So many people, especially those with perfectionistic tendencies, feel a responsibility to others while ignoring their own needs.
Certain types of perfectionistic behavior appear on the surface to be beneficial and are considered by the perfectionistic person to be an essential aspect of their personality. Even when they accept that the perfectionistic traits cause them stress, anxiety and/or depression, they are still unwilling to make the cognitive and behavioral change.
Many of my perfectionistic clients argued with me about changing their perfectionistic tendencies especially when it involved desirable character traits. I think my rejoinder to their claim regarding the value of perfectionism usually convinced them.
The problem with their argument is thinking in all-or-nothing terms: “But I SHOULD be responsible and reliable!” To them, the opposite of being perfectly responsible is being irresponsible. Read more...