Thin women, muscular men, successful people… Just stop for a second and look around. You will see many people who are constantly trying to be beautiful, to be even more successful and who cannot realize the beauty of the “now” while chasing perfection. Of course, the development of technology has a very important effect on the emergence of this situation. The programs we use (instagram, facebook, etc.) have now become an indicator to prove that individuals are perfect mothers, perfect bodies, and perfect people. The perfect love of handsome men and beautiful women in the movies we watched on TV and in the cinema started to attract us. As their lives, appearances, and deeds were inflated, the standards were beyond our reach. But real life is not like that! It contains many imperfections hidden in lives, persons and bodies that are shown to us as perfect. Because one of the building blocks of living and being human is our flaws.
Being perfect despite our imperfections is such an immense goal that once you want to reach it, the better of everything you do will come your way. When you reach each goal, you will think about the next goal, and you will not even experience the happiness of success. Unless they are perfect, disappointments will arise, and disappointments will bring many mental disorders. So what is perfectionism that is so important in the field of mental health?
perfectionism, It is a situation that goes on with the person setting high standards in many aspects of his life, taking actions (even at the level of thought) that will harm himself, his relationships and his environment in anxiety in order to reach these standards, and constantly criticizing himself. Perfectionists have no tolerance for error. They exaggerate their failures while minimizing their success. However, according to my experience, although perfectionism is seen as a clinically harmful condition, it is a structure that is socially supported by people and whose harmful effects are not noticed. Because in addition to the harms of being a perfectionist, sometimes it can also have benefits for the person and his environment. For example, a perfectionist employee may be seen as very helpful to a manager. A person who is constantly chasing perfection can achieve continuous success (but does not feel successful in his inner world) because he will not have a tolerance for mistakes. As his successes are appreciated by his environment, the person tries to be even more perfect and cannot see the harms of it. He tries to cope with a lot of troubles in this vicious circle. Disorders such as anxiety, depression, anorexia nervosa are related to perfectionism. Often, spending too much energy in business life, creating unrealistic expectations by focusing on success/failure and striving for them leads to feelings of burnout over time. In addition to the psychological effects, fibromyalgia, migraine, gastrointestinal problems are physiological disorders seen together with perfectionism.
Characteristics of Perfectionists
These people have some perceptual distortions about their work and its consequences. For example, he sees himself as an unsuccessful person despite being seen as a successful person by everyone.
They have very high standards for self-expectations. For example, he tries to put in more effort than the boss expects and not to make mistakes for the work given by the boss. Because of his effort not to make mistakes, he can’t get things done on time, which causes him to worry even more.
They are not satisfied with their work. When they make mistakes, they criticize themselves and feel worthless.
People do not experience these features in a certain period of time, they make them a part of their lives.
Working with Perfectionism
If you think that you have a mild problem with perfectionism while reading this article, we can talk about a few suggestions that you can implement on your own:
List the positive and negative aspects of perfectionism and the high standards you set for yourself. For example, it causes you to disrupt work, you feel guilty, you seem successful by your environment.
To examine whether these standards are a realistic goal for you. What are your sources against these standards? What do you need to achieve these? Are the resources available for your needs sufficient? What obstacles will you face in trying to meet these standards, and do you have the resources to overcome them?
Trying to soften the unrealistic aspects of these standards by arranging them. Taking care to set more realistic goals (if you find it difficult to do these items on your own, you can seek help from someone you trust and think can remain objective). Listing the advantages of making the change like this
Making change is not an easy process. That’s why, starting with small changes and moving towards big changes as you succeed.
Accepting that this is normal as obstacles, emotions, mistakes arise in the face of change. Trying to be more forgiving towards flaws and mistakes. Even forcing yourself to make mistakes from time to time.
If you follow the suggestions above and no change occurs, it’s time to work with an expert..
Perfectionism is not a problem on its own, but rather a trigger for many mental and physical diseases. After obtaining a lot of information such as the person’s life, family relationships, the culture he grew up with, the problems he brought, and his life history, it is decided whether there is perfectionism as a result of observation and evaluation. First of all, the person’s perceptual distortions are discovered, such as “I will not be loved if I am not perfect”, “I will fail if I make a mistake”, “I must do the best”. required. If this situation consists of family relationships (such as a perfectionist caregiver), unmet emotional experiences, and traumatic experiences in childhood, the existence of schemas such as high standards schema that includes perfectionism and the ways of coping with them are determined. As these emotional and cognitive connections are established, the harms of perfectionism and the advantages and disadvantages of changing it are emphasized. When the client is ready for change, cognitive distortions and schema-oriented behavior-thoughts are replaced by more functional behaviors-thoughts. While working for these changes, many techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and Schema Therapy are used.