A perfectionist will typically engage in dysfunctional, self-defeating thought patterns. We can all admit to having adopted one (or more) of these patterns at least once. However, perfectionists tend to engage in these thinking styles most of the time
- Black & white thinking: only thinking in extremes - no middle ground. “If I do not get a straight A, I am basically a failure”.
- Self-blame: assuming responsibility for no good reason. “My manager asked for a 1:1 meeting. I must have messed up something”.
- Shoulding & musting: forcing unnecessary requirements on self and others “I must be the first to finish the exam, otherwise what’s the point?”.
- Catastrophizing: exaggerating the consequences. “I paid my phone bill late last month. My credit will go down and I will never be able to buy a house anymore”.
- Disqualifying the positive: assuming that positive aspects don’t count as much as negative ones. “My boss said my project was fine, but he says that to everyone. It probably wasn’t even good enough”.
- Jumping to conclusions: assuming that we can predict others’ reactions and thoughts. “I delivered my project 1 hour late. I am sure my manager is angry and I will probably get fired”.