It Has to be Perfect

You are reading an article online and you come across the following sentence:

Sometimes when your driving you may notice your car does not seem to be performing at it’s best.

Do you cringe? Do you immediately scroll to the bottom of the article to find the comments section and fire off this reply:

Cutting costs on editors now? The sentence should read: “Sometimes when you’re driving you may notice your car does not seem to be performing at its best.”

You frequently berate yourself for not having made progress on a mental list of tasks that need to be done. You have piles of unread mail to go through; there is that assignment due next week and you keep telling yourself that this time you aren’t going to leave it until the last minute and then stay up until 2am completing it; your lawn is getting long and you are worrying about what the neighbours will think about the fact you haven’t mown yet.

You are driving at 100km/h in a 100km/h zone. Someone overtakes you; you estimate he is doing 106km/h. You secretly hope he gets pulled over for speeding. If you do see him pulled over, you feel secretly pleased.

You are given a project to work on with a team of colleagues. You do most of the work yourself because you’re sure the others wouldn’t do it right.

You don’t like anyone to help you clean up at home because they always put things in the wrong place, or they wipe the benches with the dish cloth and the dishes with the bench cloth.

You have trouble throwing things away – you never know when they might come in handy.

You finding yourself spending more time developing a more efficient way to complete a one-off task than it would have taken you to just do the task with the tools you already had.

Your friends tell you that you work too much … or you don’t have time for friends.

Someone at work is collecting money for yet another birthday or farewell cake. You try to avoid contributing.

You have an eye for detail and always complete tasks to a very high standard. But, at the same time, you find it hard to get the motivation to start something and you are never happy with the end result. Nothing ever feels good enough.

You are in a waiting room and the urge to straighten a crooked painting on the wall is becoming almost overwhelming.

Annoyingly crooked square in a set of neatly arranged squares

If more than a few of the above scenarios sound familiar to you, it might be fair to say you are a bit of a perfectionist. If quite a lot of the above sound familiar to you but you are thinking, “Me? A perfectionist?! No way! You should see the mess in my garden shed/bedroom/kitchen/office …!” then you most likely are a perfectionist (who, like most perfectionists, is incessantly bothered by your inability to meet your own standard of perfection). Does this mean you have a problem? Not necessarily.
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