General Question

johlucmoha's avatar

Why does a person overwork themselves?

Asked by johlucmoha (300points) October 16th, 2010

what are some reasons why people keeps working constantly. I know an individual that keeps working all the time, he never takes time off. He works 24/7. He never takes a vacation. Complains he has no money. So, he works and works.

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13 Answers

Rubrica's avatar

Some people often just find themselves more comfortable with working overtime. Also, some people have something called an “inferiority complex” which, from what I understand, is when they don’t think they deserve the success they have, and so they may work overtime to compensate for this mentally.

In other words, who knows? Different people work in very, very different ways.

marinelife's avatar

It might be a form of mental illness.

xxii's avatar

Maybe they just love their job. Or they enjoy working since it gives them a feeling of purpose.

laureth's avatar

The social and cultural expectations around work vary from place to place. In Europe, for example, it’s thought of as normal to need time away from your job, to place a high value on family, so that expectation is built into the work culture in a way that many Americans see as “being coddled.” On the other hand, the generous allotment of vacation time and social supports for taking it help them rank high in happiness.

Here in America, the expectation is that people who value family or time off just aren’t working hard enough, and if you just work harder you will take care of your family better. Also, since the expectation of time off isn’t really built into the culture the same way, you could easily be replaced by someone who feels stronger about working hard. If you are competing against people who will come in earlier, stay later, and work more days for even less pay, the pressure is on to do the same just to be seen as too valuable to replace. The cultural norms shape this.

In Japan, it’s even worse. See KarĊshi.

josie's avatar

Lion gotta hunt zebra
Man gotta work
If he has no money, he has to work to get some. Otherwise, somebody else will have pay his bills. That is demoralizing (for some). Plus what if they decide not to?

mrrich724's avatar

If he works that much and has no money there’s a problem.

To answer your question though, some people just hate to be complacent. My wife’s father is like that. He works 12 hour days M-F, and then takes side jobs on the weekend! He’d just rather be busy then sit around and laze.

partyparty's avatar

Perhaps it gives them a sense of achievement. But 24/7 is simply too much!!

mrrich724's avatar

Eh. . . too much for some may be just right for others.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

jerv's avatar

Given the cost of living these days and the inability for many households to survive on one income (or even two incomes), working is often equated with security since more work means more money. When you have to decide between maintaining your car, paying the light bill, or eating this week, every little bit helps.

And then there are those who just see so many things that need fixing that they can’t relax until the world is perfect, and since it never will be, they are uncomfortable taking a break; they must do something since leaving the world as-is without even trying to make things better is more bothersome than the fact that they haven’t slept in three days.

tearsxsolitude's avatar

I think that a lot of people over work themselves, such as my mother, because they want to keep their mind off of something else. Some people do it so they don’t have time to think about their lonliness and I think others do it so they don’t have time to think about sad things in their lives.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I overwork myself because I have no choice but to do just that. I go to school full time and have to work or else I have no money to do anything at all. So between working 25 hours a week and school full time/ homework I barely ever sleep. Sooo im overworked.

YARNLADY's avatar

You mean like a farmer? People do what they have to do to make ends meet.

mattbrowne's avatar


Keeps these folks running.

Till they crash.

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