What To Do If You Have “A Perfect Student” Syndrome?

Editorial Team

What to do if you have “A Perfect Student” syndrome

Is it always good to strive for excellent results in everything? Let’s figure out why perfectionism often interferes with adult life.

The syndrome of an excellent student— what is it?

This is a person with the desire to be better than others in a certain activity (and sometimes in everything) and at the same time receive approval from people who are important to him. Most students prefer to use write my paper service to succeed in academic writing. This is a painful dependence on the opinions of others, the desire to always be the first, the fear of not being on top.

A person with a perfect student syndrome, like a perfectionist, tries to succeed in everything. Only a perfectionist is fixated on the result as such. He doesn’t care so much what others say. The main thing is that he assesses his result as ideal. For the “perfect student”, the assessment from the side, the praise is very significant. These symptoms can be observed in both men and women.

The syndrome of a perfect student can manifest itself in different ways. Someone, having received a task from the boss that needs to be completed within 2-3 days, will sit at work late on the first day until they cope. And after that, he will double-check several more times to see if he missed any detail. After all, everything should be perfect.

Anyone else in his place would have done and delivered everything on time, without worrying about possible shortcomings. After all, they can always be corrected if the boss does not like something.

But an excellent student, who is sure that he always does everything perfectly, cannot allow criticism from his superiors or colleagues. He experiences it very painfully. Therefore, he tries to do the job perfectly the first time. 

Many excellent students have similar symptoms in everything else (appearance, personal life, order in the house, excessive demands on the household). And this already greatly complicates life not only for themselves but also for their loved ones. The whole life of such excellent students must meet the highest standards. All the mistakes, shortcomings, mistakes noticed by others are perceived as a tragedy.

The opinion of others is so important to them that they experience constant mood swings. If you noticed and praised – the person is full of enthusiasm and is ready to roll mountains. If the results of his work go unnoticed or someone has shown himself better and deserved praise, his hands drop, apathy appears.

Adult “excellent students” are not satisfied with any other results than ideal. Out of habit, they continue to believe that this is the only way they can achieve the favor of others. At work — that the boss will cease to respect if the work is not done in the best way.

The consequence is a whole range of problems:

  • a person spends too much nerves, effort, and time even where it is not necessary from a practical point of view;
  • he takes on unnecessary responsibility;
  • he has much less free time, stresses and worries accumulate;
  • there are difficulties in relations with colleagues, friends, relatives;
  • there is a fear of taking up an unfamiliar business (suddenly it will not work out perfectly) and a fear of not coping and earning a negative assessment of others;
  • he feels constant dissatisfaction with himself (it seems that he could have done better), mood dependence on the result;
  • a person has unstable self-esteem, depending on the opinions of others (constant striving for approval);
  • he does not know how to lose, he wants to be always right everywhere and always;
  • he is very sensitive to criticism.

One of the manifestations of the syndrome is the inability to accept adequate criticism from others. An excellent student is used to being praised, and his work is impeccable. When he meets even objective criticisms, he perceives them as quibbles and attacks, feels a sense of resentment.

Often this is due to the inferiority complex of a person. Admitting that the result of the work done is not perfect greatly reduces his self-esteem.

It is not uncommon for a student, striving to get only A’s, to get a nervous breakdown and long-term treatment with a psychiatrist together with them. The constant desire to get excellent grades first at school, then at university, at work, from close people can lead to deplorable consequences: a destroyed psyche, wasted years of life, the appearance of chronic anxiety, pathological addictions.

Sometimes insecure students after graduation, are afraid to take on a real job, offer themselves as a specialist, fearing that they will not be competent enough (they will not be able to show excellent results against the background of others), or they will be rejected at the interview stage.

Therefore, they prefer to continue their studies, to stay in their familiar environment (they receive a second and third higher education, enroll in one more course on the same topic), rather than take a step towards the unknown.

What to do, how to get rid of the syndrome?

To begin to fight the syndrome of an excellent student, it is necessary to search for the root cause of the uncontrolled desire to achieve ideal results in everything. After that, start working with it. Many people may need the help of a specialist in the field of psychology. At the same time, you will not have to completely break your character. It is only necessary to minimize the negative impact of the syndrome and leave its positive sides.

Psychologists give the following recommendations:

Observe the relationship between a perfectly executed job and the attitude of others. If the root of your problems is that you are trying to earn the recognition and love of others by doing things perfectly, analyze how well it works. Is perfect order and cleanliness in the apartment really important for your family, or would your family prefer to spend more time with you? How much does the boss appreciate your impeccable performance of your duties? Why do those who work less hard sometimes have even more benefits? Understand that the location of people does not always depend on how perfect you are in everything.

Learn to prioritize. Identify the most important life goals (to buy an apartment, change jobs, get an education, arrange a personal life, get promoted, spend more time with loved ones, go in for sports, etc.). Keep the main goals in mind. Every time there is a desire to bring another thing to perfection, ask yourself if it has to do with your goal. If not, why are you going to spend so much time on it?

Maybe we should stop at a good result and do what is important?

Use the deadline. Set yourself a time limit on the work you do — so that it is enough for a good result with acceptable quality. You will be surprised when you realize that people like a good result no less than an ideal one.

Learn to accept criticism. Treat it as an alternative point of view. Everyone has the right to have an opinion. Try to find a rational grain in it, remember it for the future, and make the most of it. Thank those who make comments to you, and your attitude to criticism will gradually change.

Stop treating your mistakes like a disaster. Mistakes are the inevitable companion of human progress. It is impossible to master something new without trial and error. So start learning – a foreign language, playing a musical instrument, sign up for training courses. So you will understand in practice that you learn from mistakes and that others also make mistakes. Take mistakes and comments as feedback, as the result of an experiment. 

Work on your self-esteem. Live for yourself, do not expect constant approval from others, allow yourself to relax and not be perfect. 

Stop being afraid of condemnation and disapproval — all people think more about themselves than about others. No one expects perfect results from you.

Learn to relax and switch from work problems and household chores. Just put aside all worries and take time for yourself and your loved ones.

In some cases, the excellent student syndrome can help achieve amazing results in professional and personal self-improvement. But here it is very important to take control of it in time so that it does not turn your life into a constant race for mythical success.

In most cases, you need to get rid of it, as it becomes a serious hindrance. By reducing the negative impact of this syndrome, you will no longer be a hostage to the expectations attributed to people around you, you will gain freedom and health, your life will become much richer.

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