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Are you a perfectionist?
Yes, I am and proud of it!
Yes, but I wish I weren't. It's hard!
Maybe, in some areas of my life.
No. I'm not even close.
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Top 10 Signs You're a Perfectionist

It isn't easy being a perfectionist. You have to be persistent, detailed, and an organized high achiever. You must have exceedingly high standards not only for yourself, but also those around you. You have to conceal your imperfections from others in an attempt to always project an image of perfection.

Ten Top Signs Your a Perfectionist

  1. You can't stop thinking about a mistake you made.
  2. You are intensely competitive and can't stand doing worse than others.
  3. You either want to do something "just right" or not at all.
  4. You demand perfection from other people.
  5. You won't ask for help if asking can be perceived as a flaw or weakness.
  6. You will persist at a task long after other people have quit.
  7. You are a fault-finder who must correct other people when they are wrong.
  8. You are highly aware of other people's demands and expectations.
  9. You are very self-conscious about making mistakes in front of other people.
  10. You noticed the error in the title of this list.
Source: The BBC News Online

Of course, no one can be perfect. So in their quest for perfection, perfectionists place their health in peril through stress and anxiety--and they can make other people's lives miserable. Working for a perfectionist boss is really tough since he or she will have unrealistic and unreasonable expectations of employees.

The BBC News Online notes that some physicians think perfectionism is a medical condition that should be categorized as a behavioral problem or psychiatric disorder. "...extreme forms of perfectionism should be considered an illness similar to narcissism, obsessive compulsiveness, dependent-personality disorder, and other personality disorders because of its links to distress and dysfunction," Canadian professor Gordon Flett told the BBC News Online.

Flett has identified three types of perfectionists:

  • Self-oriented perfectionists, who expect perfection of themselves.

  • Other-oriented perfectionists, who demand perfection from other people.

  • Socially prescribed perfectionists, who think others expect perfection from them.

How can you spot a perfectionist? Look for people who...
...have a "self-promotion" style and try to impress others by bragging or displaying their perfection.
...shun situations in which they might display imperfection.
...have a tendency to keep problems to themselves, including an inability to admit failure to others.

A scary warning for perfectionists: The impossible quest for perfection has been linked to a host of emotional, physical, and relationship problems, including depression, eating disorders, marital discord and even suicide.

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