CODE on Meet up: Keeping good interpersonal relationships prevents many problems


Burnout syndrome affects an increasing number of people and occurs as a prolonged response to chronic stress at work. At CODE on Meet up: Burnout, held on February 17, we talked about this syndrome with Branka Calasan, a graduate psychologist and director of the NGO “PORTRAIT”, an experienced family therapist with a proven history of work in the industry of civic and social organizations.

Stress is a highly personalized process, a person’s character is closely related to how they react to stress, and each person experiences it individually,” says Branka, emphasizing that both positive and negative stress produce the same type of reaction.

She says that the burnout syndrome was first discussed in humans in 1974, and in 1976, The Maslach Burnout Inventory was created – the gold standard for assessing the burnout syndrome.

The situation when we are chronically exposed to situations that exceed our ability to react, leads to burnout syndrome,” Branka points out and explains that although it is closely related to a professional engagement, this syndrome spreads to family and other spheres of life.

The reasons that lead to burnout are different and they are most often combined – it is more susceptible to people with perfectionism and people with low self-esteem, while at the organizational level – the syndrome can occur due to unprofessional management, too many demands, vaguely divided roles, conflict atmosphere, bad communication…

How serious this syndrome is, is best shown by the fact that it manifests itself in different ways:

  • Physical manifestations (cardiovascular problems, hypertension, headache, exhaustion, energy loss …)
  • Depersonalization (sleep disorder, anxiety, depression, decreased concentration, sadness, mood swings, the experience of diminished personal achievement …)
  • Interpersonal manifestations (difficulties in communicating with family, friends, colleagues, marital dysfunctions, neglect of obligations, mistrust …)
  • Professional events (loss of initiative, interest, efficiency, productivity)

Branka also presented some of the strategies on how individuals can cope with stress, such as – seeking satisfaction in daily activities and relaxing, humor (as an important defense mechanism), simplifying work tasks, and seeking support from colleagues. At the organizational level, the risk of burnout can be prevented by focusing on solutions instead of problems, reducing requirements, providing consistent and complete information, constructive feedback, encouraging employees… As she points out, she would emphasize the importance of nurturing good relationships.

Branka advises that it is very important that everyone who feels that they have too many tasks that they cannot answer, at the same time having the mental and physical symptoms she mentioned, seeks professional help. Otherwise, it happens that people live with burnout syndrome for many years and eventually develop depression, anxiety, or some other disorder.

The event was organized within the 2CODE project, which is co-financed by the ERDF and IPA II funds of the European Union.

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