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Author Topic: how to know you are a perfectionist?  (Read 1027 times)
cwjalex
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« on: February 28, 2015, 03:05:38 PM »

so basically what i want to know is what the difference between being a perfectionist and just having high standards.  my psychiatrist is having me read all this material on perfectionism and i just don't feel that it applies to me.  i just think i have high standards.  i keep hearing that a big part of perfectionism is this "fear of failure" thing but that is a very foreign idea to me.  i'm not afraid of failing i just procrastinate and much prefer doing nothing than doing work. 
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Bob
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 05:05:36 PM »

I think it's the point where start shifting the balance of your life towards perfectionism.  That would make it more individual, a balance of life issue.  If everyone else thinks it's causing issues in your life or if it's causing you a lot of stress, then someone might call it perfectionism.  -ism being bad I guess.  If everything's fine, then it doesn't matter, even if it's the exact same standard that was stressing out the first person.

To throw the idea out... If you know enough, you can justify anything.  Argue with that shrink?  Well, that proves he's right because you're showing you're in denial. 

I suppose you could call what adults *don't* or won't do fear of failure, but not really perfectionism.  They won't touch a piano because they don't want to sound bad.  They fail in their own eyes.  So they never attempt it in the first place. 

I could see fear of failure contributing to procrastination though.  That would make sense.  It's hard to motivate yourself on a project if you don't think you'll finish it the way you want.  And then yes, why bother?  I've heard that before for myself, but in that case I decided to focus on one element or one piece of the larger project instead of the whole thing.  It was my teacher telling me it was "fear of failure."  I just wanted to work on the piece, but knew the whole thing wasn't going to happen.
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cwjalex
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 05:30:29 PM »

it's not really causing any problems in my life though.  the reasons for my procrastination has nothing to do with my high standards.  i procrastinate for the same reason i did drugs...cause it feels good.  play > work and i'm all about instant gratification.  there doesn't always need to be a deep and profound reason for things.  sometimes the explanation is simple.  

i don't see how arguing with my therapist proves him right. being in denial = perfectionist? what if he is just mistaken?  i'm pretty receptive to criticism (which isn't supposed to be a perfectionist trait) and im opposing this because i can't identify with the dozens of pages of reading i have been given on it.  
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outin
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 12:57:30 PM »

I am a perfectionist of the worst kind. It means I can work endlessly on small details to get something perfectly right and have a hard time accepting sloppy work from others too when if affects my own. It's a negative thing when time is of higher value than quality of work or if you work with people who are less skilled or less committed. Which often is the case.

I guess perfectionism could also affect one's willingness to actually do the work, when one knows in advance that time will be limited and one has to accept a lower standard. But I don't procrastinate because of that, I only do when I am not interested in the task, find it boring or have something more enjoyable to do. If not I will just roll my sleeves and start to work...the problem is that when I start assessing the result I am extremely critical and don't know when to stop. Smiley

But it seems some psychologist want to link perfectionism with problems that to me seem to be caused more by low self confidence.

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Wait...no Scarlatti? Must add something soon...
cwjalex
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 04:06:49 PM »

But it seems some psychologist want to link perfectionism with problems that to me seem to be caused more by low self confidence.

for me low self confidence is not an issue.  i have astronomically high self confidence. my shrink wants to connect my procrastination with perfectionism but the problem is i don't feel that i am a perfectionist and i don't feel there is a complicated reason why i procrastinate.  i have the addict's mentality of instant gratification which is really the reason i procrastinate.  having fun now is much more pleasurable than doing work.

i think i should just find a new therapist, he's not really that good.  he loves to hear himself talk and sometimes i play a game with myself and see how long i can get him to talk about himself.  my record is 35 minutes which is a lot considering we have 50 minute sessions. he also has an air of condescension, he's one of those people that closes his eyes when he thinks hes saying something profound. 
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Bob
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 06:13:00 PM »

Yes, why pay the shrink if you already have it figured out? 

Fatigue is always a big reason for me not to do something.  It makes sense that the mind/body (and emotions for stress) would want conserve instead of go-go-go all the time.

Plus, I would imagine if he wants to get paid, there's an incentive to keep finding and treating problems.

Haha.  Just go back the next week, "Thanks doc!  You cured me.  I'm much happier now.  I just lowered my expectations.  I do lots of crappy work now." Smiley
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cwjalex
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 06:41:06 PM »

Yes, why pay the shrink if you already have it figured out? 

i don't, my insurance company does.  the only reason i see him is to please other people in my life.  they seem to think i'm trying harder when i'm seeing a therapist.  i've seen a dozen different ones and haven't had too much success.
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j_menz
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 10:43:04 PM »

If you actually were a perfectionist, you'd capitalise.  Roll Eyes
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cwjalex
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 01:59:24 AM »

If you actually were a perfectionist, you'd capitalise.  Roll Eyes

exactly.  i'm all about imperfection.
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outin
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 05:15:33 AM »

If you actually were a perfectionist, you'd capitalise.  Roll Eyes

So how about you? Are you a perfectionist or does it just come naturally?  Wink
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Wait...no Scarlatti? Must add something soon...
j_menz
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 05:24:33 AM »

So how about you? Are you a perfectionist or does it just come naturally?  Wink

Not a perfectionist, just ferpect.  Grin
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"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant
fftransform
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 12:20:51 AM »

Most perfectionists know where the shift key is.
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j_menz
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2015, 01:41:11 AM »

Most perfectionists know where the shift key is.

They also rarely repeat jokes made 4 posts previously.  Roll Eyes
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"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant
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