What is Perfectionism?

Making mistakes and learning from them is an important part of being an adult. Perfectionists avoid making mistakes. They do not believe they have the right to make mistakes. They have high standards of expectations for themselves. In fact, perfectionism is beyond having high standards, it is setting unrealistic standards. A perfectionist person has clear rules on many issues such as what should happen when, in what way, how to stop, how to behave, and cannot show yawning. There is an all or nothing way of thinking. The black and white perspective is typical for perfectionists. However, life consists mostly of shades of gray. When we unrealistically insist on white and create an expectation of a very high standard, the difficulty of achieving it grows day by day, and we begin not to start at all, to postpone it. So trying to make it perfect keeps us from the average, even from the good. Because we can’t start or continue at all. If I’m not doing it perfectly, we can drop everything so that I don’t do it at all. In the process, procrastination, not being able to continue, and not taking responsibility may occur frequently.

In fact, the person tries to get rid of the feeling of inadequacy lying on the ground by chasing the idea that I can be perfect and faultless. Working hard or setting high, unrealistic goals comes with having a constantly criticizing inner voice. This cruel inner voice leads to burnout, aggravated feelings of inadequacy, depression, performance anxiety, sleep problems, intolerance and many other psychiatric diseases. Perfectionists may show a more intense emotional reaction to failure than others and experience intense feelings of guilt and shame.

While the perfectionist person tries to make the people around him adapt to this, while he ruthlessly goes over himself and puts himself in trouble so that everything is perfect. They may want to be controlling over them, and this creates a situation that puts relationships in trouble.

Although the perfectionist personality can carry hereditary characteristics, it can also be a reflection of growing up with very high standards, critical and disliked parents.

In psychotherapies, there are ways of treatment such as the underlying feeling of worthlessness and working with thinking errors related to the situation. In addition, if there are accompanying depression and other psychiatric conditions, it is necessary to treat them.

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