An open letter to the perfectionists in my life

Hello You,  yes, YOU the perfectionist, You know who you are,

May be you haven’t heard it lately, but I like you. It’s hard but I do.

I understand your point of view.

Trust me , I have often times tried to be a perfectionist myself (and failed) and I know; yes I know; how difficult it is . The pursuit of perfection is exhausting. No wonder there are so few in your species. I am glad your demand for perfectionism is not only limited to others but to yourself as well and extends to all areas of your life. Your house is neat, your work is excellent and your kids well they are perfect too!

It’s not easy expecting and demanding the highest of standards from yourself and those around you. Of course, I hate it when you push me to strive for the gold; work harder , longer and finish stronger. But Honestly, we all need someone to hold us accountable and prevent us from slipping into mediocrity. I get that.

Its not easy to make sacrifices of time and effort and offer up many a relationships at the altar of perfection but you have done it. Kudos !! yeay to you!

Life on the cloud of perfection must be so……. perfect. You must be so happy. Are you?

May be you haven’t noticed. Not everyone thinks like you do. Some people prefer peace over excellence; practicality over perfection, Yes some of us actually are guilty of lowering our standards. Compromise is not a four letter word.

You say no one is perfect but you drive everyone crazy trying to be just that. Did you notice that you are always picking on others? Always looking for faults and errors instead of answering the simple question that is asked of you. Of course you call it ” having a room for improvement”.  And NO, it is not constructive criticism unless you have developed a foundational relationship with a person (oh! for that you’d need to come down to the plane where mere mortals reside!) and your purpose in criticism is to build a person up not tear him down. I notice the condescending eye roll and the subtle sarcasm in your voice when you have to just let things be. (may be you don’t know but the boss has noticed it too!).

It is saddening when you cannot even accept a compliment with dignity. May be you find fault in the grammar! After all that handwork and effort one would hope applause will be pleasing but even that from us; the imperfect beings; fails to satisfy you. Moreover you cannot give a compliment heartily,  it is sandwiched with sarcasm and more fault finding. You say the right words, but your body language gives you away.

Were you not willing to compromise your own standards when the client refused to pay another cent for your one thousand and thirtieth suggestion for improvement? The dirty dishes in the sink don’t bother as much when the baby’s crying gets to you. Can you not do the same for me? even once?

Is your perfectionism just a tool to get your way? You seriously don’t believe that your views and actions are most likely to be constructive and beneficial to the society as a whole now , do you? How does a simple suggestion that differs from your point of view lead to total head butting? and why do you change the subject often and not bring the conversation to a conclusion?

Did you ever consider…that someone else might be giving the task his 100%? Not all engines perform the same at full blast ( may be you are the rocket engine among us ). Did you ever consider, someone else can do the job as well as you? ( or even well enough?) I am not hailing poor performance, or even mediocrity. Human life after all always aspires to the better! We need people like you to think outside the box and to aim higher. It’s just doesn’t feel worth it when you trample all over other people in the process.

It’s not you against the world. Not even you against me. Its you against yourself only, dear perfectionist.

You think I hate you but I don’t.

I like you……. It’s hard but I do.

Phir MIlenge!!

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4 thoughts on “An open letter to the perfectionists in my life

    • I agree. My dear perfectionists (yes there is more than one in my life) are taking themselves way too seriously. work issues flow into social life and vice versa and its happening 24X7……

    • yes, we all strive for perfection sometime or the other, not always. I love them but the Perfectionists in my life are crossing over into elitism. sigh !!

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