Finding a good balance between work and home life is harder than ever, particularly since technology has changed expectations about availability. If you've been logging seriously wild hours, you might have guilt about it you haven't even acknowledged yet. Here are the top giveaways you're secretly not happy with your situation.


1. You're not as productive as you used to be.


Sometimes reduced productivity happens simply because there's a lot happening in your job. There can be a lot to remember, and resources might not always support all goals at once. But you also might experience reduced productivity because your mind is preoccupied with the other things you want to do or the people you see as more important. You probably don't actively acknowledge this conflict, but your brain still desperately tries to find a solution, nevertheless. Additionally, if you're trying to suppress your feelings of guilt about work with still more work, fatigue can catch up with you and lead to a lack of creativity and good rationalization.

2. Relationships are floundering.


While you might not be able to put your finger on exactly what's making you feel bad, you might have a sense that, in some way, you're not cutting it. Those negative ideas about yourself make it harder to engage socially in positive ways, so interactions start to go south. You might also avoid the people you feel you are wronging, as confronting them would force you also to confront your undesirable behavior. Avoidance also can occur because, on some level, you want to minimize the damage you're doing to them.

3. You punish yourself in small ways...or give yourself every reward you can.


When a person has unresolved feelings of guilt, they sometimes look for ways to punish themselves as a way to cope. This might manifest as not allowing yourself to speak up in meetings, declining invitations to lunch with coworkers or even purposely not spending disposable income on things you want and know you can afford.

On the other hand, when you're feeling crappy about what you're doing, giving yourself treats can be a way to force feelings of pleasure. You keep sending yourself the message "I deserve it!" not because you're drowning in sincere egocentricity, but rather just the opposite--you want to convince yourself that the grossness you're experiencing isn't truth and that you're not a bad person.

4. You find ways to find fault with others.


Maybe you tell a joke with a punch line that digs. Or maybe you find yourself pointing out only the flaws in others' work and then constantly writing it off as constructive criticism. Whatever the path, the subconscious purpose is to take others down a peg. By doing this, you have a way to regain a sense of power and convince yourself that everybody else does bad, too. That creates a feeling of sameness or inclusion, which calms the fear of negative judgment and isolation.

5. Your response to praise is based on social expectation, not in-the-moment feeling.


Unresolved feelings of work-related guilt can make songs of praise from friends, family and coworkers ring hollow in your ears. You smile and say all the right things, but it's all a show. You can't feel happy when all their praise centers around what's sucking the life out of you and conflicts with how you're really viewing yourself.

Guilt isn't necessarily a "bad" emotion. In fact, it can be beneficial in that it keeps you from deviating too far away from your moral constant. It's a necessary component of your emotional compass. Even so, when you don't deal with guilt head on, it can create stress that, in the long term, harms your overall wellbeing. If you see these symptoms in yourself, don't sweep the issue under the rug. Do the serious self-work necessary to understand why you feel so tied to the office. Once you have that understanding, you can make an action plan that tips the scale back in favor of your happiness.