Have you ever heard the term workaholic? This person works 24/7 and focuses their entire life on their career. Loved ones accuse them of overworking, but they fail to accept that as the truth.

Many of these people avoid family commitments, relationships, feelings, and other obligations because their job comes first.

The workaholic avoids family vacations or any downtime, and it seems to others as if all they do is work. However, if you were to take away the job from this individual, they would stir crazy. It’s apparent that they’re married to their career, but is there a reason why this person must be continually working?

Maybe you’ve been accused of being a workaholic, but you don’t understand why people label you with this term. According to the National Library of Medicine, there’s a psychological component behind the person who prefers to work long hours. What are you avoiding at home, or are you running from something, and your job provides the perfect escape for you?

Two Typical Examples of Workaholics

Let’s look at some hypothetical stories of people who work to avoid coping with their feelings.

Consider Suzie, who is the Vice President of a manufacturing company. She works long hours as her day starts at 6 am and often doesn’t end till 8-9 pm. She is only required to work ten hours a day, but she chooses to work all the extra overtime she can get.

Sure, the money is excellent, but what’s going on that Suzie feels she needs to work so much? Most people don’t know that Suzie’s husband is quite abusive, and anytime she is home, the fighting starts. She found that by staying at work, she only hears the machines’ silent humming and occasional workers chatting.

Suzie is using work to escape her abusive home life. Now, what feelings are you trying to suppress by staying at work? There is almost always a reason why someone chooses to live at their job, and if you dig deep enough, you will find the answer.

Consider another story. Adrianna works at the local coffee shop. She finds that her workweek keeps getting longer and longer. She’s started volunteering and working extra shifts so her coworkers could have days off.

Adrianna is 26 years old, and she doesn’t have a boyfriend or any real friends. She’s always felt like the “ugly duckling” and a social outcast. However, she is one of the best baristas in the city, so she thrives when she’s at work.

Her career helps her to erase negative feelings, and she has a sense of “normal.” Everyone loves to see her because her coffee skills are exceptional. It’s better than going home to an empty home and a boring life.

Ten Surprising Signs That Your Hide Your Feelings by Overworking

Can you relate to Suzie or Adrianna? The truth is that many people find that they can relate to these fictionalized stories. See, people often don’t know why they do the things they do until they sit down and think about it.

Working takes away your extra time to ruminate on your problems. Here are some red flags that you’re hiding your feelings by working too much.

1. You Use Your Job as A Crutch

How many times have you used your job to get out of things? If someone invites you out on a date, it’s easy to say that you can’t go because you must work. What if your mom or dad wants you to come to a family dinner?

You know how disastrous it was the last time the entire family got together, so you can use your job to get out of this mess. You may not even realize that you’re using your career as a crutch. The habit has become so common that you don’t even feel you’re lying anymore.

2. You Dread Going Home

Do you watch the clock at work and dread when it’s quitting time? Maybe you hate going home because there’s no one there to share the space. However, you may be avoiding the issues that wait for you when you walk through the door.

You may have children running amuck, or you have a spouse that you wish would find somewhere to go and leave you alone. Lastly, you may be unable to keep up with laundry and other household responsibilities. If you get off from work regularly, you might have to tackle those feelings that you don’t want to face.

3. You Never Take A Day Off

You don’t want to take a day off work, even if the boss says no more overtime. If you can’t be at your place of employment, you will find other work to do to keep yourself busy. You don’t use your sick days or paid days off, and you, no doubt, have more than enough to take off a few weeks without issue.

4. You Moonlight

Some workaholics become obsessed with having enough money and something to keep them busy. If the first job doesn’t provide enough time away from home, why not get a second or even a third job?

Some people will freelance or pick up something in the off times of their primary place of employment. One way to avoid your feelings is to stay busy.

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5. Who Has Time for Fun?

The person who is overworking doesn’t see the need for fun and games in their life. They believe that only lazy people take time off to relax. There’s always something to do, and they never get involved in anything extracurricular.

The only sad part about this is that they often neglect their health and don’t exercise either. Many people who are married to their job grab fast food and don’t take time to cook nutritious meals.

6. You Have Stress and Anxiety Issues

Work is your sanity on one hand because you can avoid dealing with things that are troubling in your life. However, it’s threatening your mind, on the other hand. It’s impossible to work that many hours, not have time for self-care, and think it won’t bother you.

Everyone needs downtime where they can relax and destress their mind. When you’re always in action mode, it can quickly wear you out. You need to be able to shut down the work mode for just a few hours each day, or it can drive you mad.

7. You’re Experiencing Health Problems

What’s one thing that stress and constant anxiety cause? It won’t be long until you experience health problems. Your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose can all be affected by the lack of a healthy diet and constant pressure.

The body must have a nutritious diet and time to rejuvenate to stay in top shape.

8. You Get Angry When People Imply That You’re a Workaholic

One sure way to see if someone is overworking to hide underlying issues is by suggesting they cut back. How dare this person even suggest you work too much? It’s not as if they know your life anyway. You don’t want to face the reality that what this person tells you is the truth, and you are overworked by choice.

If you find yourself being defensive or becoming angry with someone who mentions your workload, then it’s a sign there’s an issue.

9. You Free Some Time So You Can Do More Work

Do you rearrange your days so that you can fit more work into them? Even if your first job only gave you a mere 40 hours a week, you still have at least another 40 or so that you can devote to moonlighting. If you find that you plan your day around work or move things around to do more work, you have a problem.

10. You Spend More Time Working Than You Planned

How many times have you told your spouse that you would only be working till noon on Saturday, but you still weren’t home by the evening? You may have only intended to work just a few hours, but it seems like when you’re in the middle of everything, eight hours seems like two.

If your job so engrosses you that you forget time and other responsibilities, you are overworking.

Final Thoughts on Overworking to Hide Your Feelings

It’s challenging to deal with some thoughts and feelings that you’ve hidden deep in your heart. Maybe you’re trying to outrun a trauma from your childhood, or perhaps, you want to avoid an empty house when you get home.

According to the National Library of Medicine, you can develop antisocial behaviors if you suffered abuse as a child. Whatever the reason you dive into the work pool and don’t seem to come up for air, it needs to be addressed.

How long do you think that you can continue to go on like this? When your body gets to a certain level of exhaustion, it will give you plenty of warning signs before it has a significant issue. It would help if you had a well-balanced life to be happy and healthy.

It would be best if you investigated the real reasons behind your crazy work schedule. Do you have financial issues, or do you have suppressed emotions, like anxiety, that you want to stay hidden? Did you know that workaholics are not always good workers anyway?

These people are often exhausted and use their jobs as a place to hide. You need a life outside of your job, and you have family and friends who would love to spend time with you.