Are you a perfectionist?
This week I've been blessed (or not :) in dealing with perfectionists.
For the past year now, I have been trying to introduce a friend of mine to a guy I met who seems perfect for her. Okay so I've never made a match before, but still. I'm an organizer!
Anyway, he really does seem perfect for her. She's gone out with loads of guys. And keep in mind that she considers me a pretty good friend. So last year when I told her about this guy, I asked if she would meet him. She said, let me think about it and get back to you. She got back to me. She told me that she would not meet this guy.
I was floored. “Why, " I asked. “Well, " she said, “I spoke with a girl who used to go out with him (great reference by the way) and she said his sense of humor can be a tad sarcastic and plus, I don't know if he is religious enough for me. “
I explained his sense of humor which is not the type of sarcasm that is just mean and nasty. He has a terrific sense of humor and is witty. Not really sarcastic in the way you and I know it to be.
But every explanation I had for her just made her firmer in her decision not to meet him. I was kind of hurt, because strangers will set up my friend without really knowing her and she will agree to go out with the guys.
So for a year I've kept to myself not pressuring her to do anything. She is not happy being single however.
Recently though, she expressed that she has become more openminded. “Click Click" I think. She said, “Maybe I don't want a guy who is superreligious. Maybe I want a more adventurous and fun guy. "
So of course I suggested the guy again to her. She said, “he sounds like exactly the type of guy I am looking for. " Then she started asking me very detailed questions, “Is he very opinionated, like does he argue for 1/2 hour about something just to show his personal views?" “Oh no, I said, “not at all. " She said, “Well maybe I need a guy that does that. "
"That's not what I meant, " I said. And every single question she'd ask me about him, somehow my answer got analyzed, twisted around, and beaten to a bloody pulp. I felt horrible by the time I got off the phone. She was disinterested in meeting him again!
Soooo frusturating. Finally, she agreed. Even after she agreed, she'd ask me everything I knew about him. And sure enough, I'd find myself with answers being forced out of me that were insufficient and not good enough.
(She did agree by the way) And would you know, he was doing the same thing! (Is she xyz? Because you know I don't know if I want that. . . ) And on and on.
These 2 people seem to display perfectionist tendencies. If something is not 100% then they won't do it. They’ act stubborn and won't budge.
A client I had would ask me, “What is the best container for me?" I would tell her, “Well, you can use a basket, shelves, or a lazy susan. " She didn't want options. She wanted what was 100% best. Well there is no 100% best. Nothing is PERFECT.
Because this client wanted the perfect solution, she remained disorganized. Didn't move from where she was because the solution wasn't perfect.
Perfectionism seems like a blessing but really it stalls you and can keep you right where you are. No growth, no movement, no change.
If you show signs of perfectionism, try this. Give 80% instead of 100%. Keep telling yourself, I will do 80% or 60% now, and the rest later. It is okay for it not to be perfect.
Rebekah Slatkin is the creator of Club Organized . Cluborganized.com brings people from all over the world together and recognizes and applaudes organizing efforts.