How do you keep perfectionism from screwing up your life and your relationships?
You know, perfectionism is a terrible burden. Between the criticism and the arguments, perfectionism makes it hard to be who you really are. You don’t show your vulnerabilities, your inadequacies, your weaknesses, or your needs. You have unrealistic expectations of yourself. You won’t share what you’re really thinking or feeling or worrying about because you don’t want to look imperfect.
It’s no way to live.
So, the smaller part is that you’re annoying. The bigger part is that you suffer a terrible loneliness. Perfectionists are very lonely because ultimately, they can’t show who they are and be loved for who they are. It’s a heavy cross to bear.
But in a marriage, if you know that you tend toward perfectionism, it’s easy to make things better. Spend your time trying to find things to compliment your spouse on. Step back and put things into perspective. Realize that just because something is the way your family did things, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only way or the right way to do something.
You need to be more compassionate with yourself. You need to relax and have some fun. You need to communicate the scary stuff inside because deep connections are only formed when we share our struggles, fears, and vulnerabilities. Push yourself ever-so gently every day. Be kinder to yourself.
Change is a process. It is not an event.