Perfectionism is a characteristic trait that influences a lot of us. I would argue that there are a lot of people who are completely unaware of their perfectionism, making it that much more difficult to recognize when it presents itself upon us.
I’ve heard people say that perfectionism is a good thing. And, depending on the severity of it and further the situation at hand, it certainly can be a positive. However, for those of us who deal with a perfectionist mindset on a daily basis, it isn’t exactly something to be desired.
I am a perfectionist and have been told so by a couple of different specialists. I’ve been one for most of my life, but I wasn’t actually made aware of how much it manipulated my behaviour until it was essentially staring back at me in the mirror. Had I not sought out mental health help, I likely still wouldn’t know I am a perfectionist.
Perfectionism is, in my mind, a real pain in the ass. It can have tremendous power over a person, and simple tasks that most of us don’t give second thought to unfortunately occupy perfectionists and cause them distress and frustration in dramatic ways. Its severity differs from person to person, but based on the limited information I have been told about it, people who suffer from anxiety often also deal with perfectionism.
Coming from someone who knows how completely fucking irritating and unrealistic perfectionist thoughts can be, I would like to state that no one needs to be dealing with perfectionism in isolation. Like I said, it’s far more common than we realize, and simply talking to someone about it’s influence can lead to significant improvements in terms of managing the thoughts and behaviours.
If you believe you’re a perfectionist or you think someone you know might be, I encourage you to speak to a physician to determine how to best approach the situation. In the meantime, keep a cool head and remind yourself that there is not a single soul out there that is perfect, therefore we don’t need to be, either.