The “maladaptive perfectionist” exists in contrast to the adaptive perfectionist (see Monday’s blog post). Maladaptive perfectionists need to be perfect at EVERYTHING and when they err, it is a calamity. As a result they often either freeze, fearful to take any action at all or they go stealth, hiding mistakes, covering up, spinning outcomes. Maladaptive perfectionists often prefer to rigidly follow rules, even ones that lead to stupid outcomes, simply because if you follow the rules, by definition, you cannot be wrong or criticized.
Truth is, we all live on a continuum of perfectionism; self-awareness and openness to constructive feedback is the best source of personal and professional progress. Understanding what we don’t want to be (maladaptive perfectionists) is a major step toward becoming what we do want to be.
“You don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly okay.” – Nathan S. Collier
“Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.” – Lord Chesterfield, (1694-1773)
“Love is not finding a perfect person, but learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” – Sam Keen