“Perfectionist”. Feels like a cuss word to me now.
I wasn’t born with an intrinsic motivation to be perfect. People really don’t take inventory of how they help build the box you keep yourself restricted in. There’s many a person in my life that doesn’t ever allow me to be wrong, to be human. It’s that lazy ass comment that someone could never be as much of a perfectionist as me at life.
(First of all, it’s not that y’all can’t do what I do, yall just lazy and I’m over those conversations. I put in WORK to be who I am. I manage to be one of the most organized people in my office against a clouded depression brain that defaults to not adhering to structure, so, please. Give me a break)
But I digress. In that first moment when you don’t stick to the script, people react as if the world has suddenly stopped spinning. Just the reaction alone makes you feel small. The rest of the world gets a pass, but since it’s YOU, it doesn’t make sense that perhaps you didn’t do the thing the “right” way.
What I love the most though is how those same people turn around and fake joke about how YOU are the one that has an obsession with perfection. And sure, you do, but it didn’t start with you. But no one will own that. It’s insulting. Perfectionism doesn’t just manifest within you because you want it there. Being obsessed with being perfect isn’t just some anal obsession with details because you have nothing better to do. How many of us got our asses whooped because we dropped some milk on the floor trying to pour cereal as a kid? I’m still tortured by the time I got a 98 on a state test I took and the response was: “where’s the other two points”? Being expected to perform at top rank all the time is exhausting, and this helped turn me in to an insecure academic. Anyone with red blood running through their veins should be aware of that.
What a perfectionist REALLY is…
If the tail of one of my brows is even slightly off, I’m uncomfortable the whole day because I’m just waiting for somebody to say YOOOOO YA BROWS IS OFF. It never happens, but I expect it every time. When someone compliments me on a job well done, I point out how I failed to accomplish what I was aiming for. It’s not that I don’t feel I’m good enough just because I’m incapable. It’s that I feel like I’m so capable I could have done so much better. There’s a difference. It’s not low self-esteem, it’s that I have so much confidence that I could have come up with something better. It’s like I have to do it better than everybody else, including my own self.
A true perfectionist does not actually want to be that way. It’s crippling and unsatisfying. You never reach that perfectionist high. You only dream of it, maybe cry about it, beat yourself up because you just don’t ever get there. Perfectionism is looking into a dirty mirror to see how clean your face is. Don’t nobody wanna be like that bruh.
So all I’m saying is…
Be mindful of how you contribute to people’s unhappiness.