Anxiety by Fritz Riemann [Actionable Summary]

This is a comprehensive book summary of the book Anxiety: Using Depth Psychology to Find a Balance in Your Life by Fritz Riemann. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

Anxiety by Fritz Riemann was originally published under the title Grundformen der Angst (Basic forms of fears). It’s a book about human behavior, fear, and how to control, mitigate, and overcome the feelings of fear. The author explains the origin of our fears, how they influence our daily lives, and aim to help us get rid of the things that frighten us most. Ahh, along with that, he presents four personality types that can assist you with getting to know yourself better.

The Core Idea:

Fear exists regardless of nationality, age, IQ, or gender. Despite its importance, we rarely realize how fear really influences us. Someone’s personal development and growth depend to a large extent on how they deal with their anxieties. That’s exactly what Mr. Riemann is trying to help us with in his book. To assist us with figuring out our deepest fears so we can confront them and finally feel better about ourselves.


  • According to the author, there are four main personalities types. Figuring out where you fit in will help you understand yourself better and conquer your fears.
  • When you analyze your fears and the reasons you’re afraid, you can start using this devious sensation in your favor.
  • What you do is what defines you as a person, not the gadgets you possess. They are simply distractions.

5 Key Lessons from Anxiety:

Lesson #1: Figure Out Who You Are To Get Rid Of Your Worries: Riemann’s Four Personality Types

What better way to overcome fear and anxiety than knowing yourself better?

According to Fritz Riemann, there are four different personality types. Each with a unique set of skills, and flaws susceptible to a certain type of anxiety.

Read all four and see where you fit in:

1. Schizoid Personality:

Schizoids seek to be independent. They don’t hope that someone will help them or save them. They are on their own in this world. Being independent is crucial for them. Even though Schizoids objectify people, treat them as an object or a thing, they also understand that being alone in this world is not practical. Therefore, they hold someone possessing qualities opposite to their close, but not too close because they don’t want to be emotionally attached.

Evading intimacy is a common thing for them. Above all, they dodge personal contact and fear meeting people one on one. When a Schizoid is among others, he strives to remain anonymous.

This I-don’t-want-to-speak-with-you behavior is formed in highly sensitive, labile, and vulnerable people. People who were previously exposed to a lot of pain from other people. Their overall behavior is their shield against what they have experienced in the past. Since they don’t want to be emotionally injured again, they keep their distance

2. Depressed Personality

This personality type is the complete opposite of the Schizoids. They need someone else in order to feel complete, alive. They’re doing everything possible to remove the space between them and their spouse. Feeling loved and being close to their lover, all the time, is like being in heaven.

Although it might first seem like a really cute thing, this state evolves into a complete addiction. Even the slightest absence of closeness is horrifying to the depressed type. They greatly fear being left alone.

This permanent dependence on others makes them incapable of making decisions on their own. They grow as if crippled, lacking an inner strength that usually other, capable people, use to overcome obstacles. All these weaknesses, not surprisingly, form all sorts of gloomy feelings: hate, jealousy, and envy. These, on the other hand, lead to chronic depression and an inability to cope with simple obstacles.

But how such a dependent behavior is formed?

It all begins when we’re very little. The main culprits are our parents – and more specifically, the mother part. In the back of her mind, the mother, doesn’t what her child to grow up. That’s why she constantly serves, adores, and spoils her children. Later, these babies grow without the necessary skills to cope with the world. Thus they need someone else to help them along the way.

3. Compulsive Personality

Compulsive people are cautious and predictable. People who plan long-term.

They greatly fear change and taking risks. Such people wear only their old clothes with the argument that they should save their new ones for later – in case something happens. They can be easily recognized by their annoying attention to detail, perfectionism, and the need to feel in control of the situation.

They plan ahead and think in great detail about things that may never occur. Often a compulsive person will play different scenarios in his mind with the person he just met. Considering the facts and the odds, he may even end a friendship or a possible relationship before it even started because the odds don’t seem good to him.

Again, such behavior is formed at a very young age. Growing overprotective and constantly looking for safety means that there was a constant nagging by his parents to behave, to be nice, to go to bed early. All these rules stick inside the young brain like needles, leading to a future of a compulsive personality.

4. Histrionic Personality

The magic of the new, the charm of exploring the unknown, the joy of being free. You certainly know such people. They love to travel, be among others, talk, socialize. Histrionic personalities fear being placed in a cubicle, the restrictions of the modern world, social norms, and doing the same thing every day.

They are adventurous and they want to make every day counts. Often such people don’t have a stable income, spend money like crazy, take huge risks, have secret relationships, and live on the edge.

They live for the moment, without clear plans and goals, always searching for new fascination, impressions, and adventures. Above all, they need to feel free. Free from obligations, rules, restrictions. Of course, the world we live in cannot offer such a frivolous life. That’s why such people typically build an illusory world where only fantasies exist.

Thanks to their inherent charm, and often to their beauty. They easily awaken sympathy, making it easy for others to fall in love with them. They get used to this early and expect similar behavior from everybody in the future. However, this doesn’t always happen.

The lack of a strong and firm parent figure is often the reason such behavior is formed. Additional causes are: a chaotic environment, conflicts between parents, and lack of early guidance or supervision. All these unclear and vague rules prompt the child to form an adventurous persona, constantly seeking new and exciting things to do.

Hey there, sorry to interrupt…

Since you’ve come this far, it seems that you are really passionate about books and learning. I’m too! And while what I’m about to say next probably won’t quite excite you, I have to say it…

Look, this is members-only content.

(Already a member? You can log-in using this link, here.)

See, I digest acres of complex ideas from various books and morph my findings into straight-to-the-point book summaries. The main goal is not only to help you understand the underlying ideas from famous, and not-so-famous, titles. But, also, to help you stay curious, inspired, and well-informed. Above all, though, I want to help you transition from a passive online consumer to an active mindful go-getter with a sense of purpose.

By becoming a supporting member, you’ll unlock a well-curated online selection of book summaries that aim to move you in the right direction.

You can join as a MONTHLY ($29.95 USD), or QUARTERLY ($59.95 USD) member. Read more about the membership, here.

Share with others: