Monday, March 26, 2007

Questions for y'all

Have you been, or ever known anyone to be rotten with perfection? I think it is a deadly snare that grips many of us. I want to know what you think. What are the expectations that you feel are put upon you by society, others, and yourself? More importantly, how do you forgive yourself?

Please, I want to know how you think and feel about this subject. It would help me and others out a great deal, I'm sure.


Jules said...

Being a stay at home mom, my societal pressures mostly include also being a housewife. Trying to balance teaching and raising a child, with cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Most of the time I just stick to the stay at home mom bit, and neglect the dusting. And the way I deal with that is a simple sigh and shoulder shrug, reassuring myself that I'll do it tomorrow. I used to be a huge perfectionist, but since I've started not working outside the home, being such a perfectionist doesn't seem as important.

Then there's also the pressures about being the perfect mom. Hundreds of eyes watch you to see how good of a job you're doing with your child. It can really be an overwhelming feeling... if I let it. And that's key there. It I let it. So I try not to.

I don't know if that answered your question, but there it is for you!

Claire said...

As I tried to formulate an answer, all I got in my head was Bowie and Queen singing 'Under Pressure'. Does that help?


tfg said...

The expectations of my parole board weigh heavily on my actions.

Issy said...

I know I'm a perfectionist when it comes to work! If I screw something up, I can't sleep the next night. It sux!

As far as being a mom is concerned, Jules, I have a bit of advise for you. If you feel in your heart that you are doing the best job that you can do at being a parent, screw everyone watching! I know I never gave a shit about what people thought about my parenting skills! My kids are growing up to be the best human beings that I taught them to be. They make mistakes but they learn from them which is the key.

As far as bills are concerned, I am NOT a perfectionist on that at all!

chandra said...

Abso-fucking-lutely I am... you may not think it seeing my place sometimes, but yes I am. At times it can suck the life out of you, wanting to make sure you buy the right this or that to complete something. Or not letting anyone over unless your house is fab... when really what does it matter all that much? It isn't going to matter if you did your dishes when you die.

I think being a perfectionist has hampered my ability to feel. Maybe that is what is wrong with men and their lack luster of emotion? Not really sure. It's the real reason I don't let myself feel, when people are dying and when I hurt myself.

Outdoorsy Girl said...

Sometimes I feel that I am nearly suffocating in expectations. It seems everyone has an idea of who I am supposed to be. Sadly, it is rarely the person that I truly am. Of course, the fact that I don't know how to be (or want to be) anyone but myself or feel the way everyone else wants me to feel, leaves me struggling with guilt issues.

My parents wish the best life possible for me. They think I am smart, kind, and can do anything I dream of. The problem is I can't do or necessarily want to do what they think I should. Not to mention, that, though it would be wonderful, I can't wave a magical wand and make the perfect husband and family and white picket fence around our home sweet home appear.

At my two jobs, people think I am some sort of miracle worker. I am always being asked to do a little extra for certain children or I feel obligated to give just a little more, even when I am already spent. I try to do what is right but sometimes that backfires, too. I am often given awards (like employee of the month) or some other recognition and I can feel my co-workers glare at me because they think I am some kind of "pet". Not true. I just work hard...sometimes too hard.

My friends, though I dearly love them, also expect certain things from me. But I cannot help that I feel differenty and AM different than they are. I am sort of a wanderer just floating along in life and grabbing onto whatever looks good and stable. I guess I am hard for them to relate to.

Now for my worst critic...ME. I push myself way too hard. I get mad at myself when I can't do whatever it is that I think I should be able to do. I am always working to improve myself. It is hard to be a single woman taking care of herself while everyone else has someone that takes care of them and I often become very upset with myself when I don't think I am keeping up with everyone else. I become angry that I don't have the extra resources that they do and blame myself for it.

As I've already pointed out, I only know how to be myself so I try to stay true to who I am but I often find myself feeling guilty that I am not able to meet others' expectations.

How do I forgive myself? If you come up with that answer, give me a call.

Keshi said...

Grunty this is the story of my life! Mannnnn I seek perfection in everything I say, do, think etc's mainly cos Im that sort of person...I cant put the whole blame on the society etc. Cos by nature Im a perfectionist. And can I help it? Well not alot but I can try not to be sooo dependent on being perfect...cos in the end, thats not what really matters...what matters is if Im happy inside doin wut I do.


Anonymous said...

I married a perfectionist...

It's maddening~

The Grunt said...

Thanks for all your comments. I'd reply to them but I'd rather let them all stand on their own. I think they are all helpful and valid, even TFG's worries about his parole board.

Karyn said...

I'm late to the game; can i still speak to this?

As to the expectations put upon me by society: They are many, and varied, and highly flawed. Be this size, wear these jeans, look like this. Shop here to save the planet, to support this cause, to be one of the cool kids. Recycle like Al Gore, Do Your Domestic Goddess Routine like Martha Stewart, Budget like Suze Orman Cook like Rachel Ray, parent like June Cleaver.

Society can go fuck itself.

Expectations put on my by others:
See "Societal Expectations". Add guilt baiting and abandoment techniques and other ulcer inducing practices. Take six Motrin, a fistful of Zantac, THEN tell everybody what they can do with their expectations.

Expectations put on me by myself:
The worst of all; as I let society and others get too far into my head before tossing them out on their collective ass. Then I get angry at myself for allowig it; a vicious cycle.

Forgiving The Self:
Takes years. And years. And a lot of painful reckoning. But you know? All things in their time.

I want to know... why are you asking? Talk to me.

Logophile said...

What's to forgive?
I am that I am.