The Surprising Danger of Being Good at Your Job (The Drawbacks to Being Self Controlled, Competent, and Reliable in Relationships) by R. Sugar

The Surprising Danger of Being Good at Your Job (The Drawbacks to Being Self Controlled, Competent, and Reliable)

Even though this article originally has the word “job” in the headline, it also discusses the impact of being reliable, competent, and self controlled in a person’s dating life, friendships, and so on.

People such as myself who are sexually abstinent into their 40s have a hell of a lot of self control (obviously, I’d say). I’m also pretty disciplined at exercise and dieting and in other areas of life.

I was the reliable, competent one in my relationship with my ex-fiance’, and yes, as a result I was over-worked and grew resentful of that idiot. I ended up carrying more than my fair share of the workload.

I was also reliable on jobs I held in the past, as well as in group assignments I was placed into by college professors to the point that bosses or other team members would over-work me, take me for granted, etc.

I definitely related to this article…

(Link): The Surprising Danger of Being Good at Your Job (The Drawbacks to Being Self Controlled, Competent, and Reliable) by R. Sugar

Science confirms what high performers have known for years: It’s not easy being so competent.

(Link): A study from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business suggests that people with high self-control — the kind of people who remember birthdays, choose the salad instead of the fries, take on extra projects at work, and resolve conflicts easily — might actually pay a price for those virtues.

“People always talk about how having high self-control is a good thing,” says researcher Christy Zhou Koval, a Ph.D. candidate and first author on the study, which was published in this month’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. And in many ways, it is a good thing: “Go-getters get what they go after,” she points out. “They’re better at goal pursuits. They make very good relationship partners.”

They’re also better-off financially than their less-disciplined peers; they tend to be in better health, and they generally have higher-quality personal relationships.

But all that comes at a cost: High-self-control people, the researchers found, end up burdened by their own competence.

For one thing, people will expect more of you — whether or not that’s actually a valid expectation. In one study, Koval and her colleagues asked undergraduates to rate how well they expected a fictional subject to do academically based on whether or not he accidentally binged on new music at the iTunes store.

In another, they asked people to assess how good that fictional subject was at his job based on how good he was at saving for a new apartment. The results were the same: The more self-control people exhibited, the more people expected of them.

To be fair to the rest of us, that’s not an irrational assumption. The researchers point out that self-control does predict good performance. Nor is it all bad for the achievers — it is nice to be depended upon. But by expecting more of those people, we may be burning them out, Koval says.

That’s because while the researchers found we tend to assign high-self-control people more work — which, again, makes sense — it’s not actually any easier for them to do that work, even if it seems that way. Tasks are just as effortful for high-self-control people, Koval explains — it’s just that they’re better at them.

…All that leads to a problem: High-self-control people feel more burdened by their work relationships than their less-disciplined peers.

…But managers (and coworkers and romantic partners) should take note: If you take those high-self-control people for granted, you may risk losing them. While relying on go-getters might be a good short-term strategy — they’ll get stuff done — in the long run, Koval suggests, they “might become dissatisfied with this burden we’re placing on them.”

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