We get the idea that people lean towards perfectionism to attain some respect and achieve their goals, but the problem with it is that it’s been linked to anxiety, depression, anorexia, and so many shortcomings you’d never expect to come from what many people believe is a ‘self-improvement’ technique. Sophie McBain mentions three types of perfectionism in her article, The New Cult of Perfectionism: self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism which is most common among us and according to her, is most likely to cause suicide among Millennials.
Social media fuels perfectionism by making it so easy to compare your life to public figures, and people feel like it’s the best way to get attention and start seeking public approval but it’s simply a detrimental way of social living.
We are obsessed with professional success and we adore the idea of being self-made. But bearing the fact that there’s high competition in the job market and the fact that we live in an economy that was screwed up by the previous generations – we’re not having it easy.
Everyone’s striving to be perfect in every way – some are forced to do so by circumstances and this becomes too much pressure for them to handle. Since perfectionism is a result of uncontrollable factors like the economy and cultural meltdown, we’d rather deal with the negative impacts by being more accepting of such situations and being less reflective of ourselves.
There’s no apparent solution to all of this mess, but there’s some quality practices advised by Svend Brinkmann in Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze.
He talks about being less introspective, learning to say no, and talking to friends instead of visiting therapists. In addition to that, he advises that we don’t get sucked in by the misery memoirist’s insistent that every bad thing that happens to us is a gift. It’s just another self-help writing by an author who’s making money from your anxiety – quit this and read more novels!