Dear Cynthia... > Perfectionism Test
Perfectionism Test
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Cecelia
3 posts
Mar 23, 2010
9:58 AM
OMG! I had no idea I was THAT bad... I answered yes to all but 2 of the questions!

The whole list is so true of me... and most of it plays like a tape in my head; "if you want the job done right, do it yourself." Among others, this is what my father said to me over and over while I was growing up.

Is there any way to turn it off?
Cynthia
284 posts
Mar 24, 2010
11:32 PM
It sounds like you're living with a bit of a tyrant you can't evict (from your own head). Occasionally medication can "turn it off," but usually it's a longer process of working to let go of the old way and learn a new way. You will have to figure out what benefit the tyrant thinks it's providing for you, find another way to provide those benefits, grieve whatever losses come with letting it go, and develop another voice in your head that has the compassionate perspective that perfection is just an exercise in failure, and "good enough" is all that is realistic for us mere mortals. It requires a committment to your mental health over time.

Of course this is the general path; yours may vary depending on your relationships with your parents, trauma or abuse in your young life, areas of internal resilience, support from other people, and so on.

It's so hard to summarize something so complicated; I hope this makes some sense to you. If not, feel free to ask more questions.

Be Well,
Cynthia
Cecelia
6 posts
May 20, 2010
12:20 PM
Cynthia,

It does make sense. Thank you. I had not thought of the word "tyrant" before, but it is so appropriate; sort of how my dad was.

Cecelia
janeinyo
1 post
Jul 08, 2010
2:19 PM
Omg my mom is still like that now that I 44 y/o, she lives in MY house in the country she DOES NOT speak the language, and she still does that to me, I am just never going be good enough for her...
Cynthia
294 posts
Jul 11, 2010
8:41 PM
Wow, that really shows how powerful we let our parents be. It sounds like you have all the power--she lives in your house, she depends on you for translation, and maybe more, yet she takes, and you give her the power to determine your worth, which is a HUGE power! Yes, you're right, she will never be satisfied, or able to speak to you in a non-judgemental way consistently, but that doesn't mean you're "never going to be good enough for her...." It means she has some deep internal shame that drives her to be critical--it's her problem. It doesn't mean ANYTHING about you. Am I right?


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 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

 For 30 years, compassionately helping people build self-confidence and feel happier.

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