Perfection in children

Wanting our tasks and duties to go well is good and reasonable, but perfection in children, understood as the attitude of focusing only on being excellent in their work and facing others, causes them to fall into excessive and debilitating behavior: perfectionism

It is good to want to do things well and put effort into it, but perfectionism takes this to extremes, which causes an exasperating and destructive behavior.

We all know some perfectionist: people who strive in their appearance up to the last detail, who demand a lot at work; maniacs with order and cleanliness, who can not stand that others do not act as they would like ... or maybe we ourselves are the ones who present that behavior.


The perfectionist lives, to a great extent, to "do things" very well done and that leads him, quite frequently, to a remarkable suffering of his own and in his environment.

Characteristics of the perfectionist

There are many traits that define a perfectionist person, but we can summarize them in the following points:

- Fixes unrealizable or unrealistic goals or objectives, and establishes disproportionate expectations of achievement, both with respect to themselves and to others.
- Insatiable need for personal achievement and triumph in those areas defined as the goal of progress.
- Extreme competitiveness for the attainment of his purposes.
- Focus your objectives in certain areas (weight, housework, sports form ...)
- Constant self-criticism and difficulty accepting criticism from others.
- Need for approval on the part of others.
- Tireless need to win in those areas defined as the goal of progress.
- Tendency to delay the completion of tasks for fear of failing.


Work and study: the obsession with success

In a society as competitive as ours, it is common for young people to shine the obsession with success. They are required a lot: make a brilliant career, find the ideal partner, get a good job * so many expectations in them leads to many boys and girls end up showing a perfectionist behavior in their tasks. They think that they will be valued for their achievements and, therefore, live focused on obtaining them.

It happens then that the perfectionist confuses means and ends (as also happens in other areas of life). Before any work or learning activity, the perfectionist loses the horizon in his work, the purpose for which he works, and engages in very specific aspects of the task. Live to work, and do not work to live. Being work or studies a means to live, the perfectionist is clouded the existential scenario focusing on how it performs, how they value or value it, in that it did not reach the proposed goals because of the volume of work, its quality or time employed in doing it.


In addition, the perfectionist ends up paying a very high price: he lives anguished, tense, afraid to make mistakes and does not enjoy achievements.

The perfectionist: a problem for others

To make matters worse, the perfectionist is not the only one affected by his problem: it also harms the people who move around him. They demand that others reach levels they can hardly reach, and they often want to change the way they are or act as friends or as a couple, because it does not seem "right" to them.

They also distrust that others can do things well, so they want to control everything continually and often speak in bad manners to their colleagues or treat them as useless. All this can cause great suffering to the people who surround the perfectionist, since they feel continually put to the test and are unable to reach where they have set the bar. And in the end, a person who wants to be perfect ends up showing that not only is not, but also ends up giving problems and generating frustration and aversion around him.

Teresa Pereda
Advisors: Doctor Manuel Álvarez and Domingo García-Villamisar, psychologist. Book authors The perfectionist syndrome.

You may also like:

- Beat perfectionism: 7 solutions for perfectionists

- The perfectionist, is it born or is it made?

- 8 secrets to succeed in an oral exam

Video: Perfection is the Wrong Direction | Isabella Fons | [email protected]


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