Do You Think You Have To Be Perfect?

Do You Think You Have To Be Perfect?

Barbara is hosting the conversation on the LFI porch today, starting what is bound to be an interesting discussion about something most of us have pondered. Barbara blogs over here! Take it away Barbara!

I always thought I had to be perfect, well, as a child I did not know the word perfect but always felt like I was missing out on that tiny bit to gain my surrounding’s praise; like I did not live up to any expectations.

I tried to be perfect in everything, look good and be perfectly groomed, be perfect in everything I was doing, first in school and then in my professional life, be well liked and an integral part of any group, present a smooth and polished surface with never a crack in it, like a polished stone egg.

Reality was another thing and not quite what I had envisaged: I had quite a sharp tongue even in young years and an uncanny talent for saying the most inappropriate things, I was not too fond of my teachers and thus not too inclined to study very hard. And I had a face that gave (and still does) everything away.

According to Wiki the oldest definition of “perfection”, fairly precise and distinguishing the shades of the concept, goes back to Aristotle. He distinguishes three meanings of the term, or rather three shades of one meaning, but in any case three different concepts. That is perfect:

  1. which is complete — which contains all the requisite parts;
  2. which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better;
  3. which has attained its purpose.

Too bad I did not know this definition at an early age! If perfection means that you have reached a state of completeness, you cannot do it any better or it has fulfilled its purpose, then what will follow?

An object with a polished surface, no cracks or uneven lines does not induce anything else to stick to it, it will shine and reflect but your own image when looking at it.

Does not the same apply to people and relationships? I quite like the analogy, with whom would you rather spend time: a person who is “perfect” inside out, always perfectly dressed and groomed, a brilliant conversationalist, always right and never makes any mistakes or a person who allows a bad hair day, makes mistakes and openly says what she/he thinks?

Honestly, the former make quite boring company and make me feel uncomfortable. I’d rather spend my time with the latter, sharing funny stories about situations that went completely wrong and laughing it off together.

Have you ever known this feeling of wanting to be perfect? How do you feel in the presence of “perfect” people?

photo credit: Barbara, of course!

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