Sunday, March 13, 2011

Perfectionism and Negative Self-Talk

As I'm working on reorganization of intelligentwomenonly.com I'm surprised to find that I haven't written before about the connection between negative self-talk and perfectionism. Or if I have, I haven't included perfectionism in my labels. What brought it to my attention recently was:

• The furor about the book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, related to the author/mother's demand that her children be perfect.Although the author says this is not a book about parenting, but a memoir, parents throughout the world reacted strongly against her style.

• My discovery of a book by Dr. Alice Domar and Alice Kelly, Be Happy Without Being Perfect: How to Worry Less and Enjoy Life More.
   The book didn't get great reviews (repetitive, best for novices at the stress-less game), but it makes the point that if you want to enjoy life and be happy, you have to reduce the demands and expectations you have of yourself to be perfect. These expectations show up in negative self-talk. e.g. "I should learn to sew so I can  make the kids great home-made Halloween costumes like my sister does. I'll have to get better at time management too. She's so organized and I'm a mess. I just have to get my act together."

• Bainbridge author Claire Dederer's very popular and well-reviewed new book, Poser. She finds yoga as a way to let go of some of the perfectionism fostered by the new "extreme competitive mom" syndrome of the last decade. It took this smart, capable women most of a decade to realize she doesn't need to be perfect. It's OK. She learned to let go of her negative self-talk, lighten up and give herself a break through yoga! Another indication of the normalcy, but damaging effects of negative self-talk. She's enjoying her children, her husband and their relationships much more now that she's imperfect.
Perfectionism and Negative Self-TalkSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me what you think!