Perfectionism: What's Bad about Being Too Good?

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Free Spirit Pub., 1987 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 129 pages
4 Reviews
Perfectionist tendencies seem to exist on a continuum, ranging from healthy to dysfunctional behavior. Gifted students, in particular, struggle with perfectionism. This book discusses how to strike a balance between three main areas of life: (1) work and school; (2) play and hobbies; and (3) family and social relationships. Geared towards adolescents, it explains why it is important to learn to give yourself a break, learn how to be pleased with who you are, and learn how to enjoy the healthy pursuit of excellence. Chapter 1 discusses the role of birth order, pressures to achieve, and media messages. Chapter 2 deals with problems in connecting one's identity to perfectionism, describes typical thinking patterns of perfectionists, and discusses procrastination. Chapter 3 addresses physical problems associated with perfectionism, including the overuse of caffeine and eating disorders. Chapter 4 discusses special relationship problems, including being too critical of others, looking for the "perfect" partner, and over-committing oneself. Chapter 5 presents suggestions for dealing with the pressures felt by perfectionists, including learning to fail, learning to laugh, and having fun with exercise. Chapter 6 concerns gender differences in how perfectionism is manifested. Chapter 7 contains suggestions for completing large projects, setting reasonable standards, planning positive alternative paths, and improving self-knowledge. Chapter 8 discusses ways to relax. Chapter 9 suggests a strategy for enhancing communication with parents and other adults. Chapter 10 delineates signs of depression or potential suicide and provides resources for obtaining help. (Each chapter contains print and Web site resources; it contains 49 references overall.) (JDM)

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Review: Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good?

User Review  - Natalie Cruz - Goodreads

This is a great read for high achieving middle and high school teens as well as their parents and educators. Some of the tips are great and could be useful for teens as well as adults. Also love the lists of resources throughout the book. Read full review

Review: Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good?

User Review  - Bob Grommes - Goodreads

This book is directed at young people but is a good read for concerned adults in the lives of perfectionist / driven children. It makes a useful distinction between the (achievable) pursuit of ... Read full review


How Much of a Perfectionist Are You?
Why People Become Perfectionists
Media Messages

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About the author (1987)

Miriam Adderholdt, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina. She has taught gifted students in grades K-9.

Jan Goldberg is a professional writer and credentialed teacher from Glenview, Illinois. She has authored 55 books and more than 800 articles on education and career development. The mother of three daughters with varying degrees of perfectionism, Jan also conducts writing workshops for aspiring teen authors.

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