Being 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