July 3rd, 2008
So I found this article on "Pitfalls of Perfectionism" yesterday on Huffington Post. And...wow. I have to wonder when they made me a case study. Selected highlights (because the article's longer than hell and if you make it through the whole thing, you're a better man than I):
[B]y itself, pressure to achieve is perceived by kids as criticism for mistakes; criticism turns out to be implicit in it...All of which applies to me really well. Hopefuly I can get through the rest of the article today at work--maybe it offers ways to deal with this.
Today's hothouse parents are not only over-involved in their children's lives, they demand perfection from them in school.
And if ever there was a blueprint for breeding psychological distress, that's it. Perfectionism seeps into the psyche and creates a pervasive personality style. It keeps people from engaging in challenging experiences; they don't get to discover what they truly like or to create their own identities...
It is a steady source of negative emotions; rather than reaching toward something positive, those in its grip are focused on the very thing they most want to avoid—negative evaluation. Perfectionism, then, is an endless report card; it keeps people completely self-absorbed, engaged in perpetual self-evaluation—reaping relentless frustration and doomed to anxiety and depression...
This...is what perfectionism sounds like:
"If someone does a task at work or school better than me, then I feel like I failed the whole task."
"Other people seem to accept lower standards from themselves than I do."
"My parents want me to be the best at everything."
"As a child, I was punished for doing things imperfectly."
"I tend to get behind in my work because I repeat things over and over."
Any luck in finding ways to deal with it? Because while I don't think I have these attitudes as much as you, perhaps, I definitely have some of those tendencies.