People Who Hate Leisure Are Miserable. (+yes, these people do exist):
Well, look no further!
Now there are a set of studies out on the general psychological profile in it, so take THAT Gary Vaynerchuck and Ali Abdaal!
Recent work by OSU, Rutgers, & Harvard researchers shows people who take themselves too seriously to have fun are also at-risk for several other problems.
And besides the risk of being a colossal buzz-kill at every possible event in life, those might turn out to be -not- just psychological problems, either…
The Short Answer:
- Toxic productivity and “Hustle Culture” might not be isolated or small problems.
- Several studies by OSU, Harvard, & Rutgers show those types exist in many places.
- They seem to misunderstand the meanings of both Fun, and Recreation.
- That type, The Party-Pooper, seems to show universal problems enjoying any leisure of any type or duration.
- These people tend to score lower on Happiness evaluations.
- They also score above-average for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress when tested.
- One study showed this for Halloween celebrations, with the sole exception being goal-oriented parts of the holiday.
- These attitudes have spread all around the world, even to France, which is usually more laid-back and where they take very long summer vacations.
- Some party-poopers even derived no enjoyment from internet cat videos!
- Other studies by different teams suggest these personality types may have worse health outcomes as well.
Read on to find out the details…
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So for those who aren’t entirely sure, I think Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary said it best when they declared,
1: what provides amusement or enjoyment specifically : playful often boisterous action or speech
//full of fun
2: a mood for finding or making amusement
//all in fun”
But even more relevant to the issue at hand, is the Olde Tyme variant of that idea called, “Rest & Relaxation”; or even Recreation.
: refreshment of strength and spirits after work
also : a means of refreshment or diversion : hobby
dalliance, frolic, frolicking, fun, fun and games, play, relaxation, rollicking, sport”
-AHA! Now we’re getting somewhere!
In one of the Harvard/Rutgers/OSU studies on about 200 students,
Subjects were asked how much they enjoyed a variety of different possible leisure activities.
They then had to rate a set of 5 survey questions that measure the degree to which they think anything related to leisure is either very useful or very wasteful.
The last test is the kicker, because then all of them were given self-report psych tests to measure their levels of anxiety, depression, and stress.
All the results showed that for the students who most believed leisure was very wasteful, the more problems they had enjoying those activities in any way.
Interestingly enough considering a possible introvert-angle, these results did not vary even for several different scenarios or types of fun, whether they were:
And as you might imagine given survey three, all of the students who reported thinking leisure of any type was very wasteful,
In a second study of about 300 subjects online were asked about what they did for Halloween celebrations.
First, the researchers found about the same results as in the previous study.
Those who thought pure-leisure activities like parties were very wasteful, indeed reported less enjoyment of the holiday overall.
But in the irony-of-ironies, the researchers also rediscovered the ghost of “Hustle Culture”.
If only the event could be cast as something productive, goal-oriented, part of a deliberate effort to achieve specific ends, or responsible,
Like taking the kids out trick-or-treating, then it would be considered [something a little bit more like that weird thing called] “fun”.
Guys, I just got a chill; and I swear Gary must’ve
walked hustled over my grave.
No word on the scores for anxiety, depression, and stress for this one; but I think we can all guess.
But wait, it gets worse!
Because although the researchers didn’t dare check out Japan, where the hustle culture is so hardcore they’d either witness ritual suicides,
Or Carlos Ghosn-style international smuggling for anything less than an 80-hour work-week,
They -did- examine similar behaviors & psychologies across the world.
For now, these inquiries were restricted to India and France; not just us workaholic Americans.
And unfortunately, the same psychology exists over there!
In India, or even The Land Of 6 Weeks Paid-Vacation ie: France, if you’re a party-pooper,
You will have the same response to the idea of leisure as a member of the toxic-productivity set in the US.
-Even though in France, researchers showed that our friends across the pond were much saner than Americans, and less likely on average to think leisure time was a complete waste.
But for the actual party-poopers in those foreign countries, they also thought that leisure was a waste for even short periods of time, however small!
On a similar note on being intolerant of even small amounts of fun,
The last study in the group shows even P-P college students being bothered instead of amused by fun cat videos that were given as breaks in-between sets of surveys they were asked to answer.
Ye GODS, man! Who on earth does not like cat videos?!?!?!?
To put the next link in the chain, the multiple-study results are worrisome for all the cohorts.
Because over-response to stress and lack of positive mindset have been associated with worse health outcomes in not just the standard “Type A” personalities, but also in the grouchy-ruminator “Type D” personalities.
Maybe they lack the stress-busting power of optimism?
Even though the party-poopers would be better at maximizing plans for vacations they could hypothetically take,
They would miss all the potential unexpected benefits of leisure completely. Even the ones from “vacation by diagnosis” or getting lost to find yourself.
And that variety of “spiritual pilgrim” leisure participant is just about as far away from a party-pooper as a person could be.