In the behavior of those who, with pathological perseverance, strive to be a model of perfection, and consider their slightest mistakes and mistakes to be a sign of their own shortcomings, characteristic signs of perfectionism are noted:
- an attempt to meet high standards in all spheres of life (a radical type of thinking is possible by the principle of "all or nothing");
- uncertainty in themselves and their abilities (understated self-esteem);
- doubts about the correctness of their actions (indecisiveness);
- fear of disapproval and rejection, including by parents;
- constant concern about possible mistakes;
- mistakes made are perceived as evidence of their shortcomings;
- obsession with rules and the initial certainty that everything around should be ideal;
- irritation and other negative emotions from "non-ideal" people, actions, circumstances, etc.
Since perfectionists are concentrated solely on the results of efforts, with all three structural variants of this psychological construct, there is a sign such as procrastination. Perfectionism and procrastination (irrational postponement of the beginning of any case) are considered in psychology in a close relationship, as in both states there is a fear of a possible failure.
Another important feature of perfectionism is the inability to relax and share your thoughts and feelings: as a rule, perfectionists keep their personal and professional relationships under control.
Syndrome of perfectionism: features of manifestation
Experts-psychoanalysts say that the perfectionism of parents makes them intolerant to the imperfection of their children. Striving to be the best fathers and mothers, adults cease to perceive the son or daughter as a separate person - with inherent traits, interests and desires. Hardly criticizing the child for any misconduct or negligence, not delving into his feelings, parents may face resistance, especially characteristic of adolescence. And in the preschool age, the mechanism of hyperactivity and attention deficit in a child with behavioral disorders can be triggered.
Another option: children are struggling to please their parents under any circumstances and under their pressure themselves become unsure of their abilities perfectionists. For them, features of ritualized behavior are inherent. Observations of psychologists confirm: child perfectionism is born out of fear of not justifying parental expectations and attitudes toward criticism of parents, as evidence of their dislike. Perfectionism is an unprecedented defense for "emotionally abandoned" children.
This same etiology also has teenage perfectionism, which develops in families where parents perceive the successes or failures of children as markers of their own success or failure. Fear of doing something wrong with a teenager can be devastating to motivate people to achieve their goals in adulthood. Victims of such fear, as a rule, try to avoid situations in which the results of their efforts will be assessed; for this reason, in school such adolescents become lagging pupils with the prospect of developing an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Neurotic perfectionism in maternity manifests itself literally from the first days of the appearance of the child. Mom gives all her strength to the care and upbringing of the baby and under the weight of responsibility for his health and proper development, in his homework to ensure sterile cleanliness and exemplary order, he forgets about his own needs (there is simply no time left for satisfying them). From the impossibility of making all perfect perfectionist women with young children often fall into depression and often turn into a neurasthenic.
Perfectionism in men striving for a high social status in the conditions of severe competition in the professional sphere, can manifest itself both in the work and outside it. Especially clearly the signs (listed above) appear in men brought up by authoritarian parents, whose love was considered a reward for good behavior and study. Most male perfectionists do not know how to enjoy life, often all are unhappy and constantly complex about their alleged shortcomings.
The perfectionism of teachers, who are never good enough, is a real and very difficult test for students, since it is difficult for such teachers to create a friendly, educationally friendly atmosphere in the classroom.
And the perfectionism of students who have only excellent grades in a student's record book, in the case of a socially prescribed version of perfectionism, can result in a switch from achieving personal goals to a race in competition against classmates.
Particular attention of practicing psychotherapists takes the so-called food perfectionism. Women seeking an "ideal figure" may be at risk of developing an eating disorder. And this is already a diagnosis - anorexia. Studies have shown that the continuous desire for leanness among those suffering from anorexia is associated with socially prescribed inadequate perfectionism in these people.
There, too, the roots of such a problem as physical perfectionism, although some psychologists consider him to be a perfectionism directed only at himself, linking his development with such a character trait as vanity. Here you can reliably include some clients (and clients) of plastic surgeons.