Friday, September 9, 2022

Allowing work aversion disorder to set in is probably the most toxic thing you could do to yourself if you can't afford to not work.

I suppose this post was a combination of things I was thinking about. There was the death of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, which got me thinking about people who don't really have to work because they live off other people in a life of extraordinary privilege and entitlement. There are also numerous people I know who have what is called "work aversion," and they are at various ages in life. And thinking about those two things in particular led me to write this peculiar essay of sorts for this blog, and how being work averse when you are not rich in a capitalist society is probably the most toxic thing you could do. It's actually just awful. But first, I think I need to define what Work Aversion Disorder is. And trust's super common. I have only like 10 total friends and at least four of them that I know of suffer from this "disorder," which when you boil it down isn't really a diagnosable disorder. It's just a better term than extreme toxic laziness.

Work aversion is the state of avoiding or not wanting to work or be employed, or the extreme preference of leisure as opposed to work. It can set in because people observe privileged folk not working, and they think that if so-and-so can get away with it, I can too. It can also come from parents who coddle their children and believe that many kinds of work are beneath their children to do. It can set in from negative experiences. A lot of work is done alongside assholes who berate, pay you low wages, or who treat you as a subhuman. This is mostly because of an inconvenient truth in that a lot of people are actually terrible. Violent crime aside, the bullies and the casual law breakers and people who can't be bothered to respect others are everywhere. So work in itself (for many people) is trauma. You have to have a thick skin to work, to suffer performance appraisals, and to suffer the many indignities that are splashed on you because of work. So I get it. Work Aversion then is the ultimate boundary. It is saying, "I'm not going to play this game. It hurts me. I'm not doing it. Ever." And then what happens is that the burden of that person living gets passed to someone else. So the workload increases.

What I find fascinating is the insidious spiral of death this decision creates. In other words, these extremely concrete boundaries set by those who have "work aversion" will destroy you in a capitalist society. There are so many complications, but here's a short list of those that are possible (and that I've actually observed) that are visited upon the person with this disorder:

1) Loss of assets. Duh...if you can't afford anything because you don't work, then you end up poor. This (in the short term) leads to huge debt and credit problems that (because of our society) can quickly creep onto a partner or a loved one like a disease and ruin their finances.

2) This then leads to abandonment. Duh. Again, this is a no-brainer. Why would you let someone else drag you down? So strings get cut, the person is abandoned, and the people who were partners thank the gods that they were able to escape this "toxic" person. Friends scatter to the four winds too, because in a capitalist society (especially America today), everyone that isn't a Queen is maxed out on who and what they can care for.

3) Because of abandonment and because of being dirt ass poor, depression sets in. Now you've got a real diagnosable mental illness. Then self-neglect sets in. This includes malnourishment (if they even could afford food to begin with), and the neglect of one's personal appearance or hygiene. This in turn drives even more people away.

4) Strained relations with family and friends happen. No one wants to be around a needy, stinky, person who doesn't want to work and just wants you to support them. So yeah, the isolation grows if it wasn't already huge to begin with. Not to mention that the person is probably constantly talking about their mental illness and screaming for help and there is literally no one who can fill this bottomless well of need (because what they really need is millions of dollars to meet all of their financial burdens as a result of being work averse). 

5) This leads to reduced socialization, which causes even more mental illnesses, like anxiety, and terrible codependency issues.

So's like dominoes. When you knock one down, it touches another, and so on and so forth. But I get it. Who wants to work, especially when we can see that there are folks who live wonderful vibrant lives who really don't have jobs that abuse them and treat them like garbage? But work aversion disorder is literally the worst thing if you are not one of the people who are lucky, and can afford "not to work." And it's amazing how it's a doorway to so many horrible things. In fact, I'd describe what happens to a person as a toxic death spiral. It's like you make a decision to circle the drain. But what's the alternative? For many people, it is embracing severe daily trauma for low wages that eventually break your body and your mind. That's fascinating, isn't it?

Anyway, that's what I wanted to share with you today: thoughts on being forced to work and having the privilege of not having to work. Those are some interesting things to contemplate in this all too human experience called life. Now if only I could answer (for myself) why we have things like Kings and Queens to begin with? Why do we celebrate these freeloaders? How did it even get started? Does it all go back to bullying and narcissism? Did the one with these toxic traits thousands of years ago just bully and stomp their way to the top and enslave everyone else? Maybe that's all it was. As I said earlier, people are terrible, and they just keep visiting terrible on other people forever.


  1. "Now if only I could answer (for myself) why we have things like Kings and Queens to begin with? Why do we celebrate these freeloaders? How did it even get started?"

    That's pretty obvious. Kings and queens started as just an extension of chieftains, warlords, etc. They were (and some places) still are the military and political leaders. But in Great Britain the power of the monarchy started to fade with the signing of the Magna Carta.

    You'd have to ask the Brits why they still spend so much money for a queen (or king now) but I suspect the answer would involve "tradition." It might seem silly to a lot of us Americans but most people in Great Britain went their whole lives with the queen on their money and everywhere else. It's hard to fight against that.

  2. It starts young. I had a conversation with a 4th grader about how he didn't want to work, and he had plans to be a YouTube star. This was several years ago. I hope his parents disabused him of the notion. If not, he's on his way to being like your group here.