I’m on a little rant today about perfectionism. It’s my personal opinion that perfectionism is a disease. It not only affects the perfectionist, but it affects everyone they touch.
- Someone currently in my life is a perfectionist. She has extremely high expectations of herself, which is fine with me, but she also has the same expectations of others, including me. Her expectations give rise to micromanagement of everyone around her. When something doesn’t go exactly as as she expects she lashes out at everyone in her vicinity. If anyone doesn’t agree with her, she implies they are lacking because they don’t see the issue. I’m pretty laid back. I don’t take on other people’s issues, so she insinuates frequently that I just don’t understand. Well, I’m not taking on her opinions either. I see this as her problem and not mine. She can address it with her therapist.
- Two people in my past life (no longer a problem for me) were perfectionists. The problem is that they had no expectations of themselves. They wanted everyone else to be perfect. These two were so toxic. They screamed at others throughout each day and physically abused others.
- I have a friend who is a life coach. While getting her business started, she decided to hold a series of three group meetings of ladies from our church to demonstrate her services. There were about 15 women who attended the meetings. They spent the whole time whining and teary-eyed as they poured their hearts out about feeling like they always have to be perfect. Their house, kids, husbands, themselves all have to be perfect all the time or they feel judged. I couldn’t deal with this group. I didn’t identify with anything they were saying. There was a similar women’s Sunday school group.
- I was once helping a few ladies decorate a Christmas tree in a public place. While we were placing ornaments on the tree, one of the ladies kept talking about what a perfectionist she is – like this made her feel superior to others. She talked about how when decorating her tree at home, she would move everyone else’s ornaments to “better locations” so the tree would be perfect. I asked her if she would be moving my ornaments after I left. She said she would be moving them. I handed her my basket of ornaments and told her that since she would be relocating my ornaments anyway that she might as well just put them all on herself. I left and took another lady with me. I’m not going to waste my time doing things that are going to be unappreciated and re-done by a perfectionist who thinks she can do it better than I can.
I’m no doctor…oh wait, yes I am…but not of the medical variety, but the perfectionists are their own problem, not the world. They have unreasonable expectations, and they make others miserable.
This person who is currently in my life is only temporary, so it’s just a matter of temporarily keeping my thoughts on track and not allowing her to make my day bad.
It would be great if everyone had the ability to see themselves as they are seen by the world. It may not even matter though because sometimes they are deliberately mean to others and see themselves as being justified in their behavior.
Here are a few books. I like books.