8 Traits of a Perfectionist (3 min)

8 Traits of a Perfectionist

  1. Pays extreme attention to details and sweats the small stuff. Does it matter if you used “&” in place of “and” in that last email you sent? Probably not. At the very least, it’s not worth spending 10 minutes trying to figure out.
  2. Finds all elements of a project equally important, which makes it difficult to prioritize. If you’ve ever spent an hour trying to find the perfect font for your project which then prevented you from writing a conclusion, this might be you. This can also make group decisions difficult as the perfectionist always has a comment or isn’t satisfied with how something is–possibly even at the last minute.
  3. Insists on doing things their way. This makes it difficult for other group members to work and make progress independently.
  4. Micromanages or is hypercritical of others’ work. If you have a boss who’s a perfectionist, you will likely notice quickly because they always correct your work or never find it to be “good enough.”
  5. Has difficulty delegating. Similarly, perfectionists may have trouble delegating tasks–because (they think) no one else can do the work as well as they can.
  6. Is afraid to share an idea before it’s completely thought out. This can lead to setbacks at work through (what seems like) a lack of participation, or bring about a long-term lack of advancement from a hesitance to share ideas or perspectives that are in their development stages.
  7. Struggles to hear negative feedback. While no one likes getting negative feedback, perfectionists may find it particularly hard to hear that they’ve made a mistake or done something in a way that their boss doesn’t approve of. After all, didn’t they check their work 15 times? This is a particularly unfortunate trait of perfectionists because their work standards are so high.  However, “perfect” does not have the same meaning in everyone’s mind.
  8. Misses deadlines. If something can only be considered complete once it’s perfect, it’s not likely to ever be done. You may notice the perfectionist in the office because they keep pushing deadlines back in order to make their work better.