The Problem of a Perfectionist

The Problem of a Perfectionist

Tulsi Kardani, Photojournalist

While taking a test or reading an book, do you mindlessly twist your hair or bite your nails? University of Montreal did a recent research regarding these compulsive behaviors and concluded that such behaviors reflect off of one’s personality.

In the study, the researchers worked with 48 participants, half of whom regularly engaged in these types of behaviors. The participants were asked questions about the extent to which they experienced emotions and then were exposed to situations designed to provoke the behavior.

Researchers found that people who are generally impatient and easily get frustrated, tend to be the victims of the repetitive body-focused behaviors such as nail biting, skin picking or eyelash pulling. It was stated by the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry that the traits of a perfectionist can be damaging then realized. From recent statistics it was reported that about 78% suicidal attempts are from frustration and boredom. The goal of a perfectionist is to achieve their goal no matter what circumstance it is under. When their goals are not accomplished or minds are unfocused they undergo trichotillomania, an anxiety disorder. Once a person hits this point, compulsive behaviors began to show.

At some levels compulsive behavior has its benefits. Through the biting nails or pulling eyelashes, one is  stimulating and regulating emotions. The compulsive behavior can be seen as the substitute action for more constructive action. Unfortunately, when the habits are difficult to stop and they interfere with daily life, they can become habit disorders which results in a negative effect.

If one does not bite his or her nails from time to time, there’s no need to worry.  In fact, the researchers say that such behaviors serve a temporary purpose when there not able to channel their energy more productively. Brianne Hosford (12) states, ” I pick my skin when I am taking a test because I am stressed to finish my test and get a good grade. ”

As high school students, many boys and girls experience stress, frustration, and anxiety through school work. There is always a constant reminder to achieve for the best and be perfect, which is normal for any student. In regards to that, one should not be focused on being perfect because there is no such thing as perfect. Mike Farrell once said, ” The formula to being successful is not being perfect, but trying your best to overcome the failure”.