Dr. Paul Hewitt and Dr. Gordon Flett determined that there are basically three types of perfectionists.
- The self-oriented perfectionist
- This person strives to be the very best and they turn their drive into achieving and reaching goals. They use their perfectionism as a skill and are highly adaptive.
- The other-oriented perfectionist
- This person expects others to be perfect. This can lead to problems interacting with others.
- The socially prescribed perfectionist
- This person believes others expect them to be perfect. They feel a strong desire for the approval of others and can be very self-critical.
The key to being a perfectionist is self-compassion. No one can be perfect all the time and when mistakes are made, they shouldn’t be seen as defeats, but as opportunities for growth and learning.
Michael Hawkins, MA, LPC is a licensed professional counselor at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH). With almost 25 years of experience as a counselor, he works with clinicians, students, staff, and clients—compassionately attending to the human needs that arise in the practice of veterinary medicine. Counselor’s Corner is a blog devoted to that purpose. BACK TO BLOG