I have a confession to make… I’m a perfectionist. There. I said it. I’m sure that many of you will admit to having similar tendencies– I like a plan. I like knowing what’s about to come next. I like control. I’d rather do all of the work myself because then I know it will be perfect (group projects anyone? Kill me).
But here’s the problem: Perfection is relative.
My perfect is not your perfect, and who’s to say my perfect is the ideal? It may seem like this character trait is insignificant, and possibly beneficial in a professional sense, but this perfectionist mindset can actually hurt us, especially our relationships. Think about it. We all have friends and family that we love, but we know that we all find things to criticize, whether it’s how they act, talk, walk, what they believe, how they dress, who they date, what they do for their profession, and so on.
It’s normal to not be 100% compatible with people (is that even possible??), but it often becomes easier to focus on their flaws rather than their more positive attributes. This habit is especially dangerous to us perfectionists. When we see a flaw, we want to fix it. It’s a need, and, sometimes, even an obsession, to make everything and everyone in your life just the way YOU want and think it should be.
Well, if I’ve learned anything by having relationships, it’s that this practice is self-destructive.
The more obsessed we become with a flaw in someone, the more we forget about all the good in them. This eventually eats away at our relationships and even eats away at us. I’ve found myself so stressed out because I couldn’t change somebody.
And that’s the problem: You can’t change anyone.
They are who they are, just like we are our
crazy stunningly beautiful perfectionist selves. They accept us for us, so why can’t we accept them for them? I’ve learned that if you want to fix a flaw in a relationship you need to focus on the good. This doesn’t mean ignore the problem, it means put it in perspective. So, you’re boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t like to text as much as you’d like. Well, are you going to get upset over that ONE thing he/she does “wrong” (in your eyes anyway…) or remember the 99% he/she does right in the relationship? It’s easy to stick on something and complain about it, but that will only make things worse.
Instead, try this: each day write 10 things you are grateful for about the person and thank them for it (you can just thank the universe, thanking them every day for being them, while flattering, may seem a tad creepy…). I PROMISE you that you will eventually train your brain to see the good in them, overshadowing their “flaws” and making you remember why you have them in your life in the first place. I have to admit, it’s not easy to let things go that bother us, especially when critiquing has become a habit. But when we bring positivity to our relationships, we will receive more back and their flaws will start to vanish.
Give it a try perfectionists. It might actually bring you the perfection you were looking for all along.