High Maintenance Dynamics Affect Work Performance

I think I can sum up this research by saying don't hire drama queens or other high social maintenance individuals.

Take the co-worker with whom you always seem to be somewhat out of sync. So much of your psychic energy is consumed trying to get on the same page with him that by the time you get home you are too drained to do much of anything, never mind read any of those books you were compelled to buy on office politics.

Or imagine Bob, an experienced cook, who shows up at a soup kitchen for the first time enthusiastic about sharing responsibilities with another accomplished cook. The problem is that the styles of Bob and his fellow cook clash so much that later that evening, when Bob is at home, both his concentration and manuscript writing suffer greatly.

Confirming what many of us have suspected anecdotally, new research from Northwestern University shows that high-maintenance or difficult interactions indeed drain us. Most importantly, the study demonstrates how those draining social dynamics, in which an individual is trying so hard to regulate his or her behavior, can impair success on subsequent unrelated tasks.