Being a Perfectionist – Is It Helpful in Life or Not?
A perfectionist is a person who feels they have to have everything exactly how they want it. Things like punctuality, order, accuracy, and appearance all weigh quite heavily on a perfectionist’s mind. When things aren’t done in a particular order or up to a specific standard, that person often feels uncomfortable, anxious, or shameful when it comes to the job they’ve done. Any result short of perfection is unacceptable to those who idealize perfectionism.
However, perfect is sometimes subjective which means that a perfectionist may have their own standard or meaning of perfection. Some common causes of this personality style include anxiety, a fear of disapproval from others, feelings of insecurity, mental health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and having a parental figure who exhibits the same perfectionist personality style. Furthermore, there some positive as well as negative connotations of word.
Is Being a Perfectionist Good or Bad?
Being a perfectionist is neither good or bad until we look at the mechanics of how the personality style affects that person and/or their lifestyle. Perfectionism can help a person to meet deadlines and provide high-quality performance at their job. However, on the contrary, perfectionism can also create tension and distrust within their work relationships and even personal relationships.
Because perfectionists often have a “take the bull by its horns” mentality, this may come off a bit too forceful and aggressive to other people. Perfectionists often take the lead which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how it’s done. Not everyone will believe in the perfectionist’s standard of perfection. They may have their own perspective on how something should go. Thus, an obstacle will likely surface where all individuals must compromise. However, not all individuals with the perfectionist personality style will want to compromise, in fear of feeling that they’re settling for “less”.
We can judge a perfectionism in terms of how strongly it influences one’s life. It is good being a perfectionist to achieve some target, however there is a need for concern if it becomes an every-day habit.
Pros and Cons of Being a Perfectionist
As stated, there are both positive and negative connotations of Perfectionism. It largely depends upon the degree of perfectionism one has as well as the control they have over that personality style. However, these are the more common pros and cons of being a perfectionist. Also, these are ways that perfectionism affects one’s lifestyle.
- Perfectionists generally do a good job on assignments because they don’t like to submit anything short for their absolute best work.
- They still do their very best for things they aren’t exactly passionate about because they still want to do a great job.
- Other people tend to idolize perfectionists because it appears they have all their ‘ducks in a row’.
- They are persistent and determined to try something over and over again until they’ve mastered it.
- Perfectionists have a hard time accepting anything lower than what they expected to receive. Thus, they may internalize losses and attach those experiences to their self-esteem.
- Perfectionists may have a hard time receiving constructive criticism because they already have their own way of doing something and don’t feel comfortable trusting in the advice of others.
- They may fear not looking put together as other people can judge them negatively.
- Sometimes, there is a time to accept a mistake or loss in order to move on. Perfectionists can find themselves in a cycle of “trying to prove themselves right”.
- Most often perfectionists lost their mind when the things are not going as they expected. Therefore, usually these people feel stress and anxiety more than other people.
- They spend too much time on the task until they reach perfection.
Being a perfectionist has its advantages and disadvantages. If a person cannot control the varying degrees of their perfectionist personality, then it could very well become a compulsion. However, by having a healthy balance, perfectionism can prove to be very helpful to one’s life.
Aspects of life perfectionism can affect
Perfectionism is not an illness, it is a state of mind. When it becomes a habit, of course this will reflect on the way you live. For some people it affects one aspect, for some people it impacts several aspects. Here are some aspects of life perfectionism can affect:
Education or work
At school, college or at work they can achieve good results. However, it takes them a longer time to complete a task and they are very attentive to small details. Besides, sometimes they do not want to do some kind of tasks, as they do not feel confident in completing them perfectly. According to researches about 30 percent of students experience perfectionism-related depression.
Usually perfectionists demand perfectionism in relationships too. They have their own standards on how friendship or intimate relationship should be and they get strongly disappointed when the things do not go as they expected. This type of behavior puts much pressure on relationships.
When someone considers sport or training as hobby a way to workout, then there is nothing bad about this. However, when it comes to professional sport and physical activity, the result is totally different. Perfectionists tend to overly exhaust themselves until reaching an achievement. Individual sports like gymnastics especially exacerbate perfectionism, as the sportsman often compete against oneself.
Hygiene and health
Toxic perfectionism leads to many health problems and disorders when an individual has excessively high personal standards. Studies have found that there is a link between perfectionism and diseases of blood pressure and cardiovascular system. As for recovering, perfectionists have harder time with coping a disease and this is common for people with heart attack, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Perfectionists excessively worry about their appearance, so they may spend several hours before being ready to go out. Usually perfectionists do not like experimenting with their appearance, as they fear that something may go wrong. They prefer symmetry in outfit and in hairstyle and cannot calm down until they reach perfection. Unfortunately, many suffer from eating disorders striving follow rigid diet to look good.
Speaking or writing
For perfectionist there is no concept like “normal”, everything should meet their standards. For them “not overdelivered” means “underdelivered”. At this rate self-criticism leads to fear of making mistakes. That is common for perfectionists to have fear for making mistakes. When the person is perfectionistic about the way of speaking or writing, he or she speaks very little or do not write if there is doubt for the correctness of the writing.
Anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder are the main mental problems that specialists relate to perfectionism. Permanently feeling anxiety or depression, sense of incompleteness, judging oneself harshly and to be in control of everything – all of them put much pressure on one’s life. As a result, many perfectionists lose the sense of rational thinking, so they may end up with suicide. One study shows that more than half of suicide cases were occurred with people with perfectionistic behavior.
Final word, if you think that you are a perfectionist or have perfectionistic traits, you may learn healthier attitudes for your goals and live less stressed life. A competent therapist will help you with that. Life is too short to complicate it with unnecessary excellence.