These Are The 7 Types Of People Most Likely To Have An Existential Crisis

Have you ever felt like you’re suddenly questioning everything about your life, your work, or even your purpose? You’re not alone. There are certain types of people who, because of their nature or life circumstances, are more prone to experiencing an existential crisis. It’s not just about feeling a bit lost or confused; it’s about those deep, soul-searching questions that keep you up at night. Sadly, these groups of people are more likely to go through this trying time than others.

1. Perfectionists

Perfectionists are prime candidates for existential crises. They’re the ones who’ve always got everything under control, every detail perfect. But life, being the unpredictable ride that it is, doesn’t always stick to the plan. When something finally goes off-script, which it inevitably does, it can hit a perfectionist hard. They might start questioning everything: their goals, their methods, even their whole purpose.

The thing is, striving for perfection sets you up for constant disappointment because, let’s face it, nothing’s ever perfect. This kind of crisis can be a real eye-opener for them, a chance to learn that it’s okay to not have all the answers and that sometimes, good enough really is good enough.

2. Overachievers

High achievers are those folks who are always on the move, smashing goals left and right. But what happens when they hit all their targets? Or when they realize those targets don’t bring the satisfaction they expected? That’s often when existential crises sneak in. They start wondering what all their achievements really mean. It’s like reaching the top of a mountain and not knowing where to climb next. This moment can be a turning point that pushes them to search for deeper meaning beyond just racking up successes.

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4. Overthinkers

Overthinkers live in their heads. They analyze every decision, every interaction, to the nth degree. It’s like their brains are always on, spinning a thousand thoughts a minute. So, it’s no surprise that they’re prone to existential crises. They can get caught up in the big questions: “Why am I here?” “What’s the point of all this?”

This constant need to analyze every little thing can lead them down a rabbit hole of existential dread. The flip side, though, is that overthinkers are also great at finding solutions. An existential crisis might push them to seek out new experiences or perspectives that break them out of their mental loops.

5. Empaths

Empaths feel everything deeply. They’re the ones who can walk into a room and immediately sense the mood. This deep emotional capacity is a gift, but it can also be a heavy burden. Empaths can get so caught up in the emotions and problems of others that they lose sight of their own path. This can lead to questioning their place in the world and what their own life is really about. An existential crisis for an empath can be a chance to find balance, to learn how to care for others without losing themselves in the process. It takes a lot of effort and self-reflection, but it’s possible.

6. People who’ve gone through big changes in life

Life-changers are those who’ve gone through major upheavals – like a career change, a big move, or a significant loss. Big changes, even positive ones, can shake up your sense of self. They can make you question who you are and what you really want out of life. It’s natural to feel unmoored during these times. But, this kind of crisis can also be a catalyst for profound personal growth. It’s an opportunity to reevaluate and make choices that are more in line with their true selves.

7. Creative people/artists

Creative people live in a world fueled by passion, imagination, and usually a lot of introspection. They’re deeply connected to their emotions and express themselves through their art. But this deep connection can also lead them into existential territory. They might agonize over the meaning behind their work, question its value in the grander scheme of things, or feel overwhelmed by the vastness of possibilities in the universe.

Plus, when they experience a lack of inspiration, or their work doesn’t get the recognition they hoped for, it can trigger a crisis. Doubts like “Is my work meaningful?” or “Am I making any real impact?” can loom large. But this kind of crisis can also be a powerful source of inspiration. It can drive them to explore new forms of expression, find fresh sources of creativity, and even redefine what success means to them in their artistic journey.

8. People who lack purpose in their lives

They might have a job that pays the bills but doesn’t fulfill them, or they might feel like they’re just going through the motions without really living. This lack of purpose can lead to an existential crisis, where they start questioning everything about their life: “What am I doing with my life?” “What’s my true calling?” It’s like being at a crossroads but not knowing which way to go.

However, hitting this point can be the push they need to start seeking out what really matters to them. It might lead them to new hobbies, different career paths, or even just a new way of looking at their daily life.

Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.