Perfectionism: 9 Personality Related Issues Every Perfectionist Faces.
BY DEORAO K.
Perfectionists are not rare in our surroundings. We often get to hear about them from people that, how perfect and flawless they are in the things they do. We feel overwhelmed just listening about this.
The term Perfectionist is often used as a positive trait and use in conversation to suggest healthy perfectionism.
When we hear the word perfectionism, we instantly start visualizing a person who is larger than life who can carry out any task smoothly and without any error. Like a perfect role model, everybody wants to become one. This may be true or may not be.
Sometimes it is not like what we see from outside. Perfectionism is a highly glorified term. Because it also has a dark angle that only perfectionists will relate to.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY PERFECTIONISM?
In this case, a person stress and strains excessively to achieve perfection in work and life. To get the desired result, perfectionists may turn obsessive, controlling, micromanaging, and aggressive. They often overwork and or force people to work extra hours to achieve it.
Perfectionism is the obsession to become flawless and free of all errors by hook or crook. Perfectionists often work to achieve unrealistic and unattainable goals and as the name suggests they spend a lot of physical and mental energy of themselves and of people working for it.
This behavior leads to several problems related to mental health, physical health, relationship, and interpersonal relations. The degree of perfectionism may vary from mild to severe.
WHY PEOPLE STRIVE FOR PERFECTIONISM?
Following are the root causes of perfectionism in people,
1. EXTREME SELF CRITICISM.
Perfectionists are extremely self-critical. Before other people start criticizing them they themselves do it for themselves. This self-criticism forces them to make the task perfect. Self-criticism is the result of egoism or fear of making mistakes.
2. FEAR OF CRITCISM FROM OTHER.
They are extremely conscious and fearful of criticism from others about work and life. They feel hurt and insulted when people criticize them. To avoid this situation, they focus on perfectionism.
3. FEAR OF FAILURE.
They don’t want to fail and always wanted to be on the top. And for this reason, they always wanted their work to be flawless and perfect.
4. ALL OR NONE THINKING.
All or none thinking is also responsible for Perfectionism. Some people want it either perfect or nothing. They don’t want to dwell in between. This thinking lets them force on being perfectionists.
5. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER (OCPD).
OCPD is a Cluster C personality disorder characterized by the extreme need for perfectionism. These types of people are obsessive over lists, orderliness, and are controlling.
When talking about work they are workaholics and often end up overworking. Workers under them consider them as rude, stubborn, heartless bosses. Many a time these people are suffered from underlying anxiety and depression. Male has a higher prevalence of OCPD.
6. TO HIDE IMPERFECTION.
Some people try to act like perfectionists just to hide imperfections. They may lie to people or self-promote to show how perfect they are. They face perfection to hide the imperfection.
PERFECTIONISM: GOOD OR BAD?
This is controversial say, sometimes it feels like people should be perfect in their work and other time feel like stressing on perfectionism is like punishing self just to feel appreciated.
For example, If I want to get operate I want my doctor to be perfect in his work or if I want to get a tattoo done I want the tattoo artist to be perfect in his work. So on and so forth…
On the other hand, Perfectionism will make the person tired physically and mentally. Perfectionists are more likely to feel tired, lonely, lost from the track, irritable, angry, frustrated, anxious, and depressed.
The bottom line is perfectionism is not bad until it hurt you. If you overdo it, it is more dangerous and can shatter your mental health.
Emotional perfectionism is nothing but extreme fear of pointing out mistakes and errors by others. In other words, the fear of criticism from others.
To avoid criticism, they become obsessive about perfectionism. If a mistake happens knowingly or unknowingly they start feeling nervous, anxious and tensed.
In extreme cases, they feel anxious even with the thought of committing mistakes.
EFFECT OF PERFECTIONISM ON JOB AND CAREER.
Perfectionism can affect badly on job and career. There are several reasons to justify this statement.
Such as they either procrastinate and skip deadlines out of overconfidence in their abilities or become anxious and panic to avoid criticism.
In the first possibility, People label perfectionists as careless and lazy. And try to avoid working with them. Boss may not be happy with them because of the habit of finishing assignments late.
In the second possibility, they end up making more mistakes by obsessing for perfectionism. They may experience stress, nervousness, frustration, anger, anxiety, panic, and sometimes depression by stressing on perfectionism at the job.
People are reluctant to approach perfectionists bosses because of their rude, stubborn, workaholic, and obsessive nature. All these characteristics make them unapproachable and undesirable bosses.
All this will reduce the performance at job and career. which can affect appraisal, promotions, and work tours.
EFFECT OF PERFECTIONISM ON PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH.
Perfectionism is a silent killer, which means you don’t know it is affecting you until you start suffering. It will affect your mental health. For example, perfectionists are more likely to feel mental tiredness, loneliness, competitive behavior. They may feel nervous, angry, frustrated, sad, anxious, and depressed.
Disorders related to eating less (Anorexia Nervosa) or eating too much (Bulimia Nervosa) are common in people with perfectionistic behavior and vice versa. Especially teen girls and women because they are more conscious about perfect bodies.
Women with perfectionism are more focused on the looks, shape, and size of the body. They are most likely to follow vigorous diet regimens, indulge in over-exercise. May give up on food for a long period of time.
Because of stressful life and frustration, perfectionists are more likely to get addicted to things like substances, alcohol, social platforms, pornography, etc. They do it for escapism.
Perfectionists are often perceived as narcissists because of their controlling, rude, workaholic, and orderliness behavior. There are chances that they yell at people working under them, keep control in their hand, don’t give credit to others for work done, and can do anything to become the center of attraction.
Also, it affects physical health such as, perfectionism can cause physical tiredness, stress, insomnia, laziness, headache, and the fullness of the head as they often overwork for long hours. This leads to multiple physical and physiological diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases.
On top of this, It can hamper your social life. Perfectionists are often considered as either bossy and rude or awkward bosses. People may work under them but they don’t like to hang out with them. They end up being lonely and have very little or no social life. All these reasons make perfectionists appear as an immature person.
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Other than this perfectionist may suffer from following personality related issues,
1. PERFECTIONISM MAKES PERSON OBSESSIVE.
Perfectionism makes a person obsessive and vice versa. As we learned before, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and perfectionism are closely related in many people.
Perfectionistic behavior makes a person obsessive about work, deadlines, tasks. I.e. If they have a task to accomplish in a given time they get obsessive to finish work in time.
They themselves may not feel much heat of this obsessive behavior but people working with them will get suffered. Because they often end up overworked and burnout.
2. PERFECTIONISM MAKES PERSON DESPERATE.
Perfectionism makes a person desperate. Perfectionists are always desperate for conducting tasks error-free and within the deadline. But desperation makes them commit more mistakes and feel stressed.
The desperation of perfectionists for appreciation from people is always evident. Rather, some people strive for perfectionism just to get appreciation from others. They feel emotionally high with good words from others and feel low after criticism.
For example, Young girls are more focused on body shape and weight. She wants her body should look picture perfect. Just because she wanted to hear good compliments from others.
3. PERFECTIONISM MAKES PERSON GREEDY.
Perfectionistic behavior makes them greedy. Once they get appreciated for their perfectionist behavior, their greed for appreciation keeps increasing. They can go to any level to achieve the required result like faking perfectionism or cheating.
Some people are so desperate and eager to be perfectionists that they don’t hesitate to cheat and betray people. If they found out someone else is surpassing them in the race they will go to any level to put themselves ahead. Cheating is common for perfectionists just to stay on top.
Sometimes they may lie to people to hide their imperfection just to appear perfect to people. Some of them may self-promote how perfect they are at work.
5. PERFECTIONISM MAKES PERSON COMPETITIVE.
Perfectionists are competitive. They compete with people out of eagerness to stay on the top or become flawless or appear perfect to people.
Competitive behavior can bring several problems related to mental and physical health. For example, resentment, frustration, jealousy, anger and rage, revengefulness, irritation, anxiety, sadness, headache, stress, insomnia, tiredness.
6. PERFECTIONISM MAKES PERSON JEALOUS.
Competitive behavior and a strong urge to stay on top forever by perfectionists make them feel jealous when they see someone is more perfect than them. Lack of self-worth is also responsible for jealousy. Jealousy and envy further lead to series of problems.
7. PERFECTIONISM CAN CAUSE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL EXHOUSTION.
Excessive stressing over perfectionism can cause mental and physical exhaustion. Perfectionists often overthink and over plan about doing things perfectly. They are continuously in the mood of perfectionism which makes them stressed, irritated, anxious, and depressed.
To achieve flawlessness, they overwork and also force people to work more working under them. This can lead to mental and physical exhaustion.
8. PERFECTIONISM MAKES A PERSON FEEL UNSATISFIED IN LIFE.
No matter how perfect you are or no matter how hard you work to stay on top, there is always someone who has the ability to beat you. And this is a thumb rule. But for perfectionists, this becomes a matter of ego.
They don’t like people to surpass them or to criticize their work. If someone does it they feel hurt and insulting. This behavior makes them stay unhappy in life always.
So, no matter how much successful, flawless, and perfect they are in life they always have feelings of something is missing from life. They never feel satisfied.
9. PERFECTIONISM MAKES PEOPLE FEEL SAD AND DEPRESSED.
As we have seen above perfectionism is a stressful job. It creates stress, anxiety, panic, loneliness, and resentment in life. It is well-known fact that it is common it perfectionists to feel sad depressed. As per one research perfectionists have a high tendency to self-harm.
IS THE PERFECTIONISM REALLY EXISTS? HOW TO CURE PERFECTIONISM?
As per Adaptive and maladaptive theory, adaptive perfectionism is when you make yourself perfect by practicing hundreds and thousands of times while maladaptive perfectionism is when you strive for perfectionism neurotically without practice. Adaptive perfectionism is what we want people to work on. It is considered healthy perfectionism.
There is nothing like a perfect thing in this world. We just have to try our best and not to strive and waste life by living on the verge of perfectionism.
Self-acceptance is the best way to get over perfectionism. Until and unless you accept that you have perfectionist behavior no therapy will be effective for you. Perfectionism detox is important for peace of mind.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral acceptance therapy are thought to be effective on perfectionism.
If you anyhow resonate yourself with perfectionistic behavior you must visit a therapist or counselor.
The root cause of perfectionism mainly based on egoism. But Perfectionism can lead to several mental and physical diseases.
Actually, it is a vice versa condition. Striving for perfectionism can lead to anxiety and panic in most cases. On the other hand, people with anxiety are most likely to follow perfectionistic behavior.
Though perfectionism is desirable quality especially in the workplace. Everyone wants their boss perfect or every boss wants his employees perfect at work. This looks good to here but striving for perfectionism can lead to several mental and physical diseases, can ruin social life and reputation, can ruin professional life and businesses.
Other than this perfectionism causes following 9 personalities issues,
1. It makes person obsessive.
2. It makes person desperate.
3. It makes person greedy.
4. It motivates person to cheat and betray people.
5. It makes person competitive.
6. It makes person jealous.
7. It causes mental and physical exhaustion.
8. It makes person feel unsatisfied.
9. It makes person feel sad and depressed.