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What Is Perfectionism And Why It Isn’t A ‘Perfect’ Trait


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The best pupil in the class, this child succeeds in literally everything, and, therefore, is a real pride of both teachers and parents… You must be surprised, but to be an excellent pupil or an excellent student is not always good, and sometimes can even be self-destructive. Pupils and students, as well as other people who are eager to please others and be ‘perfect’ often suffer from perfectionism. And being perfect in everything is impossible. You can’t be perfect in solving mathematical puzzles, skiing, and playing online slots at the same time. Such people who strive to do everything perfectly, and they even have it for a while quite well, are called perfectionists. Interestingly, perfectionism isn’t an inborn character trait, it is instilled from childhood or adolescence, most often by the closest people, namely, parents. Often it all starts with school and the first grades. 

Every child, and, subsequently, an adult, has his own concept of the world and ideals to achieve. Moreover, each person has his idea of himself as a person, his perfect ‘self’.The main problem of perfectionists is that their real ‘self’ and ideal ‘self’ do not correspond to each other. And there is an internal conflict. An internal conflict often leads to depression, difficulties in personal life, and even health problems. To understand how to overcome perfectionism, let’s first dive into the causes of this psychological phenomenon. 

Lack Of Unconditional Love In Childhood

From a very young age, every child is attached to his parents and needs love. Especially authoritarian and narcissistic parents, build their relationship with the child in such a way that he or she has to ‘earn’ their love. From childhood, a child learns that he can receive praise, affectionate words, and attention from parents only after certain achievements. Over time, the constantly overbearing parental voice turns into its own, and children begin to make too high demands on themselves. This can hurt the person’s life.

For example, a ‘good girl’ tries to follow the stereotypes of the ideal wife and be a perfect businesswoman. The problem is that not every partner will evaluate this as something extraordinary, rather, will be taken for granted. Perfectionists inevitably face the problem of low self-esteem. An adult who has nurtured such complexes, can’t believe that he or she can be loved for his personal qualities and individuality, and not for any achievements. And life turns into a constant race for non-existent realities. The desire to perform all cases, even the most insignificant, only on excellence, leads to the inability to relax and enjoy life.

How To Stop Being A Perfectionist?

Specialists offer several psychological techniques that help both adults and children. Remember, if your child faces something like this, only you can help him. Your love and support will depend on his future reactions to his successes and failures.

  1. Believe that you can maintain relationships with loved ones even if you fail to meet all their expectations. 
  2. Learn to prioritize the important things in your life. Do you have an important exam tomorrow? Prepare for it thoroughly. What about things like cleaning, going to the store for groceries, and even preparation for a less important subject, you can do them later. And it’s not a big deal if you don’t get a perfect mark. 
  3. Don’t forget to rest. Do not forget to allocate proper time to sleep, as well as to communicate with friends, do not forget about the time during which you will not think about business and worries.

And here is the last tip from me: Don’t try to be perfect, be yourself!

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