Paula Carrasquillo Salvador Dali Perfect

Paula Carrasquillo Salvador Dali PerfectBeing a perfectionist is a tiresome way to be and it can lead to finding ourselves in relationships with others who criticize us repeatedly and incessantly, like narcissistic sociopaths.

When we emotionally abuse ourselves by demanding perfection in all we do, we run the risk of blindly accepting the emotional and verbal abuse from others. After all, we’ve been hearing those same “you’re not good enough” attacks most of our lives — from ourselves.

As perfectionists, when we hear criticisms of our choices and behavior coming from the sociopath, it seems normal and natural because we are already so hard on ourselves. What the narcissistic sociopath says simply reinforces our self-sabotaging thinking. We agree with the attacks, and we become more focused on being perfect to the point of losing sight of what is really happening in our toxic relationship. We don’t even question the abuse and control being inflicted upon us until it’s almost or often absolutely too late.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this. I believe that if we can stop emotionally abusing ourselves and turn off our need and quest for perfection, we will be more able to stop accepting emotional and verbal abuse from others. We’ll recognize it sooner as foreign and squash it like it’s a cold bug.

Many victims and survivors of pathological abuse from sociopaths and other Cluster B personalities think it’s enough to know how to spot these predators/abusive personalities. But that’s just step 1; there is a step 2 we must consider, because recognizing what an abuser “looks” like is not a guarantee that we will avoid getting sucked in by another one in the future.

Step 2: We must take a good hard look at ourselves and be willing to change our thinking and do the work to get there.

Perfectionism could be the thing about you that needs remedied. Are you a perfectionist? Are you ready to free yourself from this burden and start living in the beauty of realistic expectations and life?

You can read about my battle with perfectionism on Elephant Journal.

You can also learn about perfectionism and depression from Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a blogger and a counseling psychologist in private practice. He also offers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and online counseling.

Namaste! Happy Saturday! ~Paula

abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Elephant Journal, Emotional Abuse, Forgiveness, Health, Lessons, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Peace, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. Oh no something else to think about :)


  2. What a great post. I’m a perfectionist in the house and I drive myself made! Lol
    Enjoy the weekend. Hugs Paula xxx


    • You and me both!! I can’t leave my house in the morning without making my bed. I have eased up on myself in recent years when it comes to how clean and organized my home is but that’s mainly because of my son. I can’t keep up. So, I’m teaching him how to keep his things organized, at least in the same room. Baby steps. :)


    • Me too! God forbid if I don’t make the bed! lol Night xx


  3. Oh, Paula! This is SO, so, so true! For so long I was a perfectionist and while I try hard not to be one, I still struggle with it. Yes, I beat myself up, so why shouldn’t he. I’ve tried to stand up for myself today and he’s really coming back at me (emotionally.) Thank you so much for this post today. It was a reminder I really needed.


    • I’m rooting for you to find your happiness. Lots of us are. And tapping in to this may allow other areas to open up. We can’t forget that in our quest for perfection, we put pressure on those we love at times to also be perfect. But never expect less than full respect from your spouse. Even when someone disagrees with what we do or say and
      how we do or say it, their criticisms must be done with care. We humans are fragile. In disagreements is where the Golden Rule applies the most and should be remembered and practiced. XOXO


  4. I struggled for a long time with perfectionism. I’ve noted that at times it might even be somehow tied to OCD wherein it can get so bad it can lead to procrastination. It’s an interesting angle. I never understood why in some respects the perfectionism became an obstacle. Many view perfectionism as something whereby one would be on top of their game. To the contrary, sometimes this perfectionism can be so pervasive if one has an inkling that they cannot do something perfectly they won’t even attempt to do it. I found in the relationship there was in hindsight a repetition compulsion going on. The narc represented two important figures in my life and I ended up playing out a very old script I did not realize had not been resolved. In this journey much was brought to light about myself and so I don’t see the experience necessarily as something in vain although the lessons were very painful. To the contrary the experience forced me to take a good long look at myself and in going through the process, I learned a lot about myself and finally learned how to let go of being so ‘perfect’. I believe my perfectionism ran me into the ground, I was disabled at 35 with CFS and Fibro. There are theories that these conditions are co-morbid with trauma. While I don’t buy into the psychosomatic illness model, I do believe that when under stress for a sustained period of time, the body breaks down and hence one is made susceptible to illness and that is the story of my life. Because I could not see clearly earlier, my body bore the brunt. Some have nervous breakdowns others their bodies give in. I do believe given the experiences I’ve had it would be wise for anyone that still does have their health intact to take a very long hard look at self and make the changes needed to live a healthier life in general. These disordered folks are not worth harping on, that energy is better served nurturing and loving self as well as doing the work to replenish all that was depleted. As per the perfectionism, warm up to the fact that NO ONE on this plane is perfect. Try to locate the old scripts and rewrite them.


  5. here’s the link to my story about my friend…it’s on my sister’s ‘family site’..


  6. I had a girl-friend, she’s passed now, we met at age 5. She was a perfectionist and I always thought how sad that was. She has other problems, she was so sweet but nothing was ever good enough. I’m going to find my link and post it here…I wrote a memorial for her.


  7. Great post Paula! Nothing you do, can ever please the Narcissist, you will always be wrong :(


  8. I was raised by one and am one…ugh! I’m hardest on myself not others, the father projected onto others.


  9. Add in a little extra helping of “people pleaser” along with “perfectionist” and you are a target waiting to happen!


    • Absolutely! And those two things often go hand-in-hand. We want to please ourselves and others all the time, which is simply unrealistic. :)


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