Perfectionist Personality: The Downsides Of Perfectionism

The downsides of taking this trait to the extreme.

The perfectionism refers to the belief that an individual has to be attained perfection in everything you do. 

Are you a perfectionist?

Being a perfectionist might seem like it is going to help us achieve more and be more successful, but excess perfectionism can cause negative consequences, for example: living more tense, being more distressed, not enjoying achievements and even a feeling of failure despite doing things well.

Causes of perfectionism

Perfectionism is also known as “Perfectionist Syndrome”, or “Ananchastic Personality Disorder”, and its causes can be varied. Some experts claim that there is a genetic predisposition to be a perfectionist, but regardless of an individual’s genetic history, the human environment influences the personality from birth. The environmental causes that can cause the development of a perfectionist personality are the following:

  • Growing up in an environment where you constantly receive praise can cause extra pressure to maintain that standard. Receiving praise is not bad, the problem arises when self-esteem depends only on external factors, such as constant praise.
  • Being constantly humiliated during childhood can cause you to try to achieve a degree of perfection as a way of being socially accepted. 
  • Authoritarian parents who demand a lot from their children can also provoke a perfectionist personality in their offspring.
  • Some type of negative experience or trauma can cause the person to be marked, so that they become a perfectionist to be accepted or to fill their emptiness.
  • Growing up in a home with very successful parents or siblings can cause individuals to seek to live up to what is required of them as family members.
  • Children of perfectionist parents can develop a perfectionist personality because it is what they have learned at home.
  • Someone with low self-esteem may work incessantly to compensate for feelings of inferiority.
  • Poor tolerance for failure can cause someone to overcompensate for their fear of failure.
  • The highly competitive society we live in can cause people to obsess over perfection in order to achieve good results and stand out from the crowd.

Negative consequences of being a perfectionist

The perfectionist sets irrational goals that can create constant tension and cause eternal dissatisfaction with everything he does. This can cause the perfectionist individual to end up suffering in their day to day, but how does it affect them? Here are the negative consequences of being too much of a perfectionist:

1. Low self-esteem

Since perfectionists are never satisfied with achievements, feelings of failure can lead to the development of low self-esteem. Failure beliefs about their successes are unrealistic: when a person suffers from a perfectionist disorder, they can perform tasks with a high degree of excellence, but their irrational perception makes them believe that their work has not been up to par despite the praise of others.

2. Guilt

Since the perfectionist person never feels good about what he does, he thinks that he has never achieved his goals. Therefore, self- recrimination and guilt are common for thinking that you have not met your expectations.

3. Pessimism

Since the perfectionist sets very high goals and does not recognize his own achievements, his vision of goals is pessimistic. This forces him to fight incessantly to achieve the goals, but he does not enjoy the moment, because his level of demand causes him excessive tension.

4. Depression

The perfectionist always needs to be perfect, but that is impossible to achieve in all situations. The depression may be the cause of perfectionism sometimes, but the negative consequences of perfectionism can also depress the person suffering prefeccionismo.

5. Rigidity

Wanting to make everything perfect perfect leads the perfectionist to be a rigid person, not spontaneous and inflexible.

6. Obsession

Perfectionists are obsessive and want to always have everything under control. The perfectionist has many difficulties to enjoy the day to day, because he is always obsessed with perfection.

7. Loss of self-confidence

Since in the end the perfectionist person thinks that he never manages to achieve his goals, his perception of self – efficacy is affected. 

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