There has been a reoccuring statement since I have been subject to therapy and head shrinking and doctoring in relation to my falling to pieces last year and that is that each of these professionals of behavior re-modification/ psychotherapy/ life coaching/ crisis intervening, etc have ALL said to me, “Christine, you cannot be so hard on yourself. No one is perfect.”
Well, yeah. I know that! I don’t think I am perfect. I KNOW I am no where close to perfect. I don’t understand why they each have used this nearly identical phrase with me because none of my goals have ever included being “perfect”. These professionals have dissagreed on some other diagnoses such as whether or not I have OCD, my first Doctor put me on a mood stabilizer for those who are Bipolar (I have NEVER had a manic episode and sometimes wish I had been able to expereince a mild one…I could have used a day of feeling grandiose occasionally)! And my latest therapist spent an hour debating with me on my need for anti-depressants and whether or not I was even depressed because I do not “fit the mold” but rather suffer from extreme anxiety. But he also mentioned perfectionism. I didn’t agree. At all.
Until I read an article called “14 Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out Of Control” On Huffington Post (Carolyn Gregoire)
Out of curiosity, I read it. The opening statement: “If you’ve ever cried about getting a B, or ending up in second place, there’s a good chance you’re a perfectionist.” I don’t cry, ever, but I certainly didn’t get B’s. Not in college at least. I never cracked a book in high school but didn’t do so badly in school then either. As for second place, it depended on what the competition was. I run, but I do not run fast so I don’t even come in middle place there. So… So far this didn’t really sound like me, exactly.
Then the 14 signs:
(1) Always been eager to please (yes, true)
(2) Your drive hurts you, but you consider it the price you pay for success (no pain, no gain, right?)
(3) You’re a big procrastinator (yeah but, this is why I am NOT a perfectionist!) – turns out fear of failure leads to putting off tasks. Hmmmm….
(4) Highly critical of others (definitely, but not as critical as I am of myself. And I never voice my critisism of anyone else.)
(5) Go big or go home (Heck yes!)
(6) Hard time opening up to other people (I am NO complainer/ whiney butt!!)
(7) Obsess over little mistakes (I wouldn’t say I obsess, but I shouldn’t be making them at my age/ stage in my profession/ level of education/ etc.)
(8) You take everything personally (How else should I take them? Ownership, people!)
(9) you get really defensive when criticized (I do not!! As a matter of fact, I listen when someone gives me a ….. oh, well maybe I am.)
(10) You’re never quite “there yet” (always room for improvement. ALWAYS!)
(11) ‘Average’ isn’t good enough (that does seem like a slam to me…average is not good enough)
(12) YOu take pleasure in someone else’s failure (ouch – I don’t want to feel like this is true about myself. But if standards are so high that no one can attain them either, it makes me feel better if I wasn’t able to. UGH.)
(13) You get nostalgic for your school days (I DO. I was great in school. Everything was quantifiable. There were syllabuses outlining expectations, and I mostly enjoyed learning.)
(14) You have a guilty soul (That is true. I always feel at fault. Like I could have done better and somehow slacked off. I am usually ashamed of what I produce. I think of things I could have done better, ways I could have gone above and beyond. I can’t congratulate myself for reaching a goal or milestone because I never feel as if I did it my best or the right way. )
Okay so maybe I do have this issue. I can understand why I am not a big fan of myself. I could NEVER treat my children this way. My parents never had these kind of expectations for me. So now I understand what they all have been telling me.
I will try to do better the next time….