“Perfect” – a Pernicious, Seven-Letter, Contagious Virus

Who do you know who’s doing well enough?

Are you? What do you see when you look in the mirror? A cute, grinning, bright, caring human being? Or a zit the size of a baseball on the end of your nose? What do you expect when you speak up in a group, or start work on another assignment to turn in for school or work? Do you floss your teeth often enough? Or even brush them right?

We’ve been taught to judge – everything – all the time. From first grade on – A’s, C’s, “I got a hundred on that one! What did you get?”

Perfect: and perfectionism – calls for (1) judging, and not just on one dimension, but on every dimension you could imagine, which means an infinite number of them. It’s important to judge. Your worth as a human being, your possibility of being proud, of being loved, respected, depends on how you measure up to this incessant process of being judged. Judge everybody, and be judged by them. That’s the game of human life.

It also calls for being at the top of all these dimensions, which is obviously impossible.

We lose the ability to appreciate – ourselves and others.
We lose all the intrinsic rewards because we’re so focused on the judgment.
We can never let down, even for a moment, relax, and enjoy being human.

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