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Three Perfectionistic Thoughts That Can Hurt Your Family Life

perfectionist thoughts
Here’s a news flash – I’m a silent perfectionist. How do I know this? Because of the hopeless clutter in my closet, my desk, the “splash zone” around my desk, and my procrastination habits.

I wouldn’t have called myself a perfectionist, but I now recognize some key thoughts that contribute to these bad habits and cluttered areas. Keep in mind – perfectionism doesn’t always have a neat-as-a-pin appearance.

Let’s think of this as something therapeutic we can do together, OK? We’ll expose these thoughts and the trouble they bring with them. At another time, we’ll talk about what to do with these aggravating things. For now, let’s bring out the suspects!

  1. “What’s the point of doing XXX? It won’t matter.” Are you’re holding back on discipline, romantic gestures to your spouse, or  much-needed cleaning? This all-or-nothing thought can justify a lot of inaction. It’s either done perfectly or you may as well not do it at all. And it only really matters if it’s done “right,” right? (ouch)
  2. “I’m such an idiot.” Again, being a human that makes mistakes or continues to learn isn’t acceptable when this thought makes an appearance.  If you can’t get it all right, then it’s all wrong. You may be more worried about everyone scrutinizing your appearance as a parent or spouse than the quality of your family relationships.
  3. “I’m a horrible mother/father” It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or frustrated when you’re a parent. It’s normal and felt by nearly every mom or dad at some point. But if you hear this in your mind, you may be comparing yourself to an impossible standard. You’ll miss out on lots of wonderful blessings of family life if you always assume you’re failing.

This will be a series of at least one or two more posts. I really think so many of us face these kinds of thoughts and find ourselves under a lot of undue pressure. I want to help you relieve that pressure, after maybe one more post about identifying perfectionistic thoughts.

If you have some nagging perfectionistic thoughts that often roam your mind, put them down here in the comments. Putting them out here in the light makes them so much less scary for everyone. Take this as encouragement and let’s do this together!

Creative Commons License photo credit: si_si_ay

Three Perfectionistic Thoughts That Can Hurt Your Family Life

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2012). Three Perfectionistic Thoughts That Can Hurt Your Family Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Apr 2012
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