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The dangerous downsides of Perfectionism

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Many of us believe perfectionism is a positive. But researchers are finding that it is nothing short of dangerous, leading to a long list of health problems – and that it’s on the rise.


“As many as two in five kids and adolescents are perfectionists,” says Katie Rasmussen, who researches child development and perfectionism at West Virginia University. “We’re starting to talk about how it’s heading toward an epidemic and public health issue.”


The rise in perfectionism doesn’t mean each generation is becoming more accomplished. It means we’re getting sicker, sadder and even undermining our own potential.


The dangerous downsides of Perfectionism (BBC)

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I'm certainly not in any danger.

I’ve seen brothers almost rip their hairs out trying to do an assignment “perfectly”, and sometimes expecting perfection from ourselves just brings us down. Not to mention expecting perfection from others. I’ve also seen brothers miss the mark completely when trying to follow instructions perfectly.
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Perhaps, some brothers and sisters could meet half way and be accepting of someone who doesn't meet their high standards. I'm saying that because there's a family in our congo who puts on airs and graces and only associates with those they think meet their own high level. Problem is their son looks like he's a rubberband pulled tightly ready to snap - and if they got down from off their pedestal they would find eons of beautiful, faithful, far from perfect, but wonderful friends waiting in the wings.  


So if we and all of us tend to pick holes in something that is not quite right - this speaker has a monotone voice, or that brother pronounces that word wrong or he shouldnt be wearing that colour tie on stage - we've all done it - I know I have -but we have to consider if that is a contributing factor to others feeling like they have to be perfectionists. We can reach Jehovah's high standards and still be relaxed (not too relaxed) about our own imperfections knowing we are all in the same boat.

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"He has told you, O man, what is good.
And what is Jehovah requiring of you?
Only to exercise justice, to cherish loyalty,
And to walk in modesty with your God!" --- Micah 6:8


Modesty should allow us to make an honest assessment of ourselves and recognize our own limitations, so as not to  expect too much of ourselves or others. We need to be happy and content with what we can do, and not lament what we can't do or compare ourselves with others. When it comes to sacred service, Jehovah is not a God of production.


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Brother Ken,


That is well and good on paper, but if you have low self confidence - then it's a slow journey upwards.  Sometimes Jehovah moulding us takes a lot of time and as with anyone young or new in the truth it's a congregation effort to add lustre to areas one is struggling in. We have a wee 18 year old who has just been made an UP - and she lives with her grandmother who continually puts her down in front of others (Yes the GM is a Witness) ... so we are all swooping in to counteract that to give her some self esteem ... but I can imagine her trying to reach perfection in her GM's eyes, and never achieving it - so we need to help her see it's Jehovah she needs to please and not people. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's common. It's a mixture of things. Not seeing your accomplishments for what they are and downplaying them, not being able to achieve a mental vision of what you want, comparing ourselves to others, living in a "fake" world where every product and person you see in the spot light is airbrushed and their social lives online only showing the good parts. The rising of anxiety in people, mental health issues and similar. And finally, wanting to be perfect when we are currently imperfect. (Romans 7:24)


When all of this combines a person can easily feel "alone" in their problems and wants nothing but perfection in order to measure up and feel secure in themselves. 

Edited by EccentricM
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