What came First – Perfectionism or Narcissism?
Don’t hate me. It’s taken me two years to say this out loud (I’m working on my people-pleasing). Perfectionism is narcissism. I know, perfectionists tend to feel like their tendencies are to improve the lives of everyone in their life. Their advice based on thinking five steps ahead is just to make everyone’s life easier, you know? Because perfectionists care about their loved ones and also about the random people they meet along the way. A little advice won’t hurt anyone. But. What they forget is that everyone sees their world through their own eyes and sometimes people just have to go through their experiences on their own. And, what you think is completely off may be totally on point for the other person, that’s narcissism. Your comments may put a damper on the relationship more than help anyone out.
Perfection is subjective. Therefore, to expect others to be perfect or to do things your way because you have found it to be perfect is to erase their entire essence and wait for them to comply with your definition of “how it should be”. For parents, this is very difficult. For people in romantic relationships, also. Maybe, that’s why I waited for some time to break the news to you (even though we talk about this one on one in sessions all the time). Parents seem incredulous as they automatically assume that because they are the parent they know best. I agree, they know best about many things, but could we leave the details to the child? Could we instead of cajoling, forcing, nagging, and begging, try to see things from the child’s point of view and create effective and substantial change that way? Because guess what happens, the more you insist on something the more they’re gonna resist it- either in your face or behind the scenes. Or worse, create a false notion that something is inherently wrong with them because they cannot be the perfect version expected of them or act just dutifully as their parent wants.
For those in romantic relationships trying to continually perfect their partner, please understand that no one changes unless they themselves want to. And. Even then, it is such a journey. You may see your efforts to perfect them as helping them or solving problems for them, they may feel like major boundaries are transgressed, and similarly to the child scenario, that nothing they ever do will be good enough in your eyes. Take a moment and reflect on this, and if you