Perfectionism

A “perfectionist” means a person who demands perfection of himself, herself, or others (according to the internet). For 35 years, I was a perfectionist and for 23 years, while handicapped, I was still a perfectionist. I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing to be a perfectionist in this situation. The reasons why I say this is because I get in trouble or accused of being too demanding of my aids and others when they don’t perform up to my standards. I tend to focus too much on the things people are not doing or doing “wrong” and believe me they do a lot wrong. Everyone from home health aids to transportation people are all doing poorly.

Do others feels like i am being too much of a perfectionist or is the reality that everyone does a poor job?

Linda the Thinker

Hi Linda,

A tough situation indeed. Probably made worse now that you have to rely on other people more.

I don't think you should lower your expectations, but it appears to trouble you greatly when others fall short. Not sure of any suggestions on how you can work to have it affect you less.

If you come up with an answer, pls post it here as many of us could benefit from it I'm sure.

Best wishes,
Ron, KS

Hi - I agree with Ron about not lowering your expectations. I used to teach ballroom dancing, and the rule-of-thumb with dance partners of very different heights was for the taller of the two not to break his or her frame / to bend over or attempt to shorten in order to connect with his or her partner.

If you were to lower your expectations, I see that it’s kind of like “breaking your frame”.

Although I don’t think you should “break your frame”, I think that you should grow into not expecting the impossible from your own frame or from your dance partner/health care aid.

We can always improve, not-so-much to the set-up-for-failure / perfection, and each of us can only set those improvement expectations for ourselves.

Hi, Linda - maybe it would help to prioritze (write it down if you have to) the things that would be deal breakers vs something you could accept. I struggled a lot at first about no being able to choose to have things the way I wanted, e.g. when I was in a chair it drove me NUTS to encounter a wet countertop near the sink in the bathroom because I inevitably got my arms all wet trying to wash my hands. It's better now. A friend of mine, paralyzed from the chest down in a car crash in Ethiopia 19 years ago, told me it was super hard to learn to accept help since a friend might not fold towels the way I like to fold them. But the main thing is that they get folded. On the other hand, if things relate to your care and safety they could definitely be dealbreakers. www.annninglearninghow.com