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Home My family hates my perfectionism, but I cannot help it! How can I use perfectionism to benefit me and others around me?

My family hates my perfectionism, but I cannot help it! How can I use perfectionism to benefit me and others around me?


How do you know if  you have worked with a perfectionist? 

Perfectionists work with very high standards for themselves and/or for the people they work with. They might be highly critical and tend to find errors in their work or of other’s. There is very little reason to celebrate accomplishments since perfectionists find fault in a project and it might look like a failure to them. At times, they may feel that society is placing very high standards to meet.

Sounds very stressful? 

This is why many people find it anxiety-producing to be around or dealing with people with perfectionistic tendencies. 

Perfectionism, the good and the bad. 

Perfectionism becomes harmful to the individual and others around them when the behaviors arising from having very high standards become unhealthy, and produce the contrary effect. It can actually decrease the quality of performance due to fear of performance,  fear of failure, and low self-worth. Other expressions of perfectionism are: 

  • Avoiding challenges
  • A black and white approach to things
  • Comparison that becomes toxic
  • Hindered creativity
  • May coexist with other mental health struggles like anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. 

On the other hand, the characteristic of perfectionism is necessary in athletic competitions, that is why most athletes have this trait. When used well, it can be a tool for achievement and growth. 

How to use perfectionism for sustainable success and mental wellbeing

  • Reconstruct thinking. Practice thinking realistically. 

When you start viewing mistakes as failures, adapt by changing “failures” to opportunities to learn and grow. 

Toxic comparison also becomes a huge mental burden, so let go of this mindset and in its place, employ the mindset of “giving your best in the moment” with the resources, and wisdom you and your team have at that particular moment. It goes with the openness to change and flexibility. 

  • Create attainable goals and expectations and be more self-compassionate. 

Healthy perfectionism also strives for excellence, creating challenging goals,  following high working standards and giving our best effort. However, the mindset is that of enjoying the process, the growth and the problem-solving challenge. 

Research has shown that perfectionists are judgemental of themselves or of others, and are very sensitive to negative feedback. In addition, they share characteristics such as having high standards for physical fitness, having high dissatisfaction about their bodies, and having a tendency to potentially harmful actions such as eating a restrictive diet, cosmetic surgery, engaging in excessive exercise, especially when they feel that their expectations are not met. 

Nurturing a more compassionate and accepting view of yourself might be beneficial when certain goals are not completely met. Ask yourself, “how can I show myself more kindness and empathy? 

When you are kinder to yourself, and you practice thinking realistically, you will be able to use perfectionism as a tool to motivate yourself and others, and to overcome challenges. It can be your track to more sustainable joy, both in your relationship with yourself and others. 

Check out the most in-demand healthcare and mental health professional careers across the US and connect with the most suitable job opportunity in the healthcare industry! 

My family hates my perfectionism, but I cannot help it! How can I use perfectionism to benefit me and others around me?
Brandon Resasco