Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Perfectionism

Posted on: May 19, 2012

This week at work I’ve had to take a few tests. Everyone in my new team has to take them once a month to make sure we all know what we’re doing.

The results got back, and my results were second best in the team.

My manager says that’s phenomenal considering I’ve been in the department less than two weeks. But all I can feel is failure.

I don’t think it’s arrogance. Although I might just be kidding myself there: probably no-one ever thinks they’re arrogant. But it’s not the second best that makes me feel like shit (I don’t care what other people do, I don’t compare myself to others. I’m not sitting here thinking I should always be better than everyone else), it’s the fact I got things wrong.

My benchmark for being okay is being 100% right, 100% of the time. It’s unreasonable and unsustainable but that’s just how I feel. I’m not looking for congratulations or recognition – if anything, praise makes my face flush and my skin crawl much more than criticism does. I just don’t want to draw attention to myself, and if I’m never doing anything wrong, nobody will pay attention. I just want to blend in with my surroundings.

It’s all just sort of got me thinking about my perfectionist nature, and how damaging it can be. I suppose it is a form of arrogance, combined with lashings of self-hatred. I think all the anxiety I’ve been having lately is partly connected to changing department at work and not automatically knowing all the answers. I’m so scared of not knowing, of having to ask for help, of being wrong.

I don’t want to shine. I don’t want praise. I don’t want those awful moments where I’m sitting there, bright red in the face, while someone tries to tell me all the good things about me. I want to run a million miles from those things. I don’t want to be extraordinary. I just want to be competent. I want to be reliable. I want to be camouflaged and independent. Ideally, I’d like to never have anyone ever discuss my abilities – or lack thereof – again.

I suppose I want to  disappear, and the only way I can think of doing that – the only way I’ve ever been able to think of doing that – is to never get anything wrong and to never have any weakness.

Maybe it’s not a problem. Maybe it’s normal. I don’t really feel able to tell. I just feel like I’m cheating myself out of every success and every triumph because they’re never enough. If it’s not 100% right, I dwell on it and obsess over it and feel like a total failure. It doesn’t matter if it’s 99% right: that 1% wrong gnaws away at me until I feel like I’m going to explode.

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2 Responses to "Perfectionism"

Heaven knows i sincerely hate ur type of person. U r greedy and never contented.Many People lyk (yes!) me have always been unlucky with things and u r posting this stuff 4 us to “sympathise with u?” pls put up a more meaningful post next time and learn to be satisfied or complain 2 urself about d 0.00001% flaw u hav dat is eating u up. Sorry again if i sound mean.

I don’t remember ever asking for sympathy. The point of this post was the difficulty I have in learning to be satisfied. Strangely, I don’t want to spend all my life hating myself for every flaw.

I’m sorry that you’ve been unlucky in your life, but as I clearly stated in this post, I’m not comparing myself to other people. I know that, comparatively, I’m in a better position in life than a lot of people. As I said, I know it’s irrational.

And yes, you do sound mean. I’m all for constructive criticism but when someone comments on my blog saying that they hate the type of person I am, it feels like an attack rather than anything constructive or helpful. I’m afraid I don’t do requests, so “a more meaningful post” is probably out of the question. If you hate me and my blog, I’d advise you stop reading it – or at the very least, please refrain from commenting.

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Hello

My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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