A perfectionist demands the best from themselves and everyone else. With organized attention to detail, every undertaking, from balancing the checkbook to conversations with friends, receives analysis for mistakes made and possible improvements. While a perfectionist often eventually makes wise choices, fear of failure can result in paralysis.
Others may view a perfectionist as having a critical nature. In reality, a perfectionist wants to live without errors. He or she generally sees the world through a pessimistic lens. Perfectionists believe that problems need to be solved and flaws need to be fixed. In life, a perfectionist achieves greatness in his or her endeavors, often at the cost of sleep and free time as he or she strives to elevate each project to flawless execution. The perfectionist often does not enjoy the process of producing a project of excellence as a result of doing one’s best. He or she remains unsatisfied with any result that seems to fall short of his or her high standards.
Perfectionists in the business world may create flawless reports, impeccable financial records, and organized offices. They seek to be the best in their chosen careers and accept no less than perfection. Every detail receives a perfectionist’s full attention making them desirable employees in nearly every career. As a teammate, a perfectionist micromanages each team member’s proposal and contribution, which results in exceptional quality but can feel like criticism and lead to resentment among the team. The project will have no errors but may not be finished before the deadline due to numerous edits. Perfectionists often arrive early and stay late at the office in order to meet their high demands for excellence.
A perfectionist client demands results. He or she will check every detail and tell the business how to do their job. The contract, manuscript, or project must contain no mistakes. This type of client forces a business to work overtime for their client and can lead to strained professional relationship.
A perfectionist manager may second-guess him or herself thus prolonging the decision-making process. What appears to be indecisiveness is often a fear of making the wrong decision. A perfectionist desires all the details and plenty of time before making decisions. When a decision goes awry, the perfectionist will blame him or herself.
The flawless artwork from a perfectionist’s studio earns an artist lucrative financial rewards and glowing reviews. Whether the art is drawing, sculpting, dancing, or singing, a perfectionist works long hours reworking each piece until it passes his or her critical inspection.
No matter how impressive the art, the artist cannot accept the praise. He or she constantly sees the flaws and improvements to each piece. Especially for perfectionist children, art causes intense frustration when they cannot draw, dance, or throw a ball perfectly. An artist would prefer to starve rather than sell an inferior piece of art, and many cannot make a living because their art does not meet their standards of perfection. Being good at the art does not equal greatness, and a perfectionist requires nothing less than greatness. The voice in an artist’s head points out each flaw in the performance or drawing and leads many artists into depression when they consistently fall short of their self-imposed ideal. Relationships and physical health suffers as the artist pushes him or herself to greatness at the expense of healthy eating or friendships.
At work, a perfectionist requires every detail to line up perfectly with his or her standards. The time and energy expended in attaining perfection often result in social isolation. When a perfectionist does make time for relationship, they will plan a detailed itinerary. Flexibility and spontaneity cause stress and anxiety for a perfectionist who cannot enjoy an outing that deviates from the itinerary.
In relationships, a perfectionist analyzes every conversation for criticisms and often hears criticism when none was intended. After an argument, he or she will obsess for hours over every word and demean themselves for the words they wish they had said differently. This attitude frustrates the partner who often exhibits more casual and spontaneous attributes and cannot measure up to the perfectionists’ ambitions. Yet a relationship grows stronger and healthier as a couple faces their communication and personality challenges. The partner appreciates the extra effort and consideration of the perfectionist who seeks to draw them closer.
In family relationships, a perfectionist parent may project their own perfectionist desires onto their children by demanding perfect homework, regular sport or musical practice, and straight A’s. Their desire for their child’s success may cause the child to feel unaccepted and unloved when perfection is not achieved. A perfectionist’s standard causes other to feel inferior.
An obsession with self causes a perfectionist to follow every guru and test every self-improvement technique. As he or she strives to reach perfection, every flaw serves as a catalyst for improvement. A perfectionist often insists others also seek self-improvement to become perfect like them.
A perfectionist wants to make the right decision. When making a purchase, a perfectionist shops around for the best price and highest quality item and often cannot proceed with a purchase until it meets their demands. While this attitude saves money and ensures the quality of the product, the desires of others are often ignored; and the decision takes longer to make.
Depression accompanies a perfectionist when the goal cannot be achieved. One’s feelings of self-worth plummet as the goal of perfection eludes him or her. A perfectionist feels overwhelmed when he or she sees their mistakes and feels hopeless to change. A mental attitude of doom clouds a perfectionist’s viewpoint and judgment of themselves, and they may isolate themselves because they feel unworthy of friendship or affection. Eating disorders result from an obsession with the perfect body.
In conclusion, perfectionists benefit society with their organizational skills, attention to detail, and insistence on quality. High achievers and excellent artists and sports stars receive personal and social rewards from their hard work and dedication. The personal costs of perfectionism include loss of relationships, depression, lack of sleep, and constant feeling of failure. A perfectionist acts as his or her own worst critic and internally hears replays of each fault and mistake. A perfectionist can learn to accept themselves as human, with flaws, and enjoy the character traits that make them successful in every endeavor they pursue.
This article was written by Philip Russell. By day, he works for inetzeal.com and helps to provide white label and inexpensive link building services. He enjoys writing helpful articles about SEO and business in his spare time.