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The perfectionist syndrome: how to detect and correct it

He perfectionism It is a personality trait that is related to the belief that perfection can and should be achieved, without making mistakes, and that decisions should be made that do not entail any type of mistake or loss. A characteristic that is also usually related more to women, who also tend to suffer more from impostor syndrome.

Some people consider being a perfectionist a positive thing, however, this trait should not be confused with ambition. the excellence. When you seek excellence you know your limits and accept them, always trying to give your best, but assuming that you can make mistakes. While excellence does not allow failures and often generates dissatisfaction, since the perfectionist person tries to achieve unattainable goals.

Many times, it is generated as a consequence of a low self-esteem or fear of rejectionalso know as Wendy syndrome. Likewise, perfectionist people can experience high levels of anxiety when they do not have the guarantee that things will turn out as expected and a lot of emotional discomfort in their daily lives. This discomfort can even cause physical consequences, due to somatization, a problem suffered by 28% of women.

On the other hand, perfectionism is not something that only the person who suffers from suffers from. He often transfers these impossible standards and goals to the people around him (family, partner or friends), which can cause social problems.

Characteristics of the perfectionist

Perfectionism is usually associated with other personality traits such as rigidity or excessive responsibility. Some characteristics that can help us identify a perfectionist are:

  • They have extreme “all or nothing” thoughts.
  • They work, decide and act under the belief that things can be done without any margin of error.
  • They procrastinate and become paralyzed when faced with any task, no matter how simple it may be; or they get blocked when having to make decisions for fear of making mistakes.
  • They usually reject the opinions or ways of doing things of others and are controlling, which makes it difficult for them to delegate.
  • They feel a strong fear of failure and, when this happens, it especially affects them.
  • They constantly compare themselves to others.
  • They have low self-esteem and life dissatisfaction.
  • They evaluate, over and over again, their feelings and behaviors, and do not allow themselves to express their emotions spontaneously.

How to fix it

On many occasions, this perfectionist trait increases as a consequence of having insecurities and low self-esteem, problems that we try to compensate for with perfection. Therefore, if we detect these characteristics of perfectionism, it is best to turn to a professional and do daily work to improve.

Some keys to keep in mind to stop being a perfectionist are:

  • Work on your self-esteem.
  • Set realistic goals and times.
  • Accept your failures and others.
  • Be more spontaneous and don’t plan everything to the millimeter.

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