Five ways to prevent perfectionism damaging your friendships

Five ways to prevent perfectionism damaging your friendships

Perfectionism is often thought of as good quality. We have high standards and aim for the stars, right? Surely that’s a good thing!
A bittersweet fact is that mistakes are part of life and a valuable learning tool. Relentless striving for perfection can lead to anxiety in all walks of life, including our relationships. A relationship is a two-way street. Staying open and flexible to new ideas can bring many unexpected benefits.
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Read on to see how letting go (even if it’s only a little!) could help you improve your well-being and relationships. 

Keep your expectations in check

As a perfectionist, you likely have high expectations of yourself and others. You put a lot of effort into planning and organising your outings with friends. Yet how other people behave or make choices is out of your control. Look for an alignment with your core values in a friend, but don’t forget to let them breathe and be themselves. We’re all different, and that’s ok.

Consider how others feel about you

Once you’ve spent enough time together, your close friends will likely be aware of your perfectionist tendencies. Consider how this may be impacting their behaviour around you. Are they anxious not to say or do the ‘wrong thing?’ Or treading on eggshells to not disrupt your exquisitely crafted plans?

Focus on what’s in front of you

Social occasions can be a source of great joy and happy memories. But only if you can stay in the present and enjoy the moment. As a perfectionist, do you always think about what’s next and check that all is going to plan? Thinking ahead or going over the past means you’re not in the present, which is where the fun stuff happens!

Allow for mistakes

It can be challenging to find ourselves in a situation where we’re let down by someone close. Even more so when you value perfection above all. But we are humans, and we all make mistakes from time to time. Being aware of this and adjusting your expectations can help you accept and move on with grace. Your mental health will thank you for it.

Change what you can, accept what you can’t

Finally, it’s not only people that tend to misbehave. Sometimes things don’t work out, and you can do nothing about it. You got drenched at the BBQ because the weather forecast was wrong. Or the train you booked to visit a friend got cancelled. There is nothing you can do about it, and it’s best to learn to let it go fast rather than dwell on it.
There is beauty in the unexpected; all you need to do is enjoy it. Ideally, with a good friend by your side.