Christine Carter, Raising Happiness, page 55 …The Perils of Perfectionism

Justin at piano.jpg

There is a fine line between persistent practice and perfectionism. Perfectionism is the dark side of consistent hard work; it produces a chronic feeling that nothing is good enough and the worst thing in the world is failure. Instead of enjoying the process and deriving satisfaction from a job well done–not to mention growing and learning from mistakes–elevated stress hormones coursing through perfectionists’ blood make them more prone to a host of health problems, including depression, severe anxiety, and a higher incidence of suicide.

Help your kids ward off perfectionism by teaching them how to "satisfice" instead of maximize, as discussed in Raising Happiness.



Frost, R. O., & Marten, P. A. (1990). Perfectionism and evaluative threat. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14(6), 559-572

Frost, R.O., Turcotte, T.A., Heimberg, R.G., Mattia, J.I., et. al. (1995). Reactions to mistakes among subjects high and low in perfectionistic concern over mistakes. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 19, 195-205.