The psychology of laziness

We often talk about laziness, struggle with it, but at the same time we are limited to a superficial idea of ​​this phenomenon itself. In the article, you will get acquainted with various approaches to understanding laziness: laziness as a weak volitional sphere, as intuition, as an infantile state, fear of responsibility, defensive reaction, etc.

This psychological analysis of the concept of "laziness" in all its diversity will help you better understand yourself and the people around you. Understanding the nature of laziness will also help in the fight against it. Although it is not always necessary to fight it. Why? Now you will know.


Laziness as a low level of motivation for something

Laziness can be seen not as an unwillingness to do something, but as a desire not to do something. There may be several reasons for this.

  • Unconscious resistance. Laziness is a kind of indicator that a person is going the wrong way. Inside himself, he feels that he is not doing what he needs, so he begins to resist and boycott this activity – to be lazy.
  • No negative incentive. This is typical of a situation where a person's work is being done by someone else. Then he understands that if he starts to be lazy and does nothing, then there will be no problem. This can often be observed in children for whom all household duties are performed by their parents.
  • Lack of personal gain. Most people who have a vested interest usually don't tend to be lazy.


Laziness as a weak volitional sphere

This is the most common approach to understanding laziness. Willpower is needed to be successful. And laziness is the result of their absence.

To overcome laziness in this sense, it is necessary to develop self-discipline. After all, no matter how seductive the goal is, you still have to use willpower.


Laziness as an individual style of activity

Laziness is part of an individually unique system of psychological means that a person consciously or spontaneously resorts to in order to best balance his individuality with the objective, external conditions of activity.

Some people need to do nothing for some time (to be lazy) in order to reach the required level of psychological stress and subsequently perform some work with high quality.


Laziness as intuition

Probably, every person has come across a funny situation when he was too lazy and didn’t do something, and then it turned out that he didn’t need to do it at all. In this sense, it would be quite fair to speak of laziness from the standpoint of intuition.

That is, laziness is an inner voice that can help you save time and effort in certain cases. But, of course, your intuition can fail you.

The psychology of laziness


Laziness as an infantile state

Laziness brings a person into a state of infantile inactivity: his voluntary actions are blocked. By the way, a person is most lazy in the morning, immediately after sleep, that is, when his condition is somatically close to uterine.


Laziness as a pursuit of pleasure

Also, laziness can be considered as a way to enjoy the process and not wait for the result. For example, if a person has to work hard in order to get pleasure far from soon, then he will prefer to do nothing and enjoy it now. In other words, laziness is caused by the remoteness of goals that bring pleasure.

Laziness is also a way to avoid displeasure. Already the ancient Greeks guessed that for pleasure it is enough to avoid suffering. And modern man is lazy so as not to experience displeasure from his work or its result.


Laziness as a fear of responsibility

If you do nothing, you are not responsible for anything. Some people (especially those who were overprotective as children) are afraid to take responsibility. They initially perceive the situation associated with responsibility as traumatic and threatening. Laziness helps them avoid it.


Laziness as a defensive reaction

Laziness doesn't always have a negative connotation. Sometimes this is a sign that a person is subject to overload (does not matter physical or mental). Therefore, if you work hard, but lately you have been increasingly prone to laziness, which you are trying to overcome with all your might, it’s time for you to relax. It is better to recuperate and get down to business with all the enthusiasm than to exhaust yourself and work at half strength.

Also, laziness has psychological protective functions. For example, with acquired helplessness, a person feels that he cannot take control of the situation, it is beyond his control, and then he arranges something like a “lying strike”.

Or another situation: let's say a person is overweight. He wants to get rid of him, but he's too lazy. Why? Because along with being overweight, he will lose the “eternal” reason for his failures. He will have to look for the true causes of his problems, and this is a painful process.

The psychology of laziness


Laziness as a resource state

Laziness manifests itself when a person feels a lack of strength for the upcoming work. Or even exhausted their energy reserves. In this case, nothing good will come of it anyway – so the person is lazy.


Laziness as an engine of progress

Often a person was too lazy to do something, and he was looking for a way to simplify his work. Even 100 years ago, people had to do much more housework, etc. In a sense, laziness pushes humanity to more and more new inventions that make our life easier.

Interesting fact

If a person does not start a task, but thinks about how to complete it with the least effort, then from the outside he looks like a lazy person who does nothing. And after they tell him about it, he will most likely believe it himself and stop thinking about it!


Laziness as an activity

Laziness is the desire to do what is not the most important and relevant at the moment. After all, we call laziness not quite doing nothing. Laziness is also an activity, only less significant in this situation.

For example, reading a book is undoubtedly an activity. But if a person needs to write a report at this time, reading is regarded as laziness. Thus, laziness is not a lack of activity, but a non-priority activity.


As you can see, even such an ordinary concept as "laziness" can be so complex and ambiguous. We hope this encourages you to further explore the seemingly already familiar everyday phenomena. Sometimes familiar things are more interesting than we think.