When Work Becomes Alibi: Turtle Workaholics

Work as Alibi: Turtle Workaholics

Workaholics are often thought of as people who put in long hours out of necessity (“it’s the tax season” or “got to make the moolah”), because they are obviously inefficient, because they are suckers (“can’t say no to the boss” or “he knows when to stop, but doesn’t“), or because they are passionate and ambitions (“he is a prisoner of his own success.”) Less acknowledged are those workaholics who, under the guise of having a demanding job, seek refuge from persistent problems in their personal lives.

“Turtle workaholics” submit to work as a distraction from unhappy relationships and unresolved conflicts with spouses or children or to dodge substantial responsibilities at home. The coherence imposed at work makes it easier for them to concentrate on getting tangible results and feel more appreciated than they do at home.

Not surprisingly, many turtle workaholics cannot bring themselves to tackle the conflicts with their spouses or children even if they tend to be very competent in tackling professional problems. They would rather neglect the possibility that their close relationships might be falling apart than mend their unfulfilled personal lives.

If you have an inclination to prefer work as means for escapism from conflict and boredom, examine your reasons. Not confronting conflicts is no solution.

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