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Advantages and disadvantages of being too perfectionist

Advantages and disadvantages of being too perfectionist

May 6, 2021

Are you a perfectionist? Be careful, do not let go of your hands!

It is clear, We all have some interest in learning and improving in different areas or aspects of our lives . For people with a marked trait of perfectionism, it is the search for excellence that motivates them to improve. Being meticulous, measured, persistent, responsible ... are characteristics that can accompany the perfectionist tendencies of the human being, being able to get the best out of himself. However, frustration, anxiety, stubbornness and lack of effectiveness can be the worst enemies of this same behavior profile.

How to differentiate a "good" perfectionism from the one that is not? At what point can being too perfectionist be counterproductive to oneself? We analyze below the details that help us extract the best of this personality trait.

People with adaptive perfectionism

People who function through an adaptive perfectionism, or good, present these characteristics:

  • They set themselves high and motivating goals , assuming them as challenges, but these objectives are realistic and assumable according to their conditions and realizable.
  • The person has a good expectation of self-efficacy, that is, he knows he can and will achieve those goals, but accepting that they are not fully met or the way he has planned.
  • In general, they are demanding people with themselves , but they do not fear mistakes or mistakes, but they accept them as part of life, so they do not give up easily in the face of frustration.
  • They are people with extraordinary planning and organization , but with the capacity of sufficient flexibility to attend to setbacks or unpredictable aspects.
  • Perfectionist perfectionists are able to enjoy and concentrate on their work , they do not focus exclusively on the final result, but they are able to learn and attend to the steps that the process requires.
  • Another advantage of adaptive perfectionism is that it makes us capable of understanding and supporting that there is a certain degree of uncontrollability in what happens on a day-to-day basis, so that we become more tolerant of uncertainty.
  • Adaptive perfectionism is accompanied by an important self-reinforcement and a good self-esteem. Thus, the person is able to assess their strengths, reward themselves for their achievements and take care of themselves.
  • The person with adaptive perfectionism able to enjoy a great variety of activities and to disconnect despite the inconveniences or small imperfections that are exposed every day at work, personal relationships ...

People with maladaptive perfectionism

In the end, adaptive perfectionism is based on allowing oneself the freedom of not being perfect, and in short, being of being human. It is clear that the profile we have described is very desired and highly praised at a social, personal and professional level.

But… What happens when we exceed limits in which the person begins to experience suffering? In this case, we would talk about a maladaptive perfectionism, with the following characteristics:

  • These people mark themselves too many goals that are not realistic when it comes to being fulfilled.
  • They emphasize too much being overly ordered and controlling and usually waste a lot of time in these aspects and in irrelevant details, decontracting from what is really important.
  • A person with a maladaptive perfectionism worries a lot about mistakes , that does not support to commit, and fears in excess the critics of the others.
  • Does not enjoy in his work , focuses only on the result and the reinforcement that you will get from others. When he does not get this, he suffers a lot.
  • Think that your work is never good enough and that it can always be done better, so that it has the feeling that it never ends tasks or leaves them incomplete.
  • Emphasize everything that is wrong , instead of recognizing what is well done. This leads to a weakened self-esteem by disregarding your strengths and focusing on the weak points.
  • The excessive self-demand for perfectionism leads him to develop high levels of anxiety and suffering . It does not tolerate the own error and sometimes the other one does not either.
  • It is difficult to disconnect from the objectives of perfection , sometimes you can enter a loop in which you can not stop thinking about how to keep improving, correcting mistakes or what remains to be done.
  • He does not tolerate the frustration of not being perfect, not doing everything well or not controlling 100%.


The maladaptive perfectionism is a way of taking the life goals that has great disadvantages . Despite the great efforts made by those who adopt this style of perfectionism, these people are always frustrated, tired or anxious and will not always perform as well as they could if they took a somewhat more flexible attitude.

We are all happy to do things very well, even perfect sometimes, but that does not mean that we can not accept our imperfections from ourselves.

The 10 Struggles Only Highly Intelligent People Have (May 2021).

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