“Perfectionism” – A Trait or Humbug?

Perfectionism has its own positives and negatives that can increase the chance of success and lead to self-defeating consequences. Read here for more info!

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Perfectionism is mostly seen as a positive trait that increases the chances of success but do you know that it can even lead towards self-defeating thoughts or behavior that makes it harder to achieve what we desire. It may also cause stress, depression, anxiety and also other mental health issues.

Perfectionism here can be perfectly defined as a composition of excess high personal standards and critical self-evaluations.

Basically there are three different flavors of The Perfectionism Disorder –

Perfectionism exists in every single person but has a different flavors -

Expecting yourself to be “Perfectionist”:

This does not mean that you work hard and perform better, it means a lot of unnecessary anxiety and worry.

“Perfectionism” – A Trait or Humbug?

What Is Perfectionism Disorder?

People with perfectionism set almost impossibly high standards for themselves. They never get satisfied with what they do.

Though most people mistakenly take perfectionism as a healthy motivator, the case is actually the opposite. Perfectionism constantly keeps you unhappy with your life. It can cause depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and in the worst cases self-harm too. Eventually, you become an unhappy soul who stops trying to succeed. Even little things that are not up to your standards can affect your quality of life, can make you lose your personal relationships, and can suffer distract you from your education, or work.

Perfectionism is not related to age; it affects young and old equally. Children who are perfectionists are the overachievers who always aspire to excel in their schoolwork as well as all the other co-curricular activities such as sports, clubs, community service, and jobs. They get so obsessed with the success that handling even the little failures becomes extremely difficult for them. Ultimately, perfectionism starts to interfere with their ability to achieve success.

Expecting from others to be “Perfect”:

This can impact negatively your relationships who want to be around someone who is demanding and unhappy with you all the time.

Thinking other people expect you to be “Perfect”:

It is a flavor in which people continuously believe that others will like us only if we are perfect with what we do.

There are many reasons, why people always run behind perfectionism and end up putting lots of efforts and pressurize themselves just to get the output of being called “The Perfectionist” some of the reasons are –

 The greatest fear of disapproval from others. Constantly thinking about what others will say and feel about us?

 Having mental issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder commonly known as OCD which is characterized by unreasonable obsession, thoughts, and fear.

 Somewhere having parents who always exhibit and support the perfectionist behavior and express disapproval when the children do not result in their output into perfection.

 People with the baggage of a long history of great achievements, many a time carry a pressure along with them of being the “Perfectionist” forever.

 Societal pressures of comparing, and somehow perfectionist always are concerned about what others think of you.

The best example we can take to define perfectionism in terms of societal pressures is the Actresses. Nowadays they carry such pressure of always looking perfect. If sometimes they want to be on their own looking “Not so Glamorous” or “No make-up looks”, people suddenly troll them for their looks, their outfits, their shape and so on. This results in depression for many of them which are just because of the pressure which they carry always with them for being called “Perfectionism”.

Where does perfectionism come from?

The Belief:

Many people believe and treat perfectionism as a way to gain acceptance, praise, and love.

The media impact:

When our surrounding is only filled with acceptance, praise, and promotions for perfectionism. It is sowed in a child’s mind from childhood itself, that perfect is right and imperfect is a sin.

Even when it comes to Social media or Advertisements contents, perfectionism is the main part that is always promoted. Nobody ever saw a brand ambassador is slightly imperfect.

The Encouragement:

It is followed by decades that encouragement is given to only those who succeed, those who tend to be “Perfect”. But when it comes to a failure we find very few who will motivate and encourage them to try again or help them to come out of trauma and believe in them again.


The root cause of perfectionism is believing that your self-worth is based on your achievements only. A+ grade means the kid is brilliant C Grade means dumb. This is what we have been told from birth. But very few look at the other side that may be in studies he is C but in sports or other activities, he is A++.

How perfectionism hurts relationships?

Perfectionism is a boon and a bane, both at the same time. But, is it right to set your standards too high? Having a sense of wanting to excel and be the best and perfect at everything is definitely good practice, but it becomes a problem when you become too judgemental or get into competition and comparisons. In relationships, perfectionism can often lead to petty fights. Perfectionists like to plan in advance and pay attention to details, therefore they hate unnecessary delays and conflict can arise and the whole relationship can be jeopardized.

Why Perfectionism is bad?

 Perfectionism is increasing with time. When researchers compared the rates of perfectionism among undergraduate students in the US, Canada, and the UK and analyzed from 1989 to 2016, the results were shocking. They found that perfectionism affected today’s college students on a higher level were more likely than cohorts from previous generations.

Not just perfectionism, but more and more people are facing “multidimensional perfectionism. That means, that people nowadays feel pressured to meet increasingly high standards across a metrics range that is becoming wider day by day. This has been linked with the increase in cases of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders among people in their teens and twenties. Perfectionism is making people sicker and sadder.

Changing the perception of seeing the perfection in the imperfect is an art, which very few understand.

Perfection is not about being “The Perfect”. It’s about feeling “Perfect”

Mental Health

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