Passive rebellion

Why laziness does not exist

(Opinion article)

Probably NO ON THE LIGHT OF A PERSON who would never have said at least once, “You’re just lazy.” We hear about laziness from childhood – from parents, grandparents, teachers (“Able girl, but lazy. We need to try harder!”). Later we ourselves begin to use this phrase and call ourselves, our partners and children lazy. But is everything so simple with this idea?

Dahl’s Explanatory Dictionary tells us that laziness is “a reluctance to work, aversion from work, from work, from work; tendency to idleness, to parasitism.” It is interesting that laziness is considered here in two senses at once: as an action or a temporary state, when a person does not want to work, or as a permanent trait of character – if a person is prone to doing nothing.

Nevertheless, psychology treats laziness in a completely different way: it believes that this is not a feeling or a quality of character, but a social construct. There are basic emotions — fear, sadness, anger, and joy — which are the same for all higher mammals, and we feel them approximately equally. But there is no such feeling as laziness – there is a feeling of fatigue or a state of apathy, there is aggression, which can be expressed in the unwillingness to do something (the very “aversion to work”). There is no lazy quality of character either — with its help we describe people who do not want to do something that, in our opinion, they should. Even if we are talking about ourselves.

 “Laziness” is a convenient label for a whole tangle of confused feelings, uncomfortable and unpleasant relationships, conflicts that prevent us from being active.

Psychologists or coaches are often approached with the following request, “How do I start the tenth project when the previous nine exhausted me to the state of a semi-corpus?” I’m lazy, right? ”Of course, laziness has nothing to do with it. A person who is tired of daily routine and turned into the pulp cannot be helped by any methods of self-motivation. His problem is rather that he cannot stop to consider himself an omnipotent cyborg and recognize himself as a living person with a need for rest, doing nothing and having fun.

Usually, in such cases, one has to turn to childhood and family settings. Often there you can find ideas that the rest is “embarrassing”, that you need to “earn it” or have good reasons for it (three years without leave, a serious illness). Or installation that they love only those who benefit. A lot of good. A person who wants to be loved and accepted begins to work hard, destroying himself and close relationships – there is simply no resource left for them. When he feels that relations are collapsing, he feels himself to be unnecessary, then, in spite of everything, he tries to work even more. After all, mom and dad showed that they loved just that —  it means that it should work with other people!

The idea of ​​laziness is like a trashcan, where they throw out completely different objectionable and uncomfortable feelings instead of dealing with them.

One of the most difficult questions is when there is a conflict behind laziness. Worst of all, when what you do contradicts your values —  if you exaggerate, it is very difficult to be a vegan and work at a meat processing plant or to advocate body-positive and advertise beauty contests. In this case, laziness is literally salvation. This is a healthy resistance to what a person considers to be immoral, harmful, or dishonest. And an activity that goes against your life principles is better to change as soon as possible because it is destructive.

The idea of ​​laziness is like a trashcan, where they throw out completely different unwanted and uncomfortable feelings instead of dealing with them. So, if you are overcome by laziness and feelings of guilt, it is time to rummage in this basket, take out the accumulated feelings and emotions and carefully consider them.

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