Despite many years of arguing that I’m not a perfectionist, the reality is, I am. I’ve come to realise that this characteristic of mine causes me many problems and it is really quite annoying. You’d think it would mean “wooh, great, you’re a perfectionist that means most things must be perfect for you” but no, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are the problems I encounter from being a perfectionist.
1.Getting emotional over the littlest thing – I’ve cried over many ridiculous things: not being able to get the thread through a needle & not being able to remove a bottle lid being two of a verrry long list. It sounds ridiculous, but you know when you have a build up of things and then a task that should be quite simple just isn’t. Cue the tears.
2. Not feeling happy with yourself – This is a lifelong battle. It’s not that you never feel happy within yourself, it’s just that you are always striving for more, always wanting/hoping better so you hardly actually manage to feel happy and content with yourself and that is not a nice feeling.
3. Mind always running overboard – It can be midnight, and I can feel absolutely exhausted but if I remember something that I didn’t do all that well or something I could have done better, there’s no chance of sleep for a while. It’s the worst thing because it can literally be remembering something that happened 10 years ago, but the regret/shame and the stupid feeling is still as strong and is still enough to keep a perfectionist awake.
4. Never feeling like a job is done & that you can relax – It’s the feeling of “OK, that’s one thing done, now on to the 100 other things”. Its the feeling of never being satisfied, never allowing adequate time to relax and unwind. This effects me the most when it comes to being anxious as there have been many times I have really needed to cry out but it’s just not happening for a perfectionist. It’s sad, but with me, nobody can know of something being wrong and if they do know, they can’t know the full extent of it.
5. “I’ll just do it myself” – Overloading yourself with tasks because you don’t trust anybody to do it as well as you can. It’s not about being cocky because as a perfectionist you know that things you do aren’t actually going to end up perfect but you won’t let somebody else do it just because then that’s out of your control. So tiring!
6. Can cause relationship problems – A perfectionist believes and hopes for Prince Charming. There is such thing as Prince Charming but not everybody will meet a Prince Charming. This can then cause problems for perfectionists as without realising or without wanting them to, the standards can be highhhh!
7. Anxiety – This is a horrible result of perfectionism. It’s the underlying fear because you know things probably aren’t going to be perfect despite you wanting them to be and this causing anxious thoughts. This is a very broad subject that could have a blog post of its own so it’s difficult to explain the link but an example is getting your hair cut. I could be booked in to have my hair cut tomorrow and tonight will be full of anxious thoughts. In my head I’m like just get over it, it’s tomorrow, it will be fine but that doesn’t play out!
8. Feeling tired 24/7 – This is the second worst one for me but I am genuinely tired 24/7! Most people I know make comments about the fact I am tired all the time and I completely understand why but I don’t want to be. It is just based on the never allowing time to fully relax, not getting much sleep because your mind is always working overtime. A 6 month holiday is needed twice a year baaaasically.
9. Taking things to heart – I am so bad at this but at the same time, I don’t think this is an issue of mine. That doesn’t make sense but what I mean is, OK, I do take things to heart but at the same time, when I am taking them to heart, I am actually offended by what people say and don’t realise it’s just the way I am taking it because it genuinely hurts me. Confusing, but get me? It’s because somebody can say something horrible jokingly, but what they say can address issues a perfectionist has within themselves and therefore it reaffirms what they deep down think and it just hurts.
To sum up this post, it’s hard work being a perfectionist! We aren’t like it all the time and we can just be normal human beings but it can be like walking on eggshells around us. Just be gentle and run us a bath with some lavender, we’ll be asleep before you know it!
If you’re a perfectionist, what characteristics do you have that you hate?