/she is already expecting.
- I found the pessimist brooding over the test. She needs a positive result or she’ll break down.
Being unsure is being doubtful or being unconfident. When a person is not certain about how something important will turn out, he/she may start to consider how to handle a negative result.
If he/she is certain, there would be no need to worry. In the process of considering how to handle a negative result, he/she may start wishing for a positive result and cussing at the consequences of the negative result.
- He was very unsure about his performance so I had to stay positive for him.
A hand wringer is a person who excessively displays worry or upset by wringing his/her hands. It may also refer to a person who fakes anxiety by clasping his/her hands and vacillating in the face of distress.
It is a word for a person who appears worried about a situation but doesn’t seem to know what to do.
This is noted by a physical expression which is meant to pass the message that a person is worried about what is going on and can’t do anything about it.
This is often considered a fake expression but it isn’t necessarily fake. However, it may be an excessive show of one’s worry.
- I would have discussed the issue with him if he weren’t just another handwringer.
A person who worries constantly is called a ‘Worrywart’ or ‘Neurotic’. A person who worries about how trustworthy other people are is called ‘Suspicious’ or ‘Paranoid’.
A person who takes his/her worry or overexpresses his/her anxiety in distress is called a ‘Hand wringer’.
There are many words pertaining to the act of worry and here are 15 of them at your disposal.