The tendency to try to carry too many responsibilities can be very psychologically damaging.
The mismanagement of responsibilities and the goals that we set ourselves on a day-to-day basis is, for many people, a source of constant discomfort.
However, sometimes you fall into the trap not only of trying to follow an unsustainable work rhythm, but also of considering that the fact of always being with the water around your neck and your nerves at the limit is part of normality, of that so you have to go through yes or yes.
In this article we will talk about precisely that, hyperexigencies, and the way in which they affect our daily lives psychologically.
Hyper-demands are a pattern of behavior through which we get used to demanding from ourselves a rhythm of work and performance that we can hardly reach, or that we cannot reach directly.
For this reason, hyper-demands can lead to harmful lifestyle habits both physically and mentally.
These are the main causes of which self-sufficiency can arise.
Many times, the excess of demand with oneself is not so much in the amount of work to be done as in the quality of the results to be obtained. In these cases, the main driver of this behavior pattern is linked to a perfectionism managed in an inappropriate way, counterproductive for the person.
On the other hand, perfectionism can be of two types, and both cases can produce problems if they become the center of the life of the person who develops them.
1.1. Perfectionist efforts
Perfectionist efforts are present in those individuals who try to get closer to an ideal through their work, regardless of what others do. For example, an artist trying to outdo himself and create the most important work of his career is likely to be driven by this kind of perfectionism.
1.2. Perfectionistic concerns
Perfectionist concerns are present in those who try to do something in the best way possible to satisfy the expectations of others, that is, due to external pressures. An example of this would be a skater who focuses on not getting disqualified from a championship so as not to disappoint her family.
2. Labor pressures
It should not be forgotten that in countries like Spain, the labor market is very competitive and the threat of being unemployed and taking time to find another job is very real. This means that many people do not find a job role that satisfies them, since in order not to lose added value they must sacrifice a lot and work hard. Some people even work more than necessary without being asked, simply for fear of losing their income stream.
3. Family charges
On the other hand, there are many people who cannot do enough when it comes to doing housework and raising children, and who despite this refuse to ask for help.
This is a type of hyper-demand more frequent in women, because historically the female role has been linked to caring for the home, which leads some of them to feel shame and guilt at the idea of not giving the most of themselves and sacrifice for others.
Its impact on quality of life
These are the different ways in which hyper-demands affect people’s well-being.
1. Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the phenomena in which hyper-demand is noticed before. People who try to pull forward with many responsibilities tend to either believe that sleeping is wasting time, or not being able to fall asleep at the right time, or sleep soundly.
2. Stress and anxiety
On the other hand, hyper-demand goes hand in hand with a high activation of the nervous system, that is, always being alert. This causes anxiety-type alterations to arise and stress attacks are relatively frequent.
3. Higher risk of addiction
People who face a heavy workload every day are more likely to develop addictions. This is a measure of coping with discomfort that gives them some relief in the short term, but which obviously hurts them a lot in the medium and long term. However, in the face of anxiety and stress, the long-term vision loses prominence.
Rumination is the tendency to turn things over, especially those thoughts related to the tasks to be carried out and the goals to be achieved, since these generate anguish and stress, in a way that attracts the attention focus.
Are you looking for professional support in the face of hyper-demand?
If you think you tend to overload yourself with overly ambitious goals and responsibilities, and you think you need professional support, I suggest you contact me. I am a psychologist specialized in the cognitive-behavioral intervention model and I have many years of experience helping individuals and companies. To see more information about me, as well as my contact information, go to this page.
Gäde, JC; Schermelleh-Engel, K. & Klein, AG (2017). Disentangling the Common Variance of Perfectionistic Strivings and Perfectionistic Concerns: A Bifactor Model of Perfectionism. Front Psychol., 8: 160.
Lizmore, MR Dunn, JGH; Dunn, JC (2017). Perfectionistic strivings, perfectionistic concerns, and reactions to poor personal performances among intercollegiate athletes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 33: PP. 75 – 84.