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Abbyrose86 On February - 16 - 2011

I read a blog entry today that really got me thinking and felt it would be good to share here.

The article entitled “The Disease called Perfection” sheds some light on today’s culture and the unrealistic expectations of many in our society today.

http://www.danoah.com/2010/09/disease-called-perfection.html

The author cites extreme examples of how the effects of such social thinking can lead some to live with negative situations or cause them to feel their lives are not worth living.  He also provides some ideas on how we can change this negative and destructive concept.

I tend to believe, that media, NOT just the news media, but media in general;  television shows, movies, advertisements,etc….(Hollywood and Madison Avenue)  are really the culprits behind this unattainable zest for perfection.

Think about it, how many times are we bombarded throughout our day, our week, year, lifetime, with images coming from Hollywood and Madison Avenue of the “perfect life”.

Male actors who are well into their 50’s are paired with spouses and love interests in movies and TV, who are 1/2 their age, and look “perfect”.  Female actresses in their late 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s without a wrinkle on their face or a sagging bosom and abs that (after childbirth) could have only come from a plastic surgeon.

The homes that the characters live in are perfectly clean, at all times, and decorated to the nines.  Even in shows like “Friends” the characters were living a lifestyle that would be economically impossible for a group of 20 somethings in NY City.

From commercials, to television programs and Hollywood movies, life is often portrayed in a completely unrealistic manner.  After years and years of seeing such images, is it no surprise that the average person gets a warped sense of what is attainable and what is real?

I’m not saying this occurs on the conscience level, but rather on the subconscious level.  It slowly ekes in to people’s perception and starts becoming a cultural norm, even though it is so far from the reality of our real lives and has no basis in actual REAL attainment.

We have become almost anesthetized to real life.  As such unrealistic expectations are everywhere in our world.  To the quest for everlasting youth and beauty to our inability to REASON on political matters.  Our culture as been bombarded by the unattainable and WE have come to believe that the unattainable IS possible.

It’s like our culture has been warped into believing, 60 year olds look like 30 year olds, ALL major issues can be resolved in 60 minutes or less and everyone can have a perfectly clean house ALL the time, while working a high level job and living a full social life.

Women, it seems, have been especially susceptible to such marketing and perverse perceptions.  Look at the amount of money women spend on beauty aids, clothing, anti-aging creams, diet supplements, etc.  I have been guilty of this myself.  I’m not saying men, aren’t deceived either, it’s just they chose to seek out their unattainable goals of perfection in a different way, and some of it isn’t as readily obvious.

I have many friends who are equally as guilty.  They don’t feel they are pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, good enough mothers, wives, employees, etc.    They obsess about their weight, aging and their children, to the point many of them are taking prozac, zoloft and other medications, both prescribed or not.

Children, especially teenagers, are highly susceptible as well to these perverse perceptions, obviously.  They have impressionable minds.  SO what damage are we doing to future generations?

I think our society needs to have an honest look at the culture we have created and we may have to make some very tough choices to help heal ourselves and our progeny.

Written by Abbyrose86

For the last 21 years, I worked in international trade as a licensed customs broker, international freight forwarder and international trade consultant. I ended up in that business after having studied Journalism and communication in college. (Strange how that worked) Over the last 3 years I have been trying to change my life and my career, so I left my job, returned to school and am on the last leg of completing my Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration and Economics, and am planning on going on for my masters in International Business. It might seem odd that I decided to formally study the business I was in for 21 years...but there is a reason for that... I hope to teach and write on the subject in the future. I'm a mother of 2 young adults and have many hobbies; reading, researching, writing, blogging, decorating, are my current favorites.

216 Responses so far.

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  1. coffeegod says:

    In 1988 ‘Roseanne’ aired for the first time and I wept. She was ballsy, fat and hysterical. Her house was a wreck. She bitched about her job, her friends and cleaning. I remain a fan of hers to this day. When that cackle poured out of my television for the first time, I realized there were other women out there who weren’t size 0.

    Camryn Manheim was my next role model. She wasn’t perfect. She was fat and in love with herself. Her style is gorgeous and affordable. I will always love her.

    I moved to New Orleans in 1993. There I learned that I was attractive, intelligent and worthy. Perfection wasn’t necessary. I just needed to turn off the endless ‘You Must Be Perfect To Be Worthy’ tape that played in my skull.

    Not one particle of me is perfect. I think that is perfectly fine. Excellent post, Abby. Kudos!

  2. PlatoSunTsu says:

    Great post Abbeyrose ( If that’s your real name friend, I love the olde school-ness of it)
    It reminded me of a marriage counselor I went to with my X ( didn’t help in the long run, seeing she’s an X, but we’re both happier and friends now) anyway she ( the counselor) made a an interesting point concerning expectations about “modern” adults.
    We expect or try to be ‘perfect’ parents, ‘perfect’ spouses, ‘perfect’ employees, ‘perfect’ friends/relatives…With so many expectations of ourselves and others we are bound to be let down and to let down.
    And yet we’re still surprised when it happens… After-all aren’t expectations premeditated resentments anyways.
    We all need to be a little easier on ourselves and others and decide what our real and realistic priorities are and should be.
    One thing I’ve slowly been trying is to just simplifying things,from the possessions I keep to the activities I do.
    There’s a lot to be said for K.I.S.S. and perfection isn’t one of them.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Thank you platosun…it’s actually a derivative of my real name, and a reference to my hair color!

      I couldn’t agree more, those unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves is just so damaging to ourselves, our relationships and I think our world in general.

      While it is good to strive to be your best or do your best, the best determinant of what that best is ourselves, not some social construct that is unattainable for anyone. :)

  3. PocketWatch says:

    Here’s my 2 cents worth…

    I think the idea of “perfection” may be a basic component of the human psyche in some way.

    Think about artists (I know many here are artists in some way). There is not an artist alive or dead that ever thought any of their art pieces -- -whether they be writing, painting, sculpture, photography -- or any other medium, were “perfect.” Why is that?

    Personally, there has never been any job I’ve ever had that I didn’t think I was keeping barely one step ahead of failing. Yet, in most cases, I was always being told I was doing a great job. Were people just blowing smoke? I knew that I could do better if I was just a little smarter or had more information. I knew it, objectively. I remembered all the little screw-ups I made on my way to getting something done well enough to pass. So how was I doing well?

    maybe it’s individual. We all know people that just really don’t seem to care. They get by just fine, and never seem to mind or even notice that they leave a wake of projects half-done, barely-functional repairs, poorly-written missives, and a plethora of unresolved issues for others to clean up or deal with.

    Is that just me? I sometimes envy people that just don’t care. They seem happier, and certainly don’t seem to have any awareness -- let alone guilt -- concerning the way they go through life. Are they happier? Sometimes I think so.

    I have no illusions that anything anyone does or is is “perfect.” But striving to be better is not an option to me.

    having said all that, I am aware that I am speaking about internals. The whole notion that society in general focuses on externals -- beauty or handsomeness, money, clothing, possessions -- and heavily influences our kids and ourselves needs to be addressed. Absolutely.

    Educating ourselves and our kids is the only way to combat that, IMO. I don’t remember where I heard it, but I consider TV shows to be nothing more than fillers to keep our attention until the next commercial is shown. THAT’s the real business of any commercial TV show. They’d air a test pattern if people would stay tuned until a commercial came on if they could. Content of shows do not matter one whit to networks. They really don’t.

    When viewed in that light, we can better understand the media world around us.

    -- end of rambling thoughts --

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      As usual they are also good ramblings of thoughts.

      And as far as the tv thing, that is so true. I think tv good be a good tool, but not the way we humans use it.

    • BigDogMom says:

      I have found that for women, some, not all, the older we get, the more we realize that struggling for perfection will be a loosing battle and once we realize this, we surrender, we accept ourselves for who we are. And all the advertising, women’s magazine articles and MSM mean nothing at that point, we stop looking at them.

      When a women goes through the hormonal changes at the end of her childbearing years, not only the change is hormonal, it is an emotional and mental change. For some of us, myself included, the change is so dramatic, that we drop all pretense of who we used to be and become who we really are.

      For myself, I turned inward, took a mental inventory of my life, discarding all that is not necessary, waste my time and energy and discovered how freeing it was. To be myself, to accept myself, wrinkles and cellulite and all.

      I always believed that we create our own heaven and our own hell, we are all perfectly imperfect, and not until I went through “the change” did I walk my talk.

      Just some of my random thoughts….from a raging hormonal women’s viewpoint! 😆

      (and yes I have dust bunnies the size of soccer balls and I don’t care, I just tell myself, “at least my house looks lived in”)

      • Abbyrose86 says:

        BDM….thank you for those random thoughts!

        I just wish it didn’t so long for women to learn to accept themselves…so much time wasted! {sigh}

  4. david p canada says:

    Aah, yes. Perfection.

    The SI swimsuit edition. Any edition of Cosmo. Coors Light commercials. The list goes on and on ad nauseum.

    However, almost everyone loves a train-wreck, too. Charlie Sheen is one of the World’s highest paid TV personalities.

  5. Orcas Island says:

    Wonderful article Abby. Thanks for the link. I think I’ll just seek ‘perfection’ in my veggie garden. Ok, maybe a few weeds, just dandelions. They are nutritious. Basically off the veggie Richter scale in fact but the leaves are still a little bitter in a salad it seems. Perhaps there is an analogy here but it escapes me. Last years cabbages are still framed in my minds eye…now there was perfection.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Morning Orcas and welcome to the Planet! Another gardener here, I used to seek perfection in my perennial gardens, but realized it was a fruitless journey!

      Got so bad at one point, that I would stay up all night making notes on which plants to move where and drawings, re-designing over and over again…until one year, I just stepped away, exhausted. Low and behold, it was the best thing I could have ever done, my gardens turned out beautiful that year and I was finally able to enjoy them.

      Now I would call my gardens and the ones that I design professionally, “Controlled Chaos”…learning that Mother Nature will always have the upper hand in this battle for perfection!

      Oh, and those damn finicky Delphinium, they’re gone, I practice tough love in my gardens now, if I have to baby you, you’re outta here! 😡

      (ps: there is nothing more satisfying than looking at a perfectly formed cabbage…or in my case a Cabbage Rose!)

  6. choicelady says:

    Abby -- while driving today, I heard an interview with a woman who has written a book, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter”. She has noted the explosion of “girlie girl” marketing, way past anything in previous times, linked to Disney female characters. There are gossamer dresses, tiaras, make up for pre-pubescent little girls, high heels in tiny sizes, and every damned bit of it is PINK.

    Peggy Ornstein, the author, noticed that not only do these things exist for little girls -- hyper-sexualizing them and turning them into creatures with very narrow tastes and life goals (being attractive to men), but they exist for ADULT women, too. You can get a “Cinderella dress” in which to get married, carrying the fantasy into at LEAST your wedding. Stepford Wives meet Tinker Belle.

    Ornstein heard one of her daughter’s playmates castigating the daughter for not having some thing or other in PINK. The playmate said, “That’s NOT for girls so you shouldn’t have that.” Wow. Ornstein says it’s almost impossible to buy even crib sheets or othe things for girls that are NOT pink. Boys get more variety -- not neccesarily nice stuff, but lots of differences -- but girls today are surrounded with pink, pink, pink. This is the only measure of Perfection. Pottery Barn and other stores told Ornstein they have tried to get some variety, but PARENTS demand the girlie-girl stuff. What luck will any little girl have in setting her own cap for her own self if her own PARENTS keep pushing the single standard on her?

    Obviously the Pink Disease does not possess every girl. Many go on to care about education, sports, the arts, science, and to have well-rounded views of attainable achievement. But many girls -- TOO many -- exist for only the view of how they can please men, narrow views of what is beauty, limitations on their actions (especially if they believe being smart is an obstacle), and fear of self. It leads to a standard of “perfection” that is pretty much unattainable but gets to be overwhelming -- anorexia, bulemia, etc. are rooted in trying to be what society demands but that we are not.

    I LOVE Trisha Yearwood, the C&W singer, for her marvelous song, “Real, Live Woman.” Yearwood is not skinny -- at points she’s been quite heavy. But man can she SING! And at all points in her life, she is beautiful. “Real, Live Woman” has a video (it’s on YouTube) of her sitting on the roof of a roadhouse and peep show. As the curtains rise for the men -- the women are: real, live women. Teachers, nurses, waitresses, old, young, large, svelt -- and the looks on the men’s faces are glorious as they smile and are enchanted by what they see. I LOVE that! It made me cry the first time I saw it. It’s profoundly honorable.

    I think you’ve hit on something SO important, Abby. I think this is a version of “American Exceptionalism” that corrupts the core of personhood by imposing standards of perfection that cannot be. I am quite small with small hands, and I had a man -- a large man with large hands who plays beautiful classical guitar -- inform me that my failure to be a concernt pianist was a failure of WILL, that if I wanted to and worked at it, I could do anything I chose. Same pernicious issue -- I will NEVER play Rachmaninoff. My hands are just too small. But there was imposed an external standard of perfection. It took me years to get over the guilt of that imperfection until I finally, in absolute exasperation, realized I cannot REACH that far, and that’s that.

    At the core of racism, isn’t there also a belief in perfection? And that perfection has a hue and shape and voice and appearance? We don’t seem to be able to appreciate that difference does NOT equate with ranking. Being different is not being inferior. It is just variance, not quality, and the artificial standards of perfection don’t allow us to revel in the differences between and among people, of looks, of accomplishment, of character, of intelligence types, of anything.

    Abby -- I think you have contributed profoundly to our understanding. I thank you for this great post. It’s something to mull over and keep in the forefront as we assess what’s happening in America. VERY helpful!

    • PlatoSunTsu says:

      One thing I see, as a man I’m obviously biased, but it appears to me that while I’m sure there is validity in stating that the whole pink thing can be one way to please men.
      Women have very high standards for each other.

      Whom do you think demands that Pottery Barn etc…carry pink, “feminine” items, the Moms or the Dads?

      Who really looks at the labels/styles of women’s clothing, shoes etc. more…men or other women?

      Most of the women’s magazines I’ve seen reinforce the stereotypes almost as much as the men’s ( it seems even men’s porn mags, like Playboy show more “healthy” as in non-anorexic body-types)

      * I think I might be in trouble for putting that last one out there 😉 .

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Choicelady..your comment is so full of wisdom and thank you for bringing up Peggy Ornstein’s book, BDM, OR was it Sue, brought it up yesterday, too. I gotta get this book!

      I think everything you just said was spot on and a sad reflection on our society.

      Especially your point about racism…which can be taken further to classism as well. I had never thought about that aspect before, but it makes complete sense.

      I have to go pick up my daughter now…I’ll write more later!

    • Buddy McCue says:

      Excellent comment. I’d like to add to some of the different points, if I may.

      People who are not skinny, but can sing. Aretha Franklin springs to mind (and a whole lot of opera singers.)

      Piano players with small hands: Ludwig Van Beethoven. Nothing more needs to be said.

      “At the core of racism, isn’t there also a belief in perfection?” Absolutely. I’ve argued with racists before. I try to make them see that the idea of “pure blood” is completely wrong-headed. I remind them that “pure-bred” and “in-bred” are the same thing. Genetic diversity is healthy.

      Two examples are useful to illustrate this: European royalty was inbred, and that gave rise to genetic defects, such as the famous “Hapsburg Lip.” Second example: the Manx cat. I’ve known cat breeders who point out that you really shouldn’t breed them “true;” you must bring non-Manx cats into the line or else there will be deformed kittens. A common genetic defect caused by this is a fused spine.

  7. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Thank you everyone for being supportive.

    It took me a good three hours to screw up the courage to come forward with my issue. Thank you again.

    • choicelady says:

      HH -- I had to go back to look at your earlier post. If you are struggling with eating problems, you have my heart. If this is just how you ARE, then why does anyone have any more right to castigate you than if you had green eyes? The issue lies only in two things -- that you are healthy and that you are in sync with your own self. That’s ALL that matters! I used to be very small -- was a 3 for some years. I’m not any more. And I like who I am MORE now than then when I was obsessed with looks and size and weight. I’m also vastly stronger and healthier than I was then -- I’m many years older but many ways better. But I had to stop tormenting myself over imperfection -- a 3 wasn’t “small enough”. Well, I’m not that any more, but I like what I look like and am happy with who I am.

      I wish you health and happiness, self acceptance and love of who you are as you are. If you have that, you have all the riches of the world!

  8. islandleogirl says:

    Dearest Abby -- I read your insightful post earlier today when I had to leave work and come home because my mom wasn’t well and it really made me think of how very little perfection measures up to the love, caring, appreciation and well-being for one’s family members. This wonderful journey of life is best lived by simply appreciating all of God’s wonderful creations that cost us absolutely nothing, but instead provides us with lots of very happy and memorable moments -- like sunsets and sunrises; the moon and the stars; the rain and thunderstorms; the ocean and mountains; a beautiful smile offered by a stranger….and just being blissful, happy and thoroughly appreciative of waking up every single day and being able to swing two feet off the bed; being able to open one’s eyes and see; being able use one’s ears to hear; being able to use one’s arms; being able to use one’s tongue to speak…….and on and on and on!

    Life is a beautiful journey that is best appreciated when one has a genuine appreciation and understand of what matters -- what is important…..the greatest feeling in the world is being loved, cherished and appreciated those in one’s life that matters most!

    More of us need to start just taking time to be more thankful for the little things in life. I am thankful every day for having a job to go to; I’m thankful for the life time love, loyalty and selfless display of genuine love and affection my mother has showered me with……I’m thankful and appreciative for the gift of my son, a true gentleman…..and I’m so very thankful for the love and appreciation of all the wonderful friends I’ve met on my life’s journey…..my sis Alina comes to mind…..and all the lovely strangers I met of HP that became my source of inspiration on a daily basis…..and I’m so very grateful to continue on that journey here on PlanetPOV!

    That for me in my humble opinion is perfection…..

    Abby, thank you so very much for sharing!

    • KQuark says:

      Very inspiring comment. As I looked at the moon tonight I was thinking about the beauty of nature and how I should appreciate it more.

      of course the yin yang side of me says if so many things in nature have their own perfection why do so many people only feel more perfect about themselves when they make another person’s life less perfect for them.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      Beautiful islandogirl…absolutely beautiful.

      It would do us all good to remember what life is really about.

      Beautiful. :)

  9. Redemption Song II says:

    Nice piece, Abbyrose.

    I intentionally and explicitly talk to my son about television ads and ciruculars…we disect the language used, the emotional manipulation and whether the products advertised are “needs or wants”. We also go into what something is worth…how it was made, how much it cost to produce it and whether it’s worth the asking price. (He’s now has a jaundice view of most advertisement, although he did just this evening fall in love with a special effects laser sword for $16.99 + tax and shipping…until we laid the dollars out to see exactly what $17.00 laid out end to end looks like. ;0)

    I’d like to deconstruct Sponge Bob as well, but so far I haven’t had the heart…

    …but, yes, there’s nothing terribly real, or remotely appealing, about most entertainment media, and (generally speaking) there’s not enough integrity or intelligence in televised news media.

    Kind regards,
    --Redemption

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      How refreshing! I wish more parents would take the time to explain to their children the point of marketing! Good for you and your son!

    • LFer says:

      I’m glad to hear you’re helping your child see through advertising. I wish more people did.

      As you analyze commercials ask yourself and your son what the ad told you about the product. Usually the answer is nothing except that you need it to be “cool”. Or, relevant to the blog post being discussed, that you are in some way inadequate or imperfect without the product.

      • Redemption Song II says:

        Thanks, LF.

        I’ve talked with him about the fallacy of popularity exclusively for assessing choices among peers which, at this point in his life, doesn’t matter much, but will in, oh, five years’ time. As for televised shows and movies, if the content is good or excellent in some aspect, we talk about that; otherwise, we talk about what is representative of reality and what is not. (He’s very good at making the distinction…so much so that he sometimes ruins the “mood” for me directly after viewing. ;0) I figure, I hope correctly, that if it isn’t percieved as real then it won’t severly impact his self-image. Time will tell.

        Best,
        --Redemption (Whose priority in life is a little too obvious)

        • Abbyrose86 says:

          Good luck, seriously. I think it is wonderful that you are trying to instill an understanding in him…I think too many parents are neglecting that part of child rearing!!

          Kudos!

  10. lynettema says:

    I have been reading the posts on perfectionism. I was a perfectionist and I have to fight it every day. I am never good enough.
    BUT, I digress, I am so surprised with all of this talk about perfectionism we are not talking about how so many left leaning voters are expecting, demanding perfection from President Obama. Never being happy with all that he and Dems have actually accomplished even with rw obstructionism. If we can’t get past this idea of the perfect Dem, we are going to be doomed to rw governing forever or until we can be happy that we are moving closer to our ideals. We are trading success for perfection. Perfection is the enemy of creation.

    • islandleogirl says:

      Lynettema -- excellent observation and I sincerely hope that those who needs that reminder will see your post and pause and think about what’s at stake!

    • KQuark says:

      Welcome lynettema. I agree. I’ve stopped worrying if even left leaning voters are happy or not. I always had no allusions to how difficult it was going to be to mend the mess the GOP left behind while dominating our government for almost 30 years. I’m satisfied with the progress Dems have made in two years but that does not mean I don’t expect more. Even if I know the house GOP will slow down progress to a crawl.

      • cyrano1 says:

        Hah! The GOP wants to throw us back into the pre civil war era don’t they? Don’t we all feel like we’re trying to continually plug a dam that’s about to burst and drown us all? They’re relentless!

    • cyrano1 says:

      Absolutely spot on agree with you! From both outer wings of both parties we have impatient, short-sighted, short term “thinking” which substitutes for recognizing the reality that all changes which take place within a representative democracy are excruciatingly slow and involve compromise -- especially now given our right of center voting population. That Obama has accomplished so much given that reality is still astonishing to me. Much of it is watered down, but gives us a foundation for improvement, especially if we can get off our duffs and get some more un-bought-off progressive dems elected to office. Then we can go after the thugs who got us into this mess!! :) Grass roots!!

      • BabsBP says:

        Perfection should never be the enemy of the good in politics. But selling something as “good,” should never be a cover for the status quo either.

        For the most part, our President has achieved some good things — like healthcare. It is not a cover for the status quo, but truly new and improved, albeit not perfection.

        However, in the area of financial regulation, I feel like he has only achieved cover. We could use a little more perfection by him in this realm.

        • cyrano1 says:

          Absolutely agree! We never lose our idealism in trying to get it right -- and it’s a battle between accepting what we have weighed against what should be. I’m just always hung up on the belief that if there were more of us, we’d be getting more justice and the badly needed reforms we need. And the loud voices from the left -- mine included, are needed to help move us there. What worries me are the lefties who want to either sit it out or vote third party. I voted for Nader in 2000. Not going to repeat that mistake ever again! In my view we need to fix what’s broken in our party, not resort to unrealistic alternatives which don’t yield results.

        • Abbyrose86 says:

          I couldn’t agree more there…we need ALOT more work on our economic policies.

  11. KillgoreTrout says:

    Howard Beale said it all;


  12. Wiseronenow says:

    Too late. Sorry, but we’ve passed that attainable of ‘less is more’ what with the social networking that exists now. If one isn’t in tune to the latest styles and images from Hollywood or Madison Avenue, they soon will be by just having a Facebook or any other venue like that to communicate. Just look at the uprisings in the Middle East. How have they come to learn about all that type of specific glitz and glamour? Much from the social networking, I’m sure. And, their world is moving at warp speed when it comes to being exposed to a world that they never, quite possibly, knew existed or at least been able to communicate about. Is it more than that for them? I’m sure it is and more to do with their attaining democracy, whatever that means to them. However, one can’t discount that a large part of they wanting more free expression is their ability to interact with the world at large with all it’s vices and devices too.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      I think you bring up a good point…however social media such as Facebook or other on line sources usually requires READING and doesn’t necessarily seep into one’s subconscious mind, like watching images does.

      There is a reason advertising is a multi trillion dollar industry…it works. MARKETING works and creates behavior. Marketing isn’t just what one sees in actual advertising, it’s everywhere…images are marketed, clothing is marketed, trends are marketed. ALL these things and more are shown in various media outlets and are constantly being reinforced in our subconscious mind.

  13. escribacat says:

    Abby, (now I’ve read it!) In a society where our basic needs are taken care of, I think this probably the main cause of misery and unhappiness. I’ve found that my happiness or contentment is deeply connected to my expectations. If I expect a whole lot, I’m miserable because I don’t get it. If I expect zero, I’m happy because I get some little thing. This is why I long ago began zeroing out my expectations. As strange as it sounds, there is great freedom in hopelessness.

    I posted elsewhere about a victim advocate call I went to last week, where a man had ripped up his house after a mediocre performance review with his boss. I listened to his wife for a long time as she tried to sort through it. They had a beautiful house full of beautiful things (many of which he had smashed), but he thought it was a dump and had to get out of there. He had to get a million dollars or he was a loser. I’m pretty sure that if he had the million dollars, he’d have to get two million. His expectations were out of control.

    There’s another type of perfectionism — a bit different. I had a perfectionist friend who really wanted to learn German. She couldn’t do it, and the reason was that she was unwilling to expose herself to sounding stupid as she began speaking it out loud and would inevitably make mistakes. Her perfectionism was debilitating because she couldn’t stand to be a beginner at anything.

    • Abbyrose86 says:

      @escribat…Great points. Especially about expectations. I posted another comment on this thread about how perfectionism had a profound effect on my life…and not in a good way…but what you said about expectations, probably was at the heart of it.

    • cyrano1 says:

      @ escribacat: Great post! I’d like to ascribe some of the blame of these high expectations (sense of entitlement) to parents who try to satisfy every desire their children express while simultaneously conveying the message that actual performance and content doesn’t matter as much as grades -- and equally important, told their children that life should always be fair.

      • escribacat says:

        Cyrano1 — Very true. That must be one of the biggest Lies (with a capital L) we continually tell our children and ourselves — that life is fair. It isn’t and it never was. Yet, we keep expecting it to be. We get so upset when it isn’t. How amazing.

  14. escribacat says:

    Abby, I haven’t read your post yet but had to share this with you:

    Slow Turning 7 minutes ago (6:38 PM)
    366 Fans
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    I wonder what Abby Rose would say? Did she get Raptured? Anybody seen her?


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