Confessions of a Teenage Perfectionist | Teen Ink

Confessions of a Teenage Perfectionist

August 10, 2014
By sakthi.vetrivel GOLD, Redmond, Washington
sakthi.vetrivel GOLD, Redmond, Washington
12 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You can never solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem in the first place.”

Whether we admit it or not, everyone is striving for perfection, despite that fact that we are repeatedly told that it’s not possible. As Miley Cyrus put it so concisely, “nobody’s perfect, we live and we learn it”. However, everyone still wants to be that person that everyone looks up to. Perfectionists take this ideal to the extreme, following it like a religion and rightly so. Unfortunately they are sadly underappreciated and sometimes considered irritating by the ungifted population. Many see perfectionism as a curse, a compulsive disorder that needs to be treated, when really it should be recognized as a grace to the human population who make mistakes on a daily basis. Had a perfectionist engineered the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the bridge would still be standing today, even if it had taken an additional year. So with this new perceptive cast upon you, you may be scratching your head and wondering, “Who are the perfectionists?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

Perfectionists are the epitome of the human ideals. Without the perfectionists to repair the mistakes of the remainder of the world, humans would be caught up in their own troubles and never live long enough to move the species forward. Perfectionists balance the world and counteract the actions of the mistaken. Perfectionists do work that strongly resembles that of superheroes. They fight the evils of the errors everyone else makes, behind the scenes, undisguised but never recognized. In ancient times, perfectionists were, unfortunately, never ones to survive the longest as nature only demanded average work done quickly. It wasn’t about your running form, but how fast you were. Our highly evolved mindsets were not built for those times but since then, we have blossomed as a people. Since humans were cavemen, they’ve been telling each other to do their best. Perfectionists never submit work that isn’t up to their standards. With such extremely high standards for ourselves, it only makes sense that our kind takes maybe just a little bit more time to finish things. In perspective, it’s a small price to pay for perfect.

Are good old regular humans really that detrimental to our community? By their own destructive nature. Have you ever watched America’s Funniest Home Videos? They couldn’t tie their shoes without injuring themselves.

Perfectionists are remarkably underappreciated and occasionally deeply resented by slobs. Slobs are the polar opposite of perfectionists. They take these ideal humans and follow their every opposing belief. They contribute nothing to society. They repeatedly make mistakes and feel no remorse for the stresses they have placed on society’s shoulders. The two contrasting hidden society occasionally come out of hiding to only clash heads. With perfectionists imploring the slobs to do their part in the community and slobs resembling inanimate objects, the arguments go nowhere. Just like ComicCon.

Why do perfectionists want to be perfect? Scientists have long questioned the difference between the increased capabilities of perfectionist and the remainder of the population. Perhaps, they are just wired in a different way. Maybe they inhaled radioactive fumes as a baby. It’s possible that their brains release chemicals in different ratios, resulting in beneficial chemical reactions in their minds. Many of us perfectionists are driven by our fear of committing errors. But who could blame us when errors have damaged the lives of thousands?
Once a recognized perfectionist commits an error, the consequences can be drastic. An error is not something to be praised, nor is it something you are severely chastised for, mainly because an error is irreparable. Once it happens, everyone sulks around and expresses their condolences. Said perfectionists will most likely try to pretend it was someone else’s fault, preferably someone who has been known to commit several errors over a small period of time. People will never forget what they supposedly did, but their reputation was tarnished to begin with. What’s one more error on a pile of errors for a normal person? However said erroneous person will never forgive them so in an attempt to save face, they have severed all relationships with the regular person. If you are dealing with a perfectionist who has committed an error, do your best not to bring it up in casual conversation. However, laughing at these errors is a completely acceptable practice, since the person who erred will be too busy thinking about how they have damaged their life. Furthermore, you must respect that the healing process for these things takes time. Try to understand if the person seems more aloof than usual; they are just having a hard time dealing with their new place in society among the erroneous. As they come to accept the fact they are no longer considered perfect like the rest of their friends, they will never lead the same life again, but they may try to. In this case, play along; their psyches have been damaged enough.

As a perfectionist, I too have erred. Even though I had made mistakes in the past, I considered it my duty to keep them under wraps, so the general public would never know. And I did my job, every minute of every day and frankly, it was exhausting. Any situation where my every action was tracked was a dicey situation for me, as my entire reputation was at stake. Particularly for me, I encounter this situation on a daily basis in the name of volleyball practice. Every serving speed, spot and hit and miss is tracked making it so very essential to keep every ball off the ground. So after I made my first mistake fifteen seconds into our first practice, I came to realize that perfectionism was not for me. The constant pressure and worry fogged my mind making me more incapable than the typical human. However ideal perfectionism is, it doesn’t work for everyone. I recommend you contact your spiritual guru today to find what’s right for you.

For those lost, confused perfectionists out there, the next time you or someone else, God forbid, makes an error, understand that you possess some special quality that forces you to commit errors, a quality so few people have in the world. The first step to solving the problem is admitting you have a problem. Perfectionists usually never take this measure of admittance as they always wish to ‘maintain their social relationships’ or ‘continue to live their lives’. You are not just lying to those around you, you are lying to yourself. Join the people down on Earth, a highly exclusive club of seven billion people; they’ll accept you. I mean, Lindsay Lohan still lives there, right?

I eagerly wait for the day perfectionists can simply say, “I’m a perfectionist, therefore I require an additional week to finish this essay.” The day when people stop telling us we are insane when we are unhappy with an A minus. Maybe someday the doctrine of our kind will spread and take root in society as a common value. ‘Unnecessarily critical’ will become ‘indispensably meticulous’. The day perfectionists are accepted into the world as regular people with heightened senses will be the day that bridges will be constructed flawlessly, airplanes crashes will be averted, grammar mistakes will cease to exist, and doors won’t creak anymore. Until then, I will do my best to blend into society and be as unoriginal as possible, like everyone else.

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