Whether professional or personal, burnout can affect anyone. However, a researcher has found that there is a character trait that is most at risk of suffering from this exhaustion which can be dangerous for mental health.
Perfectionists are more likely to burn out
It is Gordon Parker, Australian professor and psychiatrist at the University of New South Wales, who discusses the link between burnout and personality. In his book Burnout A Guide to Identifying Burnout and Pathways to Recovery, released in 2022, he explains that the personality trait of an individual is one of the triggering factors for burnout.
And according to the researcher, people who are perfectionists are more likely to suffer from a general burnout. To come to such a conclusion, he and his team interviewed 1003 people suffering from burnout. “Perfectionists are more likely to fall into psychic exhaustion due to their own unrelenting standards,” reads his book. Gordon Parker describes perfectionists this way: “they are dependable and conscientious, which can hurt their Mental Health and physical,” reports, for example, Earth.
“Most people think that burnout is a work problem. In fact, we’ve found that stress felt at work or at home can set the wheels in motion.burnout“, also explains the researcher to the earth media.
How to take care of your mental health when you are a perfectionist?
Gordon Parker is therefore keen to deconstruct received ideas. As a reminder, burnout is defined this way on the website of the High Authority of Health : “it is a physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that results from prolonged investment in emotionally demanding work situations”, can we read. But the author of Burnout A Guide to Identifying Burnout and Pathways to Recovery clarifies that it’s not just related to a professional activity. According to him, it is a “constant exhaustion, emotional numbness and confusion at home or at work”, he also explains. Burnout could therefore also be triggered by responsibilities at home.
But then, how to take care of her Mental Health when you are a perfectionist? For Gordon Parker, it’s all about nuance when it comes to working on his perfectionism. “You have to try to learn to nuance to avoid seeing everything black or white”, he explains to the DailyMail also recommending, through his work, to take more perspective on his performance and his achievements, without forgetting the initiation to meditation.
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People with this trait are more likely to burn out, study finds
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