What is perfectionism, why is it dangerous and how to live with it

In the twenty-first century, perfectionism becomes a new misfortune. According to some sources *, a constant desire to be better leads to suicides among men. We understand what perfectionism can lead to and how to avoid it.

What is perfectionism, why is it dangerous and how to live with it

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Perfectionism is the desire to do the job perfectly.

Some psychologists consider perfectionism a personality trait, others as a behavioral strategy. In any case, the perfectionist tries to achieve an unattainable result and is upset if this does not happen. Perfectionism is manifested not only in work. A person may require perfect cleaning, cooking, accentuation in words. The most dangerous pathological form of perfectionism is that it can lead to psychological paralysis.

A person knows in advance that he will not be able to do the task perfectly, which means that it is impossible to undertake it. As a result, the project is postponed - the person reproaches and blames himself, is even more immersed in negative thoughts and moves himself away from the result. As a result, he learns to give up before any task - there are many plans, but all are unrealized.

What is perfectionism, why is it dangerous and how to live with it

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There are two theories that explain how aspirations for ideal interfere with living and working productively.

The first theory is based on the knowledge of classical psychoanalysis. Karen Horney, Heinz Kohut and other researchers believed that perfectionism is due to misconceptions about the child. They are ready to love him, but only if he does everything right, without errors. A child at any age makes mistakes, which means that he is doomed to failure and neglect by his parents. But love is important and necessary - the child continues to try to be perfect, he does not succeed, because the ideal is unattainable.

This forms a strategy of behavior called perfectionism.

The second theory is based on knowledge of neuropsychology. Kelly McGonigal, a researcher of volitional processes, believes that perfectionism is directly related to some features of the cerebral cortex. When a person forces himself to do everything perfectly, he does not enjoy the job. After all, he must constantly control himself.

New parts of the brain, which are also responsible for will and thinking, are forced to suppress the ancient brain, which is responsible for pleasure and emotions. A man drives himself into a dead end and ceases to enjoy the process.

What is perfectionism, why is it dangerous and how to live with it

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If perfectionism is inconvenient or totally interferes with life, specialist help is needed. It can be obtained indirectly or directly.

Books and manuals on working with shame, willpower, and creative impasse will give indirect help. The books of the same McGonigal consist not only of theoretical material, but also of exercises. They are built on the methods of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT).

Direct assistance can be obtained from a psychotherapist or counseling psychologist. The specialist will have to work with client shame, total self-control, suppressed taste for life.

Almost all psychotherapeutic schools will cope: the Gestalt approach, CBT, classical psychoanalysis, the art approach and others. Simply, experts will begin work from different angles.

What is perfectionism, why is it dangerous and how to live with it

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Another option is to relax in the company of loved ones. It is important that they take full responsibility for its organization.

So the perfectionist will be easier to let go of the situation. A few weeks of physical and psychological relaxation can be beneficial.

In addition, you can try oriental practices - meditation, yoga. Any breathing technique exercises are also suitable. The main thing in these practices is to train mindfulness.

It will help to understand in what situations a person wants to achieve the unattainable, stop and try to return interest to life.

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