How Perfection Changes People’s Self Perception. Especially at Carver.

The irony of writing this article is palpable.


Lauren Mendenhall

Have you ever wanted to truly suffer purely by your own accord? Do you just want to feel horrible about yourself for not achieving your idiotically high goals? Then try being perfect! It’s super fun, and only leads to unrealistic expectations, eventual disappointment, and crushed dreams. Wahoo! How fun and joyous! Not trying new things because you’re scared you’ll be terrible? That’s so cool! Losing your ever loving mind due to your own perception that everyone around you and yourself can never mess up? That’s so silly! Side effects typically, but not exclusively, include self hatred, lack of sleep, and developing mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Yippee! But seriously, just calm down, shut up, and listen for a moment on how stupid of an idea perfectionism is, my wonderful, captive target audience.

Striving to be the best person possible and putting everything into every aspect of life can sound like a great thing. Many people probably should put more effort into their endeavors. However, there is a big difference between wanting to excel and needing to be perfect. Everyone, especially here at Carver, has at least one if not multiple things they are exceptional at (or at least I would hope). But once that obsession of trying to be better and feeling you’re not good enough overtakes someone, it can be shockingly harmful.

Dr Paul Hewitt, registered and practicing psychologist, has found that there are typically two types of perfectionism: self-oriented and other-oriented. The former is where you expect no flaws or imperfections from yourself, and the ladder is where no one else in your life can make mistakes. This need to achieve a ludicrous standard such as this can put strain on relationships, by either putting stupid rules on others or yourself. Hewitt worked with a depressed university student who felt as if they had to get an A+ in one of their courses. They studied hard and got the A, but felt more depressed afterward, feeling bad they had to put in that much effort in the first place. Ouchie. It’s definitely good to acknowledge the things that you can improve on, but being this hard on yourself and never giving yourself any sort of praise is way too far. Not being proud of yourself? Shut up. Be nice. Avoiding making mistakes? Disgusting. 

Many people feel like they cannot make a mistake or show the world a single failure. “What might everyone else think of my incompetence? Will they look down on me for this?” No. No they won’t. No one really cares much what you’re doing (unless people’s lives are at risk. That’s a big distinction), and probably are not even paying you any attention, either being purely oblivious or too busy worrying themselves.People learn through failure and through their mistakes, so never trying anything new or innovative is stupid. You don’t have to be good at anything the first time, and no one cares if you are not. It’s all about perseverance, idiot.

All in all, dear children, just stop. Calm down, try new things, and try your best. Eat a moon pie, whatever you are doing is not that deep and probably won’t really matter much for the rest of your life. Just shut up stupid whiny babies and be human like the rest of us. Suffer less.