How Perfect is Too Perfect? | Rice Psychology Group Tampa, Florida
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How Perfect is Too Perfect?


When I met Tom, I noticed he was a really hard worker and dedicated to everything he set his mind to do. To be honest, it was one of the things that really attracted me to him…but now I’ve realized he tries a little too hard. Everything he does has to be absolutely flawless, which wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that he gets extremely worried and stressed if things don’t turn out the way he wants. It’s gotten to the point where he won’t sleep or leave his apartment because he’s either putting all his time into a project or hung up on the things that don’t come out as he expected. I don’t know how to approach the problem and, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s causing a big strain in our relationship.

If you were to ask anyone what they think about challenging oneself and striving for success at all times, they’d probably agree that it’s one of the best qualities to have. After all, almost all of us are constantly looking to achieve all of our goals and aspirations. But is striving for flawlessness and setting high standards always a good thing?

The psychologists of Rice Psychology Group in Tampa understand perfectionism can come with both positive and negative effects. For this reason, it’s important that you and your family learn how to recognize when perfectionism can lead to more harm than good.

Your drive and expectations shouldn’t leave you feeling stressed, worried or depressed. Let us help you figure out the solution to your issue today.

Understanding the Term

Perhaps the first and most important step in understanding the concept of perfectionism is to recognize its definition. However, experts in the field have yet to find the one true definition on the subject. One common definition of perfectionism is composed of three key factors:

  • Incessantly striving for enormously high standards that can be deemed personally demanding and unreasonable for the individual from an outsider’s perspective.
  • Judging your self-worth on your drive and achievement of these unrelenting standards.
  • Experiencing negative effects due to these demanding expectations, but continuing to chase after them despite the cost.

When people think of a “perfectionist”, they tend to visualize a positive image of a high achiever who is constantly on the pursuit of excellence. This is because the positive impact of perfectionism can allow people to put a lot more effort into the things they do, regularly challenging themselves. This can additionally lead to more positives such as learning new skills and achieving exceptional results. Yet, despite these benefits, not everything surrounding perfectionism is full of positives.

The Imperfection

In some cases, the drive a person might have to perform well and reach their excessive expectations can actually impair their performance. This paradox of perfectionism dictates that having high standards and constantly working hard to meet them can potentially make things worse! The reason is that there’s a big difference between a healthy pursuit for excellence and the unhealthy struggle for perfection.

A person’s incessant drive can potentially leave them feeling stressed, tense and on edge for long periods of time. If you feel as if you can’t seem to achieve your goal or if you want to exceed your previous expectations, you can eventually feel like your efforts are not enough. This self-defeating drive can leave little space to feel good about yourself.

Additionally, the cost of a person’s pursuit for perfection can have a negative impact on their well-being. It can potentially lead to:

  • Social isolation
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Worry
  • Eating disorders
  • Relationship troubles
  • Insomnia
  • Poor health
  • Constant feelings of failure

We’ll Help You Work Towards Feeling Better

If you feel as if you or someone you love has been struggling with the effects of perfectionism, know that Rice Psychology Group is the place you can look to for help. Our Tampa psychologists will work side-by-side with you on the journey toward feeling like yourself again.

Our offices are designed to provide a peaceful and relaxing setting where you will feel comfortable talking about the situation you may be facing. For more information about our services, or if you have any questions for our psychologists, give us a call in Tampa today.

About Rice Psychology

Rice Psychology Group is home to a team of psychologists who work tirelessly to help adults, adolescents and children deal with their issues. Whether you’re currently dealing with depression, going through a divorce or fighting an issue you just can’t understand, know that our Tampa psychologists are here to help.

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