Whatever your issues, whether shopping, reactive anger, perfectionism, workaholism, or substance abuse, it's not easy to break conditioned responses. They're wired into you and it takes effort to disrupt the pathways. But science and history show it is possible. I don't want to label all coping behaviors as bad. Andrew's studies in the United States, Europe, and Asia all reveal the same finding: women are no less resilient than men, yet they are struggling significantly more than men to keep these work/home worlds apart and find balance between them. So what's up? The difference is in the icebergs. Icebergs, as you know, are inherited from our parents. Acclaimed psychologist Carol Gilligan's work shows that we do raise boys and girls differently. Girls are primed to be relationship nurturers, and boys to be achievement oriented. Beginning in grade school, a math failure is signaled by teachers as a major event for boys and of less concern for girls. On the other hand, unresolved conflicts between peers are more frowned upon in girls than boys. We're telling boys that success and work is their arena, and girls that the home is theirs, implicitly (or not so implicitly) sending them messages about what matters. Fast-forward to a world in which women are entering the corporate world in record numbers and are highly motivated to achieve. What changes take place in the actual behavior of the members as they operate in the group? How does group-centered leadership affect the group's adjustive behavior? The Change from Ego-Centered to Group-Centered Participation. In groups in which we have tried a group-centered approach, it has been noticed that in the early stages of the group's development the contributions of members are frequently ego-centered. By this is meant that the members seem to be behaving primarily in response to their momentary internal needs and tensions, in contrast to the group needs. It appears that before individuals can become contributors to a group effort they frequently must relieve these tensions within themselves.

For example, in the early stages of a group's development individuals may be trying to enhance their status in the group by displaying their competence or the extent of their knowledge. Frequently this is done without much regard for the appropriateness of their comments in relation to what has been transpiring in the group. Each person may have his own axe to grind or special notion to get across. Sometimes it is a strong feeling which must be expressed. We need ways to manage our emotions. We need downtime and distraction. Sometimes zoning out is the best possible thing you can do for yourself. Netflix can be good therapy. A settling glass of wine may be therapeutic. Giving yourself permission to escape now and then makes you less vulnerable to feeling driven to escape. In the next section, we'll unpack a few examples of maladaptive coping. I'll start with perfectionism and workaholism, two behaviors that are front and center for me, and then cover aggression. Then, we'll apply that same lens of understanding maladaptive coping to disorders and diseases like depression and diabetes. Perfectionism is my go-to tool when I want to control difficult circumstances. There will be demands on their time that take them away from home life. For men with families, leaving their spouse and children behind to go to work is understood, accepted, and completely aligned with their achievement icebergs. But put a woman in that situation and it bucks our societal mores. A man with a high-profile sales job who travels around the country will be met with nods of approval for providing for his family. A woman in that same role may be met with subtle or not-so-subtle disapproval (her own included, possibly, if she has internalized early messages that it's her job to be there for her family, which is at odds with her drive to achieve). On the surface of modern life, we've come to think differently about what a woman's role is.

On a conscious level, we embrace women's drive to achieve; It's as if our deepest beliefs haven't yet caught up with what we now know to be acceptable. To be fair, the pull to be in two places shows up for men, too. At the same time that we're seeing women flock to the achievement world, we're seeing men allowing the nurturing side of themselves to emerge, so they, too, are feeling guilt about not being there for their kids. In these early stages of ego-centered participation one hears such comments as: This may be off the subject, but I'd like to say this . I'd like to have the group consider another problem . This doesn't answer Jim's question but it is important to me . Would the group mind if I raised a different problem . If I don't say this, I'm going to bust . An excerpt from a recorded session illustrates such an ego-centered contribution: Jane: Would they object to it also if they would be in the group? I mean, the set-up apparently is that the men are going out and mixing with other men -- Bill: My feeling is -- It surfaced when I first tried for attention and love in my family. The hope of perfectionism is that if I become smart enough, or acquire whatever other trait I think others value, they will care for me. That sure puts a lot of pressure on me to perform, and it relies on my (false) conviction that I can control others' appraisal of me. It also trips me up, making me believe that I need to be perfect in order to deserve love. I make mistakes. But my mistakes don't make me undeserving of love.

Being perfect isn't human. Pretending we're perfect inhibits connection. People connect across vulnerability (a point important enough to merit its own article later). Love and respect emerge between imperfect and messy human beings. Male or female, the bottom line is that many of us want to be in both places, but the time/space continuum dictates that we cannot. For some people, striking a life balance may not be about home necessarily. Young Millennials and others (like Celeste, whom you read about at the opening of this article) are out there trying to make a name for themselves and working very long hours. They have lots of pride in their achievements at work, but outside of that, they feel they have no life. And they're right. Many have no time to go to the gym, no dinners out with friends, no time to just wander and explore. All they do is work. There's no question that being overextended is the new norm. Our work/life stress is exacerbated by the fact that it takes more work than ever to stay afloat--and with fewer guarantees for the long term that the ship will keep sailing in calm waters. Whether we are being asked to work harder because resources are stretched thin or we are getting less money and security for the same output, it boils down to feeling ever more overextended. Jane: -- and the women are objecting to it -- Bill: My feeling is -- my feeling is -- Jane: If the women would be -- Bill: My feeling is that in a good many cases it's truer than that. They don't want too much interaction. They are afraid -- you see, the men have so much more freedom than they have.

They feel that. They want to restrict his mobility to the home -- to them -- and restrict his relationships. Here Bill is fairly bursting with his idea. His need to get it before the group is so strong that he interrupts the previous speaker. Sometimes I get so focused on work that I can't let go of it. The word driven applies, as I'm no longer in the driver's seat. Even when I turn off the computer and am with my family, I'm distracted. I drive for the dopamine surge I get from a focus on work. The fallout is that I don't give my partner and kid what they need. Nor do I end up getting what I need. It's easy for me to fall into workaholism because I get so much reinforcement that my work is making a difference. This outside validation feeds me, whether it's a standing ovation or the likes I get on a social media post. It's that need for external validation and the great satisfaction I gain from it that sometimes diminish my connection with others and time spent with my family. Why is workaholism my particular shtick? Not for one instant do we take anything away from that reality. So what's the solution? These days, the standard answer to `How are you? We're going to take you through a process today to help you isolate the icebergs that are preventing you from balancing the priorities in your life. You can have a life outside of work and balance in your priorities, without giving up everything you've worked for. We'll show you how to shift away from feeling overwhelmed and to a clearer head space to be able to prioritize with more peace and calm.