Advantages and disadvantages of being too perfectionist

Are you a perfectionist? Be careful, do not get out of hand!

It is clear, we all have some interest in learning and improving in different areas or aspects of our life. For people with a marked feature of perfectionism, it is the pursuit of excellence that motivates them to improve. Being meticulous, restrained, persevering, responsible … are characteristics that can accompany the perfectionist tendencies of the human being, being able to get the best out of himself. However, frustration, anxiety, stubbornness and lack of effectiveness can be the worst enemies of this same behavior profile.

How to differentiate a “good” perfectionism from the one that is not? At what time is to perfectionist can be counterproductive to oneself? We analyze below the details that help us extract the best of this personality trait.

People with adaptive perfectionism– People who work through adaptive perfectionism, or good, have these characteristics:

  • They set themselves high and motivating objectives, assuming them as challenges, but these objectives are realistic and acceptable according to their conditions and achievable.
  • The person has a good expectation of self-efficacy, that is, he knows that he can and will achieve those goals, but accepting that they are not fully met or in the way in which he has planned.
  • In general, they are demanding people with themselves, but do not fear mistakes or mistakes, but accept them as part of life, so they do not give up easily in frustration.
  • They are people with extraordinary planning and organization, but with the capacity for flexibility enough to meet the setbacks or unpredictable aspects.
  • Performed perfectionists are able to enjoy and concentrate on their work, they do not focus exclusively on the final result, but are able to learn and attend to the steps required by the process.
  • Another advantage of adaptive perfectionism is that it makes us capable of understanding and enduring that there is a certain degree of uncontrollability in what happens in everyday life, so that we become more tolerant of uncertainty.
  • Adaptive perfectionism is accompanied by important self-reinforcement and good self-esteem. Thus, the person is able to assess their strengths, reward themselves for their achievements and take care of themselves.
  • The person with adaptive perfectionism able to enjoy a wide variety of activities and disconnect despite the inconveniences or small imperfections to which he is exposed every day at work, personal relationships …
  • People with maladaptive perfectionism
  • In the end, adaptive perfectionism is based on allowing yourself the freedom of not being perfect, and ultimately, of being human. It is clear that the profile we have described is highly desired and highly praised on a social, personal and professional level.

But … what happens when we exceed some limits in which the person begins to experience suffering? In this case, we would talk about a maladaptive perfectionism, with the following characteristics:

  • These people mark themselves too many goals that are not realistic when they are fulfilled.
  • They greatly emphasize being excessively orderly and controlling and often waste a lot of time in these aspects and in irrelevant details, disengaging themselves from what is really important.
  • A person with a maladaptive perfectionism cares a lot about mistakes, which he can’t bear to commit, and he fears the criticism of others too much.
  • He does not enjoy his work, he focuses only on the result and the reinforcement he will get from others. When he doesn’t get this, he suffers a lot.
  • He thinks that his work is never good enough and that it can always be done better, so he has the feeling that he never finishes his tasks or leaves them incomplete.
  • Emphasize everything that is wrong, instead of recognizing what is well done. This leads to more weakened self-esteem by neglecting their strengths and concentrating on weaknesses.
  • The excessive self-demand for perfectionism leads him to develop high levels of anxiety and suffering. It does not tolerate its own error and sometimes the other’s error either.
  • It is difficult to disconnect from the goals of perfection, sometimes you can enter a loop in which you can not stop thinking about how to continue improving, correcting errors or what remains to be done.
  • It does not tolerate the frustration of not being perfect, not doing everything right or not controlling it 100%.