20 Struggles Perfectionists Understand All Too Well

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When you're a perfectionist, everything needs to be right and in its place. It's not that you're trying to be super annoying or "anal." You just want things done a certain way ... that may or may not include a ton of details in the process. Is that too much to ask?


It's tough being a perfectionist.

Should you understand the struggle, there's a good chance you've probably been guilty of some of these "perfectionistisms." (It's okay to admit you have. You're in a safe place.)

1.) You make your bed every morning -- including putting those throw pillows in their place -- because failure to do so will result in your thinking about your messy choice all day.

2.) Assuming you didn't lay your clothes out the night before, finding something to wear can take a while. After all, you need to weed through your clothes that are arranged by color, season, and possibly mood. And then there's that whole choose-coordinating-accessories stage that requires additional thought.

3.) If your makeup doesn't look identical on each side of your face, you start over. (Damn you, eyeliner.)

4.) And perfecting that whole "messy bun" look ... so much for dashing out the door in five minutes.

5.) Your home is pretty much on "sparkle mode" most of the time. Everything should have its place, and if it doesn't, you probably purchased a series of decorative organizers to prevent clutter.

More from The Stir: My Obession With Pretty Organization Baskets Is Turning Me into a Hoarder

6.) All the labels in your abode have to face out. Period. (Pantry shelves, bathroom shelf, living room bookcase. Doesn't matter.) Yes, this is a bit OCD -- like the crazy husband in Sleeping With the Enemy -- but it really makes a world of difference.

7.) Your coworkers have a love/hate relationship with you. Your boss enjoys your enthusiasm for the details while your coworkers feel you make the simplest of tasks so complex for no reason. (Yeah, sorry, the water cooler chats are about you.)

8.) The concept of working in a group makes you cringe. There's always someone who doesn't carry his or her own weight, always tries to cut corners, or makes your project look mediocre. 

9.) You have no problem rewriting notes and thoughts if you see the slightest grammatical error ... or smudge mark on your paper. 

10.) You don't believe in "good enough" or participation trophies. If you're going to do something, you put everything you have into the cause -- and don't have a desire to skirt by with anything less.

11.) Your life is made of endless lists, notes, and to-dos. You can't simply agree to outings and get-togethers without adding it to Google Calendar.

12.) You will draft out a response, research alternative words to use, and will look over what you have to say at least three times before sending ... your text messages.

More from The Stir: Being a Perfectionist Has Dangerous Side Effects, So Give Yourself a Break

13.) There's no such thing as "spur of the moment" in your world. Everything is researched and planned and has at least two contingencies should something not pan out.

14.) No one likes taking photos with you because you require more than six takes to get what you think is just an "okay" shot.

15.) Speaking of photos, pics of your food for Instagram turn into a photo shoot where you're searching the room for natural light, wiping sauce from the side of the plate with a napkin, and going through multiple props until you can take the "perfect photo."

16.) Your concept of the "perfect" date includes cross-referencing a potential love interest's profile through social media, verifying the intended date location has at least four stars on Yelp, and, if you're dining at a restaurant, that the menu has at least three feasible options for you to enjoy.

17.) You have no problem questioning your entire relationship based on a few minor issues. He refuses to stop smacking, leaves his underwear in a ball next to the dirty clothes, and forgets important details -- like the first day you met and spoke on the phone. Forget that he's loyal, wants to put a ring on it, and can't stop talking about you to his mother.

18.) You are known to get in your feelings -- and even feel like a failure -- when you don't reach even your smallest goals. Forget all the mountains you climbed, you still can't get past the speed bumps.

19.) You have been known to keep up appearances so folks don't see you sweat. You're a perfectionist, remember?! Of course, you have to appear to have it all together ... all the time. (Duh.)

20.) You can't end a list of things perfectionists are guilty of because you, yourself, are in fact a perfectionist. (Did I just admit that?)



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