This is world is kind of crazy. I feel like we’ve progressed in many ways and regressed in many others. I look back on the whole George Floyd tragedy last year, and this era of cancel culture. With George Floyd, a great majority of people were appalled by what happened to Floyd, but there was also a group of people who looked at Floyd’s past and because wasn’t perfect he wasn’t deserving of love. We shouldn’t be calling his death a tragedy because he made mistakes. As though we all don’t make mistakes. Does that mean we all don’t deserve love?
Most recently, the coach of my favorite football team was fired due to disrespectful emails. Is what he did wrong? Most definitely. When someone needs love, why do we decide to cut them off and cancel them? It’s the wrong time to do such a thing. This could easily be a post about romantic relationships, but love goes further than that.
The Problem with Perfectionism
Perfectionism is an inherit issue that stems from our ability to want to please our parents. In exchange for our pleasure, we receive their love. It’s weird that this is a part of most households because it’s a fear-based model. You think perfectionists is something to be proud about. Actually, perfectionists are so afraid of making a mistake, the believe that as long as they do everything right, they’ll never feel discomfort.
The belief then goes to school where we get good grades and ace our tests only to stay in the good graces of our parents. Maybe it’s not just your parents. At school, you only get rewarded for getting things right and punished for getting things wrong. Of course, we are going to do the best we can to get more rights. It takes the pressure off.
While I was at school, I was that perfect student. I got all As. I was in honors, and I took the AP classes. During my school years, I would spent late nights studying believing that if I don’t get an A on this test, I’d be labeled as a failure. Basically, my schoolwork was the proof that I should be loved.
Perfection isn’t Attainable
The simple fact (it’s crazy that not everyone believes it, or at least acts in a justified way towards the fact) is that no one is perfect. We are literally people were are prone to make mistakes. If you were to describe a human being, one of the characteristics for all is that we make mistakes.
The idea of perfectionism breeds false hope. I can be loved if I weighed a little less, or if I made more money. If I try a little harder, I will do a little better, and I will be closer to the perfect person. I’m sorry to say that perfection is not achievable. All we are really doing is rejecting pieces that deserve love from ourselves.
So let’s talk about dating for a moment. I was was the worst offender in trying to be perfect for my date. Instead of showing the girl who I was, I tried to hide my flaws. This way they’d have nothing they could find to reject me right? Nope, that actually didn’t work. The ones that didn’t reject me, I really didn’t have an attraction towards them. Maybe it’s because I got a little suspicious of those who loved me despite my flaws.
This notion leads into what I was talking about in the introduction of this blog post. The perfectionist not only puts a high standard on him/herself, that same perfectionism becomes how they judge other people. People tend to project their unresolved issues within themselves onto other people. Perfectionism is no exception.
That’s why you have people who are quick to cancel someone else as soon as a mistake is made. In their heads, they believe that they’ve tried hard to not make a mistake like the person being canceled so it makes them more righteous, severing any type of support from that person. Because we do things just right, our expectation is for others to do the same thing. Is there truly a reason to be angry at your coworker who may have made a mistake? In this case, you play the parent willing to take away your love if this person doesn’t make the grade.
Love Yourself, Flaws and All
Perfectionism is impossible to attain. Why do we continue to strive for something we’ll never receive? What if instead of believing we need to be perfect, we instead said that we are perfect just the way we are. Yes, including our flaws. If I own my imperfections and flaws, no one can use it against me. It’s easier to laugh at my mistakes rather than worry about them. Some of use just need to tell ourselves that we don’t need to be perfect to be loved.