burnout_being_too_passionate.jpgDo you frequently find yourself doing overtime or even taking your work home with you, FNites? If you're so enthusiastic about your career that it's affecting the other areas of your life, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate. According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality, people who are obsessively passionate about their jobs are more prone to burnout.

Robert J. Vallerand, who created the Dualistic Model of Passion previously printed in the 42nd volume of the Advances in Experimental Social Psychology series, was one of the researchers of this study. In his model, he describes two kinds of passion: harmonious and obsessive.

People with harmonious passion work because it makes them happy. When they want to stop working and focus on other areas of their life, they can do so easily and enjoy other activities. As a result, they have better physical and psychological well-being and report increased levels of creativity, concentration, and satisfaction--not just at work, but in their personal lives as well.

Meanwhile, obsessively passionate people have a hard time controlling their desire to work. Because they are too focused on their jobs, they end up having conflicts in other areas of their lives. These people get angry when they can't work and often have low self-esteem, and they persist with their work to stabilize their egos.

To test how the model worked in reference to workers' burnout, the researchers observed two samples of nurses as their test subjects for six months. They discovered that, while harmoniously passionate people had less conflict in their lives and even felt highly satisfied at work, those who were obsessively passionate reported more problems and experienced more burnout.

Could you be obsessively passionate at work, FNites? Not to worry. If you can channel your passion into something more harmonious, you can be more productive at work and happier with your personal life.

If you're having trouble balancing your career and your other interests, take baby steps first. Start by penciling downtime into your schedule, and ask your friends to call you out on instances when you skip quality time with them in favor of working. While it's not possible to change your outlook on life overnight, you can do it eventually if you frequently perform activities that are good for your mental health.


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(Photo by Aimanness Photography via Flickr Creative Commons)

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