SRS Perfectionism

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by MissKitty, May 15, 2009.

  1. MissKitty

    MissKitty If squats were easy they'd be called 'Your Mum' OT Supporter

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    I am a perfectionist and it has it's ups and it's downs.

    I just can't deal with less than perfect and it creates a lot of stress in my life which just isn't needed.

    For example I have been pissed off for the last few hours because I got one question wrong on a assignment and while I still got the highest overall mark you can get (HD), I still lost a few points for a stupid mistake.

    Why can't I just be happy with the high mark without concentrating on how it could have been higher?

    Is it a case of enjoying the perks of being a perfectionist and just putting up with the times when you are disappointed with yourself?
     
  2. Deadhead9150

    Deadhead9150 Banned

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    I hear you. For me though the level of disgust with myself at every result is really a problem for me and it stops me from doing things because I know I'm going to fail to live up to my expectations for myself. Anything short of total and absolute perfection results in self loathing and disgust. I think once I'm able to cut it back a little bit and be happy with nearly perfect or at least not so furious and disgusted, it'll be a good thing though. I don't see a problem with wanting and striving for perfection, it's all about how you deal with falling slightly short.
     
  3. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    I have a bit of a problem with this too.

    When I plan something, I want it to go as planned. When I hit snags, I get stressed.
     
  4. well on the plus side, this may help you do well in school, but ya you need to attempt to be happier with yourself, or it could result in self-loathing as deadhead said, and that is a long crappy road, believe me.
     
  5. REEPER

    REEPER New Member

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    Yep, in my case it has had some crippling consequences.
    Fear of falling short of perfection has lead to procrastination or more often avoidance of challenges altogether (even things others would consider trivial).
    I haven't properly learned French (non-francophone living in France) due to the fear of making mistakes, thus my communication is impaired.
    More generally I avoid social interaction when possible for fear of erring in front of others and proving undeniably to myself that I'm sub par.
    I've become incapable of developing a subjective interest in most things and the only thing I really have going for me (from an external perspective) is that I'll soon have finished a masters in computer science with the possibility to do a phd.
    That aside, all other aspects of my life have become void of meaning.
     
  6. djbomberto

    djbomberto OT Supporter

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    I have the samething, very picky about the small details, and I admit it sucks. I mean, I waxed my car, cleaned it everything. Found one itty bitty spot and nearly flipped the fuck out. Started it all over again. I wish I was not like this since most of my family believes either I am a hateful person or a person who focuses too much on every detail. ugh, I know the feeling..
     
  7. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    Now that I rethink it, I'm not a perfectionist. I just want things done my way and to go my way.

    Selfish?
     
  8. REEPER

    REEPER New Member

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    Probably just an indication that you invest yourself emotionally in your ventures and/or you don't plan enough for failure.
     
  9. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    I think a lot of people have have felt like they had very little control in the past often go on to develop an elusive search for doing things perfectly.

    It's worsened when a person in your past, whether parent, partner or someone else constantly nagged you for doing things wrong, or punished your for never doing anything but the best. The problem becomes our problem when we allow their dysfunction and controlling behavior infect us, and lead us to believe that we need to be better, do better, and always do it right -- in order to be loved, or to even respect ourselves.

    This pattern is poisonous. There is a point where the behavior becomes toxic and steps over a line that most people are unwilling to tolerate.

    If you find yourself condemning others or yourself for "everything" that isn't done right, then you have a problem.

    I am probably somwhere slightly outside the normal range. I sweat more things than I should and criticize more than I should over little things, but I'm not intolerable. I'm constantly working on accepting the smaller mistakes since they'll always be some, and just work on improving myself.

    It's one thing to expect someone to install your cars breaks correctly -- and when it's not done right -- that you get angry and berate or chastise someone for it, and another for yelling at a child for accidentally burning himself on the stove or spilling a glass of milk.

    If you are chronically anal about the little things -- and you sweat it all -- then you've got a big problem with perfectionism and it's not about others or even your environment. It's about you.
     
  10. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    Yeah maybe I need to be more accepting of failure, or like you said, plan for it. I don't mean going in expecting to fail but just to be ready for it if it comes.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Nothing wrong with kicking yourself for making a stupid mistake -- once. It's when you keep kicking yourself that you need to get a grip.

    I think that perfectionism, more than most "disorders", is a matter of practice and repetition. Every time you catch yourself focusing on the tiny spot of negative, use your superego to reprimand yourself like a parent correcting a child. Hell, that's probably where you learned it from anyway -- your parents probably overemphasized your mistakes, even if they were attempting to be constructive, and forgot to recognize your achievements for what they were. Just a guess, but it's a pretty safe guess from what I've seen. So start reprimanding yourself for not focusing on the positive.
     
  12. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I'm a perfectionist and I also hate being unfairly judged....especially when I know the answer but I either got in a rush or read the question incorrectly and now I have to live with the blemish on my record forever. There's absolutely no possibility of erasing it and that is often what really bugs me because I DO know the answer even if I didn't display that knowledge on a test/assignment.

    I'm also cursed with the thoughts that if I'm not the best at something, I'm automatically the worst. There's no in between with me.

    As I've aged, I've just realized that I can't be perfect and very many things. In fact, there are very few things with which I can be perfect. Being human means that I am imperfect.....I can choose to think that this is not so but it's actually true. I don't care who it is of what they're into....if they are human, they have imperfections.

    So this knowledge doesn't remove my perfectionism but it does help me live with them and give myself a break.
     
  13. TheNonSequitur

    TheNonSequitur New Member

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    Being less than perfect is perfect, or, perfection is always less than perfection, or, perfection is inherently unperfect.
     
  14. Dodger Blue

    Dodger Blue OT Supporter

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    The more you fail the more you'll succeed.
     
  15. Maffy29

    Maffy29 Active Member

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    I pick my places to be a perfectionist. Places that I know I can get maximum benefit. I love it when somebody says that I am that good at something. Like with your example, while it might bother me, I'd try to put it in perspective. You are still the highest mark. Feed off of that (or at least try).
     
  16. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    Perfectionism is a wonderful disease.

    It can also fucking suck monkey ass like almost nothing else.

    For any journey or project, perfectionism can make the trip be full of unimaginable stress, anxiety, and self-hate.

    But at the end, if you met your goals (and kicked the competition's ass, if applicable), it's a feeling of extreme joy that no one else will ever experience or understand.

    If, at the end, you ended up not meeting your goals, then it's more self hate times 100.


    The problem with perfectionism is that it can sometimes lead to extreme apathy, something which seems like the polar opposite. But it's a defense mechanism... if you are apathetic and don't care about something, then there's no need to do it perfectly, and therefore you won't be upset with yourself if you don't do it perfectly.

    As a perfectionist, I have to always be on guard so that I don't fall into the apathetic trap. I will literally put off huge projects for months because if I don't start them, then I can't fail at them, and if I can't fail at them, then I won't hate myself for being stupid, and I avoid those bad feelings.


    The funny part is my parents were never harsh or judgmental with me at all. If I did a bad job on something as a kid they'd be like "well, did you learn from it? Did you do your best? Ok then :) Just try to make sure you understand your mistake so you don't get that type of problem wrong again in the future (or whatever it was)."

    Yet inside, I'd be like "wtf is wrong with me? how did I get that wrong? omg I'm such an idiot."
     
  17. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    :werd: This times 1,000!!!

    Oddly enough, foreign language learning is like the one area where I'm not afraid to make mistakes :dunno:

    That being said, I still don't like to tell a native speaker I'm studying their language until I am at least have a basic understanding on things. I hate people who memorize a few sentences from a phrase book and are like "ZOMG I TOTALLY SPEAK [insert language]!!!!" and go around trying to impress native speakers with their "where is the bathroom? Hello, how are you? Pleased to meet you!" when they don't even know which word in the phrase actually means "bathroom." And most times, the native speaker is then like "omg, you're so good!" Yeah, go on and get your attention for being a moron :rofl:
     
  18. REEPER

    REEPER New Member

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    Yeah, I disliked the memorise and regurgitate method myself, especially since I'm not fond of slang and the last thing I wanted was for my french to be limited to colloquial crap. Unfortunately, the quickest and best way to learn is the brute force method of spouting rubbish till you slowly converge on the spoken language, being lazy I figured a little bit of grammar and some vocab would take me a long way and screwed myself over in the process.
    The main issue was I was afraid of the trial and error process required to learn so I never spoke unless I was forced to and now I have a shitty accent I might have been able to improve on in the early years along with sub par french.
     
  19. REEPER

    REEPER New Member

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    The apathy you speak of has taken over most of my existence, even in my studies when I succeed in meeting my goals, I feel no euphoria, just relief that a weight has been taken off my shoulders.
    I often then go into a period where I take on no new goals in order to relax but end up feeling guilty for doing nothing and falling further into depression. Good stuff.
     
  20. MissKitty

    MissKitty If squats were easy they'd be called 'Your Mum' OT Supporter

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    Strangely enough I am not a procrastinator in regards to anything...in most cases I am too eagar
     
  21. MissKitty

    MissKitty If squats were easy they'd be called 'Your Mum' OT Supporter

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    Well, not sure if this needed an update or not.

    However, I just finished my course. A course they give you 24 months to complete and I did it in two and a half months. Every assignment I got an HD, never dropped lower than 90 out of 100. And I created a new high score for one of the study units.

    I am still annoyed at some of the reasons I lost marks. But My main goal was to a) complete the course and b) make sure I got HD's across the board. So based purely on those goals I was successful

    All while working part time, looking after three kids and a household, and organising a renovation
     
  22. Deadhead9150

    Deadhead9150 Banned

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    Just one of the many many things that I have severe problems with and need to work on. I can never be happy with what I accomplish because I always look at it as a failure.
     
  23. Zeff

    Zeff OT Supporter

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    I used to be like that until I had a life changing experience where I was on tour with my band and our van and trailer were stolen from the hotel we stayed at. I think you'll have to wait until you can accept that sometimes things are out of your hands or that you tried your best and that sometimes that means 99/100 instead of 100/100
     
  24. Lazy D.

    Lazy D. Active Member

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    problems with self esteem maybe ? Why would I hate myself if I don't reach some goal. Who cares ? What is more important than me ? Nothing. I love myself no matter what. I feel bad for you guys. Your mind lacks peace. Which is more important than most things. Definitely more important than something as meaningless as grades or whatever else you people mentioned here.
     
  25. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    HD? What does that mean?

    Congrats on your high grades....sounds like you were really busy but still managed to get stellar performance in an extremely short period of time. You do realize that you're likely in the very top percentage of people taking that class right? I mean you may even have the highest grades....so hopefully you can take comfort in those thoughts and not focus on how you could have improved.

    Anthony Robins says all the time that, "Our focus determines our reality." If you're focusing on all the ways you aren't perfect, wouldn't that mean that you're ignoring all the ways in which you're quite good?
     

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