Perfectly Miserable – Queendom.com's Study Reveals The Pitfalls of Trying to Achieve Perfection

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Latest study by Queendom.com (subsidiary of PsychTests.com) reveals that when it comes to perfectionism, a little goes a long way.

Queendom’s study results reveal that while the determined efforts of Extreme and Moderate Perfectionists do pay off in some cases, Low Perfectionists appear to be happier and better adjusted overall.

Wanting to be perfect will just make you perfectly miserable.

Perfection may seem like a noble goal, but when extreme, it becomes a hindrance.

It may be time to redefine our beliefs about what it means to be perfect. Striving to do well in school, at work, as a parent and as a member of society is an admirable goal, but as Queendom’s study of 1,206 people who took their Perfectionism Test reveals, wanting to be perfect will just make you perfectly miserable.

Perfectionists can appreciate, with a certain sense of bitterness, the fruitless toils of Sisyphus. Struggle as they might to be perfect, they just never manage to attain this lofty goal. This isn’t to say that working hard has little value. Doing your best is one thing – trying to be perfect is a whole other mess.

Researchers at Queendom.com analyzed the responses of 1,206 people who took their online Perfectionism Test and based on their results, divided them into three groups: Extreme Perfectionists, Moderate Perfectionists, and Low Perfectionists.

Queendom’s study results reveal that while the determined efforts of Extreme and Moderate Perfectionists do pay off in some cases, Low Perfectionists appear to be happier and better adjusted overall.

Here are some highlights from Queendom’s statistics:

In terms of academic performance:

  •     30% of Extreme Perfectionists had straight A’s in school, 42% had good grades (mix of A’s and B’s), and 28% had average grades.
  •     27% of Moderate Perfectionists had straight A’s in school, 44% had good grades (mix of A’s and B’s), and 30% had average grades.
  •     21% of Low Perfectionists had straight A’s in school, 39% had good grades (mix of A’s and B’s), and 40% had average grades.

In terms of work performance:

  •     43% of Extreme Perfectionists had a good work performance rating, 43% were satisfactory, and 13% were poor.
  •     44% of Moderate Perfectionists had a good work performance rating, 47% were satisfactory, and 9% were poor.
  •     51% of Low Perfectionists had a good performance rating, 44% were satisfactory, and 5% were poor.

When dealing with set-backs:

  •     92% of Extreme Perfectionists are hard on themselves when they fail, compared to 77% of Moderate Perfectionists and 39% of Low Perfectionists.

When reacting to time limits:

  •     67% of Extreme Perfectionists have missed a deadline at work because they felt a project wasn’t perfect enough to hand in yet, compared to 53% of Moderate Perfectionists and 46% of Low Perfectionists.

In terms of social, personal, and psychological well-being:

  •     19% of Extreme Perfectionists rated their self-esteem as high, 42% rated it as moderate, and 39% rated it as low.
  •     26% of Moderate Perfectionists rated their self-esteem as high, 50% rated it as moderate, and 24% rated it as low.
  •     50% of Low Perfectionists rated their self-esteem as high, 41% rated it as moderate, and 9% rated it as low.
  •     75% of Extreme Perfectionists are afraid of being criticized by their family if they are not perfect, compared to 37% of Moderate Perfectionists and 10% of Low Perfectionists.
  •     50% of Extreme Perfectionists believe that other people’s opinion of them is more important than their own view of themselves, compared to 33% of Moderate Perfectionists and 13% of Low Perfectionists.
  •     41% of Extreme Perfectionists have consulted a professional for stress-related problems. Only 29% of Moderate Perfectionists and 23% of Low Perfectionists did so.
  •     34% of Extreme Perfectionists have been diagnosed with depression, compared to 23% of Moderate Perfectionists and 18% of Low Perfectionists.
  •     28% of Extreme Perfectionists have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, compared to 20% of Moderate Perfectionists and 13% of Low Perfectionists.

“The implication here isn’t that working hard and trying your best is pointless or unhealthy,” points out Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. “In some cases, perfectionists will produce better quality projects, but it can come at a cost. The bottom line is that while low perfectionists may not always be the top performers, they don’t fear failure, they learn from but don’t make a big deal of mistakes, and they don’t make being the best their top priority. And as a result, they are happy with themselves and have better self-esteem.”

“While we would still advise that people strive to do their best in whatever endeavor they take on, we also suggest moderation. Perfection may seem like a noble goal, but when extreme, it becomes a hindrance. Often times, ‘good and on time’ is better than ‘perfect but late’. Set high but achievable goals, use errors and failures as lessons learned, and view success as a pleasant by-product of your journey through life – not as your raison d’être,” concludes Dr. Jerabek.

Those who wish to take the Perfectionism Test can go to: http://www.queendom.com/tests/access_page/index.htm?idRegTest=3051

About Queendom.com
Queendom.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. Queendom.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About PsychTests AIM Inc:
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world (see ARCHProfile.com). PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek, PhD
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