Overfunctioner vs. Underfunctioner

When faced with challenges which of the two sounds more like you?

  • You switch into fixing mode. You like taking control of things, make to-do lists and finish the tasks in the lists as soon as possible, and you like giving out advice; or
  • You pull back, plead assistance from anyone who would give you the time of day, you hope that other people will take responsibility.

If you're the former, then you're more likely to be an overfunctioner while the latter, an underfunctioner.

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Do you overfunction or underfunction in a relationship?

theguardian.com

The relationship between an overfunctioner and an underfunctioner translates into dangerously reinforcing each other's habits: The overfunctioner takes on more than their fair share of responsibility from housework to finances while only reinforcing the underfunctioner's dependency.

A relationship like this often curdles that could to lead to fighting or nagging. This applies not only to romantic relationships but it could also be happening at work and between family members.

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In situations as such where nagging becomes constant and it's unbearable to stand, Harriet Lerner, suggests that the overfunctioner needs to take a step back and do less.

The overfunctioner should potentially allow bad things to happen. This is called the "hanging in" method.

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