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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi fellow INFJ's.

I'm a 24 years old guy who graduated just last year and my first job was really shitty (been there for 8 months) - culture fit was very bad with a constantly interrupting narcissistic micro managing team lead on top so you can imagine it was a dead end followed by dread every day.

Anyway 5 months ago got offered a nice position in a startup at office which allows me to work individually (develop mobile apps) and so far I'm learning a lot and I'm really happy that I'm following my dreams and doing something interesting every day. Also soon after 1st month of joining the startup I started dating a colleague what developed into a serious relationship and I thought I was the happiest in my whole life so far.

Now that I talked about upside, there is a downside as well.

I am having trouble balancing work life and relationship life. My girlfirend is ESFJ so she wants to get as much attention as possible. We live separately so at least on weekdays at evenings I try to retreat to my mancave (studio) and chill as much as possible while solving some problems which I stumbled upon in work. Sometimes I go for 16 hours work streaks and when I solve something by learning a new thing I feel like I am the happiest man alive. No relationship compares to this feeling.

Now on weekends it's really hard. I am a planning and excited person but when it comes to weekend and going out to do some trivial stuff I am dreading it and don't even want to think about going on next 4 hour shopping streak or going out somewhere without no purpose. My ESFJ GF likes trivial things like shopping, going somewhere, taking pics. When she runs out of ideas we retreat to my mancave to binge watch some tv shows (she doesn't like it but she does it anyway just for me). The thing is that I don't get enough rest because when she's around my FE is being drained 24/7 (I cant even think properly). She is even complaining that I don't hug her when we are sleeping and it's like I cant even have a decent sleep at nights. And because I became a workaholic it's hard to spend 2 days on weekend not thinking about working on some interesting solution. I want to just at least read up something interesting to get my juices flowing but then she becomes sad as I don't devote my 100% attention to her which feels like a waste of time.

I also had problems with caffeine, sleep and started smoking (hurray capitalism!). Anyways managed to get rid of caffeine now trying to get rid of smoking as well. Had some problems with binge eating so I developed a small belly so planning on going to gym to let off some steam and the stress which should allow me not to think about work so much. Also changing my nutrition is on my todo list.

But honestly, I am not sure what to do. Am I that bored of her? Or I'm just living very unhealthy and unbalanced life? Am I normal? I remember 4 years in university and relationships I had in there. Feels like 4 years wasted. Yes I had some good memories but now they are no use to me. People moved on to other cities and etc. I have drive, I want to achieve something. Im honestly thinking of sacrificing 1-2 years more for my career just to get a good job/create my own business and then I can do whatever I want after I have a stable base. But in those 2 years probably I will became sad and miserable and I will push everyone away from myself. I dont want that. Maybe I will have family one day when I will be safe about my finances and future, and then I can switch to lower gear and try enjoy SE (small things in life). But for now I am so focused that even small talk with someone from work feels like a waste of time. Even during work parties I dont have anything to talk about with ppl because I spend long periods of time so focused on my work that I reject all irrevelant information. Probably it's because I'm surounded by colleagues who are 2-6 years older than me and I'm making money than they are making now? I don't want to end up 30 years old like them with a same job as entry level grad can get.

My mom is an INFJ and I watched her struggling her whole life. After I was born my father left her, soon she got with my stepfather and they lived together for 10 years. After that they split up because he was cheating on her. Only happiness she had was me and my sister, but it was a blessing and a curse at the same time because she would never develop a deep meaningful relationship with anyone. She would never follow her dreams because taking care of me and my sister prevented her from doing that. Even now she's in her 40s and staying with an extroverted guy and I can tell that she's making compromises and not feeling happy. That's why I started searching for ways to make money and became independent since 16 so I wouldn't be a burden. And ever since I was quite driven. But I am afraid that same will happen to me. So what's the point in making compromises for all my life when a person next to you can disappear in one day and that's it? And then all you have left is some memories? Wouldn't it be better to achieve some good skills and get to know yourself better in that time until you find the right person? I don't want to settle for compromises. I want all or nothing. Maybe this is the reason why I don't believe in relationships and especially don't want to ruin my life this early..

Did some of you had problems like this? How did you deal with it?
 

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I can't really relate your story, or the way you're telling your story; the career drive, the girlfriend that you met a month before, enjoying solving software problems more than relationships. I have been called a 'workaholic' in my life, but I've never valued work over personal relationships or felt my value as a human depended on career success or wealth. Then you mention your mom, and how you are afraid 'the same' will happen to you, and I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Do you mean that you're afraid that you'll invest in someone and then they'll leave you? And/or that you'll struggle to make ends meet? You say that your mom didn't follow her dreams, so I assume you are following yours now. But what is this dream that you have? What does it look like? And who will be in it? Who are your role models? Are they 'happy'?

If you have a dream, then sacrifices are all well and good. If your girlfriend is in the way of you achieving your dream, then perhaps you should let her go so she can find someone who will appreciate her and you can both achieve what you want instead. But if you are afraid of investing in her emotionally because she might one day leave, then that is a different ball game altogether. I can't really tell from your post. From my reading, I would fall more on the side that you enjoy your work more than your girlfriend, rather than that you have a fear of commitment and failure. But really, I don't know. Do you?

As for the thread title, I personally think that the whole work-life balance philosophy is overrated.
 

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It seems to me that you have 3 major things you have to disentangle to find some resolution.

The first is the need for creative work and problem solving that you are getting from work. If work is the major if not only source of motivation you find then you are going to hit a wall once that well dries up a little. If you are independent in your work and are simply channeling it towards your work then it's ok. However I must stress the importance of developing and maintaining more than one avenue of expression in life. This ensures that your needs can be fulfilled independent of work and you won't over rely heavily on it.

The second one is your need for companionship and maintaining a relationship. There is enough evidence out there to showcase that for a couple to remain invested in each other for extended periods of time they need to have at least 1 or 2 dates a week to keep the relationship invigorated. These can be new or familiar experiences that both parties enjoy. A mistake I often observe with couples is that this time needed to be spent with one another is done so under conditions only suitable for one party. Shopping for example depending on the context in most cases is only enjoyable for one person. Therefore it should not be relegated as the means to which relationship engagement is maintained. Instead talk about it and see if those tasks can't be carried out alone or with friends and instead spend time that both can equally enjoy to a certain degree. It is important to enjoy in proper boundary establishment as well. For example perhaps you can allow your girlfriend to get hugged and loved on Saturday and you refrain from tackling any work problems, while you are allowed a few hours on Sunday to do that while she goes out shopping with her friends.

The third and arguably the most complex one seems to stem from your mother's experiences and how they are impacting your perception of work and relationships. I don't know you so I can't make any definitive statements but I will say this. Those were her experiences, they are not yours nor will they ever be yours. You are of course allowed to try and learn from them and use them as a warning sign. But getting crippled by fear of unlived life experiences of someone else is a very unfruitful way of carrying out in life.
 
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Sorry I stumbled in here after searching for "workaholic". Your story was very nostalgic for me. It's a brave new world at 24 with many unique challenges in life trying to balance a personal life with work life. It was exciting to have a girlfriend and new career. I remember trying to balance them all but could not. Learning, growing and becoming more 'professional' was addicting. One of my professors used to say that work can be like a jealous mistress, always demanding more time. I also came from a poor early childhood and maybe that made me want to have security. Maybe my past decided my fate. I still feel a loss for the friends that I lost touch with in my compulsive quest to build my professional life and business. I wish I could go back to those days with the money, knowledge and life experience that I have now, but time is a one way road. We are forced to choose what we love, who we love. Life is bittersweet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry I stumbled in here after searching for "workaholic". Your story was very nostalgic for me. It's a brave new world at 24 with many unique challenges in life trying to balance a personal life with work life. It was exciting to have a girlfriend and new career. I remember trying to balance them all but could not. Learning, growing and becoming more 'professional' was addicting. One of my professors used to say that work can be like a jealous mistress, always demanding more time. I also came from a poor early childhood and maybe that made me want to have security. Maybe my past decided my fate. I still feel a loss for the friends that I lost touch with in my compulsive quest to build my professional life and business. I wish I could go back to those days with the money, knowledge and life experience that I have now, but time is a one way road. We are forced to choose what we love, who we love. Life is bittersweet.
This really resonated with me..
 
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