Hustling is a word that is quickly thrown out these days. We see people hustle at work, while at the gym, and people who hustle trying to catch up with their heightened emotions. Often, so often, we see these acts as people’s daily grind. We don’t see how we surround ourselves with people who overcompensate at work, at school, or even at home to conceal what they truly feel.
Far from hypomanic episodes, overcompensation is a kind of act that is common to all humans. Either we do it all, or we do nothing at all. Sometimes, when we get too anxious, we resort to running errands profusely. We make things work even though they seem impossible to work. We do something swiftly, and we don’t mind how much time we have to spend, just to finish the task—because at least, here, we are excelling.
We want to feel the need to accomplish something, and sometimes, that urge never ends. Even when we exhaust ourselves, we still carry on—thinking that we won’t feel good unless we finish what we are doing. Some people fixate on doing something out of stress or feeling inferior. Others still manage to deliver what is needed despite all the troubles they feel inside. No matter how loud the voices inside their heads or how noisy everything is around them, the only thing they have for themselves are doing what they are good at and their urge to get things done, whether to feel less inadequate or superior.
TO OVERCOMPENSATE IS NOT THE SAME WITH HUSTLING
However, while it could make us feel good when we overcompensate, it is not an entirely positive thing to do. Some of the things we overdo prevent us from facing our issues. They prevent us from addressing the problems from which the feeling of overcompensating stems. When we can’t control our issues or problems, the urge to fixate on something we can control becomes stronger.
We overshadow our inadequacies by transcending on other things. At first, it may seem like a harmless technique to deal with what we are feeling. But the longer we overcompensate, the longer we stall on addressing our core issues.
Alfred Adler, the person who introduced the term ‘overcompensation’, said, “If people feel inferior and weak in one area, they try to compensate for it somewhere else”. It is a defense mechanism that drives us to excellence to feel superior. When we overcompensate, it can make us feel the need to control others to feel superior. When we overcompensate, we fixate on what we can only work on while abandoning what we really need to address.
Adler also stated in his study that overcompensation could lead to the development of an inferiority complex. When these things become too glaring and unmanageable, we highly recommend you to talk to your doctor or seek professional help. The Department of Health created a National Mental Health Crisis Hotline where you can speak with a professional for free. In a time of the pandemic, your mental health is paramount.