Live, Life, Well: Ways to recognize perfectionism and accept the imperfect

Diagnosing the problem and a potential solution
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some of you hanging around your kids more often during the pandemic may have noticed a perfectionist streak.

On this Live, Life, Well, we’re looking at times when that can be a problem. A perfectionist would get a 96 on a test at school. Instead of being happy, they’d agonize over the missed 4 questions.

For you at work, it might take you 30 minutes to write a 2 sentence email because it has to be perfect. That can be a problem.

“Perfectionists can hurt themselves by being fearful they will look foolish. So, they won’t try new things. They’ll miss out on some things they might enjoy because they’re afraid if they can’t do it perfect they don’t want to do it at all,” remarked Clinical Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baker.

Here’s one way you could help your child. If they’re a great athlete, take them to a painting class. It’s a situation that could be fun. But, they won’t be a perfect artist the first time out. So, challenge them to accept imperfection.

For you, if perfectionism is hurting relationships or work, you might consider contacting a therapist.

You can read Dr. Baker’s blog post here: Good Dads Blog

You can listen to her podcast on perfectionism here: Good Dads Podcast

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