Please, Stop Telling People How Much You Work
Stop telling us how much you work or how tired you are.
I don’t care, and neither should you.
Alright, before going deeper, lemme make something super clear: this isn’t going to be a contest. I’m not going to share how much I work (if at all) and I’m not going to share if I’m tired or not.
It’s not a competition right now.
What I want to do instead is share WHY I don’t care how much you work and how tired you are, and why you shouldn’t care about how much I work or how tired I might be either.
“I work so much.”
First, if you’re working, then you should be unbelievably grateful.
There are places on this earth where it’s almost impossible to work, both within the US and outside of the US. If you don’t like your work situation, then figure out a way to get out of it. Look, I’m realistic with this stuff. Some life situations are much more difficult to escape than others. But you can try.
One thing I know for certain is that there are people working incredible hours who don’t complain. They understand that complaining doesn’t help them. Complaining won’t help you work less, either, unless you get fired.
I particularly dislike this one.
Did you know that there are people who have health conditions that give them chronic fatigue? They wake up and face the exact same challenges you do, but they have to face them with half the energy. Could you imagine that?
I know three people with a condition like this. Of the three people I know who have chronic fatigue, none of them complain. Not a single one. If anything, they work as hard as anyone out there.
Did you know that there are people who never get to rest because they’ve got to work to keep their family afloat? Did you know that there are immigrant families who have dozens of family members back home who need their help, so they have to work while they’re tired? I could go on and on.
Now, here’s the thing.
When you’re really tired, I want to know. Please tell me when you’re too tired to drive me around. Seriously. Not trying to get wrecked.
I’m not telling you that being tired is a weakness. What I’m saying is that telling others you’re tired is almost always useless.
Here’s what’s really happening when you tell people these things.
When you tell someone that you’re working so much or that you’re really tired, what you’re really doing is reaching for sympathy.
You want me to respond with an, “Awww, I’m sorry about that.”
Do we really need to bring attention to ourselves like this?
No. We don’t.
Eliciting others’ sympathy gets us nowhere. Even worse, grasping for others’ sympathy actually drags that other person down in the process.
We don’t need people to feel sorry for us, and we definitely don’t need to feel sorry for ourselves.
We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.
If that includes working like crazy, then it includes working like crazy. If that includes doing it despite being tired, then it includes doing it despite being tired.
What happens when you stop saying this stuff?
So something crazy happens.
You become way more effective and much more proactive with your situation.
It’s a nice life.
I really hope you challenge yourself to stop saying these things to people. It’ll make a difference. I promise. Super promise.