Recognizing and treating perfectionism: Here’s how

Recognizing and treating perfectionism: Here’s how

Perfectionists learned early that performance matters.  That's why you take things extremely precisely, too precisely?

Perfectionists learned early that performance matters. That’s why you take things extremely precisely, too precisely?

Karolina Grabowska / Pexels


Do you often get the feeling that you could do something even better? That’s exhausting, not just for you. We have solutions for the traps of perfectionism.

Perfectionists should really be happy: pushing yourself and completing things to the best of your ability is a good thing. But the perfectionist disposition quickly becomes overwhelmed. Exaggerated perfectionism quickly has a paralyzing effect and can mean that we can no longer do anything.

Furthermore, perfectionism offers fertile soil for doubts and disappointments. To help you get out of this spiral, it can help to recognize your perfectionist type. We have tips for all patterns.

1. You want compliments from yourself

Do you sometimes fold clothes several times because they don’t stack perfectly the first time? Signs of self-centered perfectionism include when you tend to be very strict with yourself and often feel disappointed in your work.

Another sign: This perfectionist type often pored over to-do lists and struggled to make decisions. How can you design the day perfectly? Where could time be wasted, which book creates the most benefit from reading? The amount of options quickly overwhelms and gives the feeling of not being able to make the right decision.

Do you find it hard to take it easy because you can hardly ever meet your own standards?

Do you find it hard to take it easy because you can hardly ever meet your own standards?


Danger: Perfectionism becomes particularly dangerous under stress. And some of it is homemade. Anyone who only accepts top performance in many areas of life puts themselves under considerable pressure.

Advice: Do you feel the pressure building inside you? Try to take a step back mentally. What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t pack perfectly for vacation? What if you’re a grade below your usual average this time? Would the world end? Practice being kind to yourself. Did you miss a training? Then say to yourself, “I think it’s a shame I didn’t do yoga today. But that’s not so bad because I do a lot for my health and sometimes I can lie on the sofa.»

The expectations of parents, who may have been perfectionists, may play a role in the emergence of perfectionism. But even in a context without fixed rules and structures, a child may try to gain a sense of control by developing perfectionism. Social expectations often play a role later.

2. You want praise from others

Do you think a lot about what others think of you and are you afraid of rejection? Many perfectionists want to impress others and go to great lengths to make themselves look better. However, this behavior requires a lot of strength: constantly controlling yourself and always being considered superior is exhausting. Tension, unnecessary arguments, and justifications are also commonplace for these perfectionists.

Danger: External perfectionists feel that if they don’t stand out, others will stop liking or respecting them. Since they judge themselves primarily on their accomplishments, they assume that those around them do the same. They not only put pressure on themselves, but often have the feeling that others are also putting pressure on them with their expectations.

Advice: Is there evidence that people around you see your work as flawed? Or are you just imagining it? Maybe he even received a compliment from his superiors, but just listen to the little criticisms that were also included in the comments. Either way: making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re flawed as a person or that you’re a bad design. If you accept yourself as a person, no matter how well you do something, you free yourself from pressure and can deal with criticism from the outside world more relaxed.

Are you interested in the beautiful things in life? With the lifestyle boost, you won’t miss a thing when it comes to travel, fashion and beauty. There are also updates on the latest trends in food, lifestyle, fitness and health.

This is how you do it: Install the latest version of the application in 20 minutes. Tap on “Cockpit” at the bottom right, then on the “Settings” gear, and finally on “Push Notifications”. Under “Themes”, tap on “Lifestyle” – it’s up and running.

3. You want to be able to praise others

Can’t you understand why not everyone takes the group project as seriously as you do? Does the relaxation of your peers drive you crazy? This kind of perfection is probably the least known, but not uncommon: He has high expectations of his surroundings and is disappointed when they don’t live up to them.

Danger: When you expect those around you to behave the way you do or do things exactly the way you want, you create a tense atmosphere that fuels conflict, disappointment, and doubt on both sides.

Advice: Practice tolerance and compassion. Did your roommate put her shoes in the hallway? She’s probably just tired from the day, or she doesn’t care about order as much as you do. Before the idea of ​​clutter drives you crazy while reading, make a mental list of all the things you like about the somewhat chaotic person. Is she spontaneous and uncomplicated and always up for a fun idea? Does it help you when you don’t feel so good? These mind games will help you accept people for who they are. That gives you a little inner peace, doesn’t it? In a quiet minute you can explain to your roommate how practical a shoe rack is.

Give yourself and your brain a break from perfectionism.  This is difficult at first, but it pays off for your well-being in the long run.

Give yourself and your brain a break from perfectionism. This is difficult at first, but it pays off for your well-being in the long run.


Here too it is not necessary to implement all the tips immediately and perfectly. It often helps to recognize yourself. If you suffer from your long-term behavior patterns, it is worth getting clarification and advice from specialists.

What is the best way to get out of the trap of perfectionism? Share your experience with the community!

you or Has Does anyone you know have a mental illness?

VASK, regional family associations