Why Being A Perfectionist Is Nothing To Brag About

Perfectionism is not only the fear of making any mistakes. It’s about control. And the more people feel stormy inside, the more they try to control what’s going outside themselves.

People usually brag about being perfectionists. It’s their way of telling others that they like things done in a certain way, that they won’t stop working until everything is perfect. Ok, they admit that they may become bossy or aggressive in the process, but how else are they supposed to get people to do their jobs?

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Actually, what they really-really want is to have control. Not only over what happens to them, but also over what happens to those around them. They want control over their world. And this kind of attitude is spreading.

According to a new study published in Psychological Bulletin, young people today are more demanding of others and of themselves than previous generations. They also think that their parents are more demanding of them.

What’s wrong with that? you may ask. Well, psychological studies show that perfectionism can have a negative impact on our well-being.  Perfectionists usually suffer from depression, chronic anxiety, and many others health problems.

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And when it comes to perfectionism directed towards others, the results are not better: relationships become more conflictual. People become more defensive and less inclined to collaborate.

But maybe the most important reason why our attempts to always be in control are damaging is that they never accomplish anything worth the effort. Uncertainty is an essential part of life and our sanity depends on our ability to tolerate it.

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That’s not to say that we should abandon any plans for the future since they are not certain. It’s to accept the imperfections in ourselves and in others, to accept that we cannot control every aspect of our lives and that’s a good thing. If we could control everything, we will become bored pretty soon. The uncertainty of our lives can be frustrating, but it’s also what makes being alive an adventure.

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