Tag Archives: Perfectionist Personality

Overly Pursuit of Perfection Will Get You Easily Trapped by the Negative Feelings

A case study, translated…

Shu-Kai (a false name) is a thirty-seven year-old electronic company office manager, about a little over six months ago, he was transferred to a brand new department, and placed in charge of products he’d never been introduced to.  In after a little over six months hard work, day and nights, he’d spent nights at the office, but, there was, no progress.

And so, he’d started losing sleep, having heart palpitations, getting distracted easily, and, was troubled by his feelings of anxiety and depressed moods, he’d even spaced out in meetings.  The boss talked to him in private, asked him, “What’s happened to you, in the past, you’d never let me down.”, it’d made him want to find a hole in the ground to hide in.

Shu-Kai actually performed extremely well at work in the past, and was looked upon with great expectations by his boss, and that, was why his boss assigned him to this new project.  He’d told, that he had high expectations for himself, since he’d entered the workforce, he’d worked for his current boss for a decade, he’d often used the belief of “Shaming the Boss, Shaming Me”, and his performances, had never let his boss down.

In his psychotherapy, what I did, was I’d made Shu-Kai realize his own perfectionist personality traits, that it may cause negative influences on himself.  Being tough on oneself can surely make sure the job gets done right, but, having a very high standard, to the point of having a perfectionistic personality, can cause the person to be under great stress a lot, to the point that his body and mind became too imbalanced, and, his perfectionist traits then becomes a tripping stone to his own life.

Once, I’d asked Shu-Kai, “How do you think a person can live on happily?” he’d returned, that he’d always had a happy life, and got that sense of achievement he’d needed from work; and still, he’d also learned, that other than the satisfactions from work, there are NO other source of happiness or bliss in his life.

And, from time to time during the weekends, when he’d taken the kids and family out, his mind was still wrapped around work.  Even as he’d gone to the gym at the office for his workout, it was, for the purpose of recharging, so, he could get back to the drawing table with a fresh new perspective.  He’d sighed, and was shocked to discover, how much he’d put into work, and he’d commented, half-mad, “to my life, this, is like, placing a huge bet!”

In my years of counseling, I’d realized, that there are, many instances of pouring one’s heart and soul, in just one specific area of one’s own life.  Some would put everything into work, others, into families, children, relationship, and, when everything one cares about is well, then, life is grand.  And still, when things turned against the person, the person had a difficult time, adjusting, and may even, fall into the abyss of depression.

And so, I’d often recommended to the people, to NOT put all of one’s happiness nest eggs in one basket, actually, this, goes in correspondence with the Buddhist belief of “letting go of one’s own stubborn beliefs”.  Regularly, you must learn to balance out the source of your happiness, whether it be at work, in love, interpersonal relations, hobbies, and, the source of one’s sense of achievement, etc., etc., etc., to not focus on just one perspective, so you can spread out the risks; when something awful happens in your life, then, you will be able to, pull yourselves, out of the pains effectively.

This, is the bad thing that can happen, IF you’d placed too much hopes, dreams, expectations in just ONE area of your life, after all, in order to become more balanced, more well-rounded, a person needs to find ways to relax, to blow off steam, and, this man had been too focused on work, that he’d become maladjusted.

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