Point One: The Perfectionist
The preoccupations of Point One include:
- Internal standards of correctness that can become puritanically demanding.
Stream of self-criticizing thoughts.
- A compulsive need to act on what seems to be correct.
- Doing the right thing.
- A belief in their own ethical and moral superiority. The better people.
The top 10 percent, who do things right.
- Difficulty in recognizing real needs that do not conform to standards
- Mentally comparing oneself to others, "Am I better or worse than
they are?" Concern about criticism from others, "Are they judging
- Procrastination in decision making, stemming from the fear of making
- Do-gooder. Displacement of the anger generated by unmet needs toward
what appear to be legitimate outside targets.
- The emergence of two selves: the worried self, who lives at home, and
the playful self, who comes out away from home.
- A way of paying attention that is based on correcting error, which
can lead to
- Superb powers of criticism, and
- A background awareness of the potential for perfection in any given
situation, against which, by comparison, error stands out as the foreground
perception. "Think how perfect it could be."
Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life
Harper & Row, 1988, 392 pages