Pathologic Perfectionism: How to handle it?

Excessive perfectionism can lead to frustration and stress.

Are we perfectionists? Do we often fall into self-criticism?

Research shows that perfectionists can easily demoralize ….

When we speak of perfectionism, we refer to a habit of requiring ever greater and better performance to oneself and others than to the necessity of the situation.

This is accompanied by a very critical evaluation of one’s own and other behavior.

But let’s see what are the characteristics of perfectionism

  • Caution always to the mistakes
  • Interpret errors as a failure index
  • Convincing that the mistake leads to the loss of estimate by others
  • Reference standards unrealistic and impossible to achieve
  • Extreme efforts to reach these standards
  • Rigorous and severe self-assessments that aim at anything or nothing
  • Fear of criticism and judgment of others

When we fall in the dread of being always and too perfect, we risk falling into ineffectiveness and generating a waste of energy that damages our health and relationships.

This problem is more widespread than we think; in fact, many people suffer from an unhealthy form of perfectionism that can result in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Phobia and even Depression.

What are the characteristics of an excessively Perfectionist person?

Pathological Perfectionism is not just about the orderly order for external objects, but attention is taken to every detail.

Precision is brought to exasperation.

They are in fact extremely hilly people tied to punctuality brought to the extreme, where thought does not contemplate the size of the possible … and the unpredictable.

Everything has to be kept under control and the error is not admitted.

In this way, one’s own existence becomes very limited and all efforts are made to ensure a form of magical and unrealistic thought, the certainty of success.

These are very controlled and controlling people, where the standards are overly high.

Obviously, there is a profound sense of inadequacy that is offset by the utmost attempt to avoid the mistake.

What are the factors that create excessive perfectionism?

They can be of different nature …

Essentially, we turn them back to two aspects:

  • A strong dependence on the reward and approval of others, therefore a low self-esteem at the base. In this case, the perfectionist avoids in all circumstances situations that could cause a loss of approval due to its mistake. Try to avoid the mistakes that could lead to criticism.
  • A predisposition to Personality of a Compulsive Obsessive Type. However, in this case, life experiences and, above all, parental models are overwhelmed with excessive pretensions and demands for perfection.

It is well known that the excessive concern of making mistakes and the fear of the negative judgment of others comes from experiences in childhood.

Where love shown by parents is conditioned by the child’s performance and rewards are never enough.

So the child never feels satisfied, because his behavior is never right enough to gain parental approval.

That’s how it makes a constant effort to get it, always frustrated.

What can we do to win Perfectionism?

How can we do it so that we do not always feel lacking in something and therefore feel constantly the need to pursue perfection?

First of all, to overcome the  perfectionism that obstructs us  in our well-being, it  is necessary to become aware of those perfectionist traits that create problems in our daily lives and act negatively on the vision of ourselves and others.

Then we could start working on some aspects of ourselves …

  • We try to win the self-criticism by identifying the automatic thoughts and limiting beliefs that are in them.
  • We regenerate negative automatic thoughts, replacing them with positive and functional thoughts that make us out of the sense of donate compulsory.
  • We challenge Perfectionism by deliberately implementing behaviors that go in the opposite direction.

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