Workaholics are addicts. Their addiction is no different to other addictions such as drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it. The only difference is that being addicted to work is socially acceptable and in some cultures venerated. The consequences of work addiction are similar to those others not so socially acceptable addictions: broken homes, ill health, social isolation, mental issues and etc. The only exception is that being addicted to work doesn’t get you broke in the short-term. One things is for sure, the cause of any addiction is low self-esteem. It is the person trying to escape or over compensate for a low sense of significance. So are you a workaholic? Here a some undeniable signs.
1) You consistently stay later than anyone else in the office. Key words here are “consistently” and “anyone”. If you have to sweat it out occasionally, then that is fine. But if you are always the one staying late, the first red flag is hoisted.
2) Outside work, you only talk about work. Yes, have met these people and while they still have friends all they talk about is how hard they have been working. It is not just once, but it takes place on a regular basis.
3) Outside work, you only hang out with people from work. Your life has become so unidimensional that your regular friends have said “sayonara” and the only ‘friends’ you have left are work people that actually give a rat’s about what you have to say about work.
4) You have lost interest in activities you used to enjoy. Before you became a workaholic, you used to have hobbies and activities you enjoyed and shared with others (non work people). Now, you don’t show any interest in such activities anymore and continue to blame it on lack of time.
5) You are in denial about being a workaholic. The minute you say someone is a workaholic they get defensive about it and say they don’t have a problem. The usual excuse is that they are working late because they have to and not because they want to. This is no different from other addicts. Have you tried calling someone an alcoholic or drug addict? What reaction did they have?
Working hard is one thing, but being a workaholic is another and it usually constitutes these warning signs. I wonder if I should start a Workaholics Anonymous group.