Dispelling the Myths About Perfectionists, Guest Post by Maree Dee

Do you know a perfectionist? Do you struggle with perfectionism yourself? Read this post by my friend, Maree Dee, to discover some interesting insights about perfectionism.

Today, I have a guest post for you from my friend, Maree Dee. Maree graciously allowed me to repost her article, “Dispelling the Myths about Perfectionism,” which she originally published on her blog, embracingtheunexpected.com.

Perfectionism comes in many forms. It can be complex and hard to understand. This article brings out some qualities or characteristics that are found in some people who struggle with perfectionism. Reading Maree’s insights might help you understand a friend or family member or maybe even yourself. If I had read a list like this a long time ago, I may have seen my own perfectionistic tendencies a lot sooner. Perfectionism hides well, but it’s all around us.  I’m very appreciative to Maree for this excellent article and the perspectives she shares!

Maree Dee is a Writer | Speaker | Advocate – passionate about “Embracing Life in the Midst of the Unexpected.”  She is a work in progress, accepting God’s grace and mercy everyday.

Maree believes we were never meant to do life alone. Together with God, we can find some incredible blessings along the way even in the midst of the unexpected.

Be sure to follow Maree Dee on her blog,  Embracing the Unexpected.

You can also find her on Instagram or Facebook.

Here is Maree’s article!


So maybe the perfectionist in your life is “YOU” or someone you love.  I bet you have formed some inaccurate perceptions about them.  Maybe you have even gone so far as to rid yourself of their friendship.  So in today’s post let’s start dispelling the many myths that surround the struggle with perfectionism.    

Possibly after reading last weeks, 10 Clues You’re Striving For Perfection, Not Excellence you have convinced yourself the criteria has been met, and you want to change. Or maybe you just want to point the finger at the person in your life that struggles in this area.  Hold on for a second before we start beating up all perfectionists.  Having an understanding will be essential to making the changes we need to overcome it.  It is imperative we gain a good understanding of what a perfectionist is and what they are not. 


Struggles with perfectionism are unique to each person.  Just like ice cream perfectionist comes in all sizes and flavors.  It will look different from one person to the next.  Some people will strive in all areas to be perfect, and others only in a few places will it be important for them to try to reach this unrealistic goal.


1.  Perfectionists Will Try To Control Everyone

They may try to control their own lives, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to control yours. Remember they feel out of control and are afraid to be themselves.  It can be very refreshing to hand over the reins and let others take control. 

2. Perfectionists Believe They Are Superior or Perfect  

Inside, a perfectionist is not feeling superior at all.  Remember a perfectionist is constantly comparing themselves to others and feeling like they come up short.  In their eyes, they can never attain perfection.   

“Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect; it makes you feel inadequate.” — Maria Shriver

“Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect; it makes you feel inadequate.” — Maria ShriverClick To Tweet

3. All Perfectionists Are Neat and Tidy

Neat and Tidy is not a prerequisite to being a perfectionist. Of course, you will find many that do have to have everything in its place, but many do not.  Just because you do not keep your home in perfect order does not mean you don’t have struggles with perfectionism. 

4. All Perfectionists Have Critical Spirits

It is true that perfectionists are critical of themselves. However, it doesn’t mean they see others in the same light.

5.  Once a Perfectionist always a Perfectionist

This could not be further from the truth.  Change is possible, but it will need to be a choice. 

6.  Perfectionists Are Extremely Confident

Oh, they may appear confident but most likely inside they are feeling quite the opposite. 

7.  Accomplishments Come Easy

Most likely they have put in a tremendous amount of hours poring over every detail.  They have checked and rechecked. It wasn’t easy, and it was time-consuming, and they have sweated and stressed over the smallest of details. 

8.  Perfectionists Hold Others To A High Standard

While it is true they do hold themselves to a standard, which can’t be attained, they usually will not hold others to that same standard.  I know my motto is if you are in charge do it your way and it will be perfect.

9.  Perfectionists Are Strong

A perfectionist will appear strong on the outside, but inside they are struggling with insecurities and fear. 

Perfectionism makes a person weak.

10.  A Perfectionist Must Give Up Who They Are To Overcome it

This statement couldn’t be further from the truth.  Perfectionists have some amazing qualities that will serve them well in life.  Traits like the inner motivation to keep on a task, their attention to detail, a strong work ethic and much more. One doesn’t t have to lose the characteristics that make you who you are. 

Remember – a person striving for perfection is doing so because they do not feel perfect on the inside. All of their striving for perfection leaves them filled with an anxiety and little time for the things in life which do bring them joy. 

Hopefully,  we have dispelled the many myths of what a perfectionist looks like, and in the next post we can get down to overcoming perfectionism.    

*The article was shared with permission and originally appeared on this page at www.embracingtheunexpected.com

This post is shared in other encouraging places. To find out where click HERE.

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Do you know a perfectionist? Do you struggle with perfectionism yourself? Read this post by my friend, Maree Dee, to discover  interesting insights about perfectionism.

25 thoughts on “Dispelling the Myths About Perfectionists, Guest Post by Maree Dee

    1. Rachel,

      I am so glad you are not in my camp of recovering perfectionists. I fight it many days. It is not something I am proud of or look at as a badge. It is filled with insecurities and misunderstandings. I am so glad you stopped by and commented.



  1. As a recovering perfectionist, I appreciate your insight here. 🙂 I smiled at #3 because I’m definitely NOT neat and tidy. Ask my husband. 🙂 Visiting from Crystal Storm’s place.

    1. Betsy,
      I am a wanna be neat and tidy person. I too am a recovering perfectionist, will be for life. I had people stop by the other night unexpected and at first, I was overwhelmed trying to clean up and then I just let it go and enjoyed their company.

  2. It’s so easy to misunderstand perfectionism or perfectionists, isn’t it, Maree? Thank you for sharing these incredible insights into the mind and motives of a perfectionist. Surely it will knock down the walls that we tend to erect with those who act in this way. It reminds me of the old saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” That’s something we should always keep in mind. Thank you also to Leslie for sharing your important word of truth!

    1. Beth, thank you for visiting! I’ve struggled with perfectionism my whole life and when I saw Maree’s article, I, like you, saw some incredible insights. Perfectionism comes in many forms and fashions, but I could relate to many of the points she made. If I had been able to read a list like this early on, I think I might have been able to understand my own personality a little better. Fortunately, we have a God who understands us even when we don’t understand ourselves! Here’s to knocking down the walls – our own and others as well! Blessings!

  3. Love this, Maree. Are you familiar with the Grit ‘n’ Grace Girls podcast? Amy and Cheri talk about breaking perfectionism each week. Your post fits right into what they talk about. I’m honored to be the graphic designer for the podcast this year, and I hope you’ll check it out. Blessings to you!

    1. Sarah,
      I am not familiar with Grit ‘n Grace but I will definitely check it out. Thank you for mentioning it. Plus I want to see the designs you have created.


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