1. You’re not satisfied unless you see results. You could be scrambling to meet a huge deadline at work or just trying to make the perfect fruit tart. If your dish doesn’t look like it should be in a cooking magazine, you’re not satisfied and feel like nothing was accomplished.
2. A “solid effort” or “putting your best foot forward” means nothing. You can’t just get over a failure by thinking, “Oh well, we still came close and X, Y, and Z were still strong.” You’ll just obsess over why you didn’t hit your mark, and how you can hit it next time.
3. Also, “good enough” is not a concept you understand. Everything with your name on it must be exceptional. You will pull all-nighters when you’re writing a proposal for work. You will search obsessively for weeks to put together the perfect costume for your kids. When you have a vision, there’s no letting go of it.
4. Little things bother you all the time. Like how your colleague didn’t follow up with that vendor like she said she would, or how your new towels came in the mail and they look a shade lighter than they did online, or how about when your old white T-shirts are darker than your new white T-shirts.
5. You procrastinate. Perfectionists have a tendency to procrastinate, research suggests, because they put things off until they feel they know the very best way to do something, which is terrible because you then end up cramming a big project into a short period of time. And once you do finally get going, you can’t stop until your project is flawless.
6. You feel like a slacker when you’ve spent all day trying to get one thing perfect instead of finishing a lot of things. Sure, you set out to cross five things off your to-do list but only crossed off one thing because you were lost in the details. The day feels like a waste.
7. When you tell people you’re lazy, they think you’re crazy. You only feel lazy because sometimes your perfectionistic tendencies and extremely high expectations make you do things slower than you planned to. And when you don’t meet your goals, you feel like you didn’t do enough.
8. You can obsess over a mistake for days or more. Admit it, you still remember the mistake you made in a piano recital when you were 12.
9. You get irrationally bothered about random things when they are not how they “should” be. Like when you’re in someone’s kitchen looking for a glass and there is clearly a logical place for drinking glasses, but that place is occupied by oven mitts instead. WHY?!
10. Also, normal people’s clutter = your catastrophe.
11. But your “mess” makes perfect sense to you. And, if someone disrupts it, you cannot deal.