Are you one of the individuals who always prefer that everything in their life goes as planned? Or are you more of those who get carried away by improvisation? While it is true that it is preferable to have an action plan to carry out and develop our goals in life, holding on to everything going well can make us rigid and distant people, who do not enjoy their life in the least but prefer maintain a facade of eternal perfection before others.
But is someone’s life that perfect and pristine? No, this could not be further from the reality that perfectionist people live constantly worrying about their future; they do not realize that their presence is deteriorating. Their obsession with perfection is so intense that even when achieving success or a long-awaited goal, they are not interested in celebrating it, because they analyze the most insignificant mistake, criticize the steps they took, or are already planning their next move to reach even higher.
We emphasize here that we do not want to imply that the one you are thinking about your next step or want to continue improving in your life is something negative, but that you allow yourself to enjoy the whole process, those around you, and the lessons that failures can give you. Also, read Why Social Media Create Isolation?
With all this, we only have to ask ourselves: do you consider yourself a perfectionist? If you want to find out, then keep reading this article because we will talk about the perfectionist personality traits. Also, you will come to know what types of perfectionist you are?
What is Perfectionist Personality?
Perfectionists, perfectionism, or ‘perfectionist syndrome’ is a distorted personality type, are characterized by having the firm belief that everything in their life must be done with extraordinary success, from common household habits to professional success. This implies an in-depth analysis of the options at hand to choose the most feasible to execute, and that entails the fewest possible mistakes. They seek intensively the way that even this possibility is reduced to none.
Since a single error causes significant emotional distress, and they tend to abandon something, they consider a waste of time or obsess over a goal until it is perfectly accomplished. This shows that they are actually people with great insecurity in their abilities and are looking for ways to constantly prove themselves, regardless of their own mental, physical or emotional stability.
The Paradox of Perfection In Real Life
Everything around us demands perfection, such as studies, maintenance of our health, development of a skill, our professions, love life, etc., since doing everything perfectly is a sample of how capable we are, so it is even a sign to admire. But… how much are we willing to sacrifice to achieve perfection? Does this mean having to put aside the enjoyment of our own lives just to get things done without a gram of error?
The obsession with perfection can have severe consequences on our health, as it results in a constant low state of mind, due to worries, stress, and anxiety about the decisions we make or the results we want to seek. Also, the search for moments of relaxation is reduced, which reduces the rest necessary for the body, and we even develop sleep disorders.
It also brings problems in the interpersonal and intimate sphere by not spending enough time in relationships, so it is not strange to see perfectionists always walking alone on their way to a success that is never enough.
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Perfectionist personality traits
Knowing all the implications that this personality brings, it is time for you to know the traits that define it.
1. Excessively Methodical
This is the most outstanding characteristic of the perfectionist personality since, in their permanent search to achieve nothing less than perfection, they obsess over the smallest details. So they are excessively rigid with their attitude and with the plans they draw to achieve something, even in everyday tasks, to avoid that there is any margin of error and they do not conform until they follow this pattern to the letter.
2. Need For Control And Order
Because they are very methodical in the way they perform in any area of their life, they have a permanent need to be in control of their actions as well as an ideal organization for them to take place. It is no wonder that perfectionists are inclined to do everything on their own, without requiring anyone’s help or teamwork, unless they can have the baton and everyone follows their rules exactly as they do.
3. No Margin For Error
For perfectionists, an error is synonymous with failure, regardless of its magnitude, the real impact it has on an issue, bringing a new opportunity, or helping you improve with your lesson. It may be a mistake that they have to fix, but having to stray from their original plan as well as getting stuck in a momentary obstacle brings a great deal of stress and emotional upset to them.
Even these can lead to other more negative behaviors such as panic attacks, procrastination tendencies, or depression.
4. All OR Nothing
Speaking of the procrastination tendency, perfectionists seldom manage to complete a task completely, since to reach any goal, they must go through inevitable obstacles, and as this causes them frustration, they prefer to put aside a task that they believe useless or the increasingly delayed for fear of failure. There is also the opposite extreme, where they can become so obsessed with achieving the established goal that, no matter how much it costs them or how long it takes, they must achieve it.
5. They Reject The Opinions of Others
They are extremely selfish and stubborn people, so it is normal to see them always working on their own since they only trust themselves and their vision to achieve the proposed objective. This tends to bring problems with colleagues who want to participate in a task, give their opinion, or stand out in said shared project, since the perfectionist person will reject his opinion and even more so his collaborative attempt.
6. False Liking
Perfectionism is not just limited to a person’s abilities or performance at a professional level but also involves maintaining an ideal personal image. So they strive to have a neat, formal, and attractive appearance in the eyes of others around them so that they can earn your trust and be led by it.
This also involves behaviors of false liking where the perfectionist person pretends to feel comfortable in a place, to be liked by someone, or to manifest a momentary companionship, as long as that benefits their aspect of a perfect person in every way.
7. Results Count
They are always absorbed and worried about the result they will obtain in their performance, so it does not bother them to invest an excessive amount of time, energy, and resources if that leads to achieving a favorable and excellent effect. This is why they do not enjoy the creative and creative process of something at all but are always eager to get to the end.
8. Goodbye to Leisure
And since they prefer to spend all their time involved in a task until it is perfect, they do not have time for their own enjoyment or with their social circle, and they may even hate it because they see it as an unnecessary distraction for their success or that can harm their perfect image.
Also, they do not see the need to take a break since this is unproductive with their performance, it is ‘lost’ time that they may be investing in some improvement or that interrupts with their elaborated plans. When they take some kind of rest, it is also planned, including the exact hours of sleep that they will maintain.
9. Pessimistic Trends
Pessimistic tendencies are very common among perfectionist people since they are always waiting for something bad to happen; they criticize everything constantly and maintain very high demands on themselves. This does not allow them to enjoy or celebrate any kind of triumph, and they are always visualizing the mistakes they have made and that at any time, they can fail (which is their greatest fear).
10. Lack of Detachment
The perfectionists can be related to the stingy and compulsive people since they have problems to detach themselves from the objects which do not have any special value for them. They believe that it is still functional in some way, they keep it, this behavior also leads them to try to avoid giving up doing something, even if they have no idea how to do it.
11. Intense Fear of Failure
All of these feelings of insecurity, pessimistic thoughts, constant stress and worry, and devaluation self-criticism are for one reason: intense fear of failure. This is because failure is the strongest proof that they are not perfect, and that is not acceptable under any circumstances because if they cannot be perfect, then “can they be of any use”?
12. Negative Self-Evaluations
Many people believe that other individuals (who are perfectionists in their sight) are questioning and punishing the people around them all the time. They actually spend all their time cruelly criticizing themselves. Having negative thoughts about their abilities, questioning their decisions, and carefully evaluating each step they take.
13. Own Merits
This negative self-evaluation does not, of course, prevent them from seeking to have their own merit in their projects, and that is why they prefer to do everything in their own way and on their own since they believe that it is the only ideal way to do it. That is why you will never see a perfectionist ask for help from colleagues to carry out a job (if they need it) or prefer teamwork.
14. High Level of Competitiveness
On the contrary, instead of asking for help from their (perfectionist) colleagues or their classmate, they see them (colleagues or classmate) as enemies that they (perfectionist) must defeat in order to reach their goal, so a perfectionist dedicates himself more to demonstrating his value and standing out above others, especially in demonstrating that his ideas they are the ones that bring the perfect results.
15. Moral Inflexibility
As we mentioned earlier, perfection is not limited to performance, nor to appearance, but also to your personal beliefs and values. For that reason, you may easily fall out of place or dislike a person who does not follow the same acceptable moral or social standards.
Bonus! It is Never Enough
The goals that perfectionist people set themselves never end, this means that if they manage to reach the top, they will find some way to continue growing even by force, even if they have no apparent problem. Paradoxically, reaching your goal can become a kind of stagnation, and so you try to visualize: what can I do to improve and continue its perfection?