Does Anybody Else Not Like How Perfectionist The Rest Of The World Is? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Does Anybody Else Not Like How Perfectionist The Rest Of The World Is?


When we go to therapy, we get told '' Oh your problem is that you're a perfectionist. You're not going with the flow like everyone else. Everyone else is just going with the flow, and that's why they're able to get along with other people and be happy. ''

But the thing is, the rest of the world is far more perfectionist than we are.

When I was in art uni, a professor of ours was giving us a talk about how we should conduct ourselves in a job interview. She said '' When you enter the room, first extend a greeting. If there is no chair directly in front of the table, but slightly away from the table. Gently grab the chair, and place it in front of the desk. But do not drag it on the floor when doing this! Instead just pick it up and gently place it in front of the desk. Make sure it is not too close to the desk, but not too far either. "

I was hearing all this and I was like '' What?.....What does this have to do with the job itself? It's not a chair positioning job! Why does it matter if the chair is slightly far away or slightly too close!? ''

And I know if you ever ask those questions to anyone, they'll treat you like you're in the wrong and give you the same answer. " Well that's how it is. You have to make a good impression. If someone doesn't take the time to make a good impression, why would they bother with them? ''. Right because deciding the perfect length from the desk to the chair is a good indicator of what kind of a worker you'll be. It's not the work itself which is important, but HOW you do it and whether or not you care about how you're being perceived that's important.

I just don't like this outlook on life where everything is expected to be perfect and anything short of perfect is unacceptable. So what is something is not perfect!!? Why is it so binary.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 03:27 PM
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When we go to therapy, we get told '' Oh your problem is that you're a perfectionist. You're not going with the flow like everyone else. Everyone else is just going with the flow, and that's why they're able to get along with other people and be happy. ''

But the thing is, the rest of the world is far more perfectionist than we are.

When I was in art uni, a professor of ours was giving us a talk about how we should conduct ourselves in a job interview. She said '' When you enter the room, first extend a greeting. If there is no chair directly in front of the table, but slightly away from the table. Gently grab the chair, and place it in front of the desk. But do not drag it on the floor when doing this! Instead just pick it up and gently place it in front of the desk. Make sure it is not too close to the desk, but not too far either. "

I was hearing all this and I was like '' What?.....What does this have to do with the job itself? It's not a chair positioning job! Why does it matter if the chair is slightly far away or slightly too close!? ''

And I know if you ever ask those questions to anyone, they'll treat you like you're in the wrong and give you the same answer. " Well that's how it is. You have to make a good impression. If someone doesn't take the time to make a good impression, why would they bother with them? ''. Right because deciding the perfect length from the desk to the chair is a good indicator of what kind of a worker you'll be. It's not the work itself which is important, but HOW you do it and whether or not you care about how you're being perceived that's important.

I just don't like this outlook on life where everything is expected to be perfect and anything short of perfect is unacceptable. So what is something is not perfect!!? Why is it so binary.
Its even worse when dating....you're cosntantly being evaluated by the other person.

Is he too eager ? Is he too desperate? Why is he desperate ? He lacks confidence ? Why doesn't he know what to decide when we go out ?
He did xyz or stammered that must mean he lacks confidence

When is a Door not a door ?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
Its even worse when dating....you're cosntantly being evaluated by the other person.

Is he too eager ? Is he too desperate? Why is he desperate ? He lacks confidence ? Why doesn't he know what to decide when we go out ?
He did xyz or stammered that must mean he lacks confidence
YES! This too. Everything has turned into a test. Online dating too, it feels like you're walking a tightrope every time you have a conversation with someone.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 04:06 PM
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When we go to therapy, we get told '' Oh your problem is that you're a perfectionist. You're not going with the flow like everyone else. Everyone else is just going with the flow, and that's why they're able to get along with other people and be happy. ''

But the thing is, the rest of the world is far more perfectionist than we are.

When I was in art uni, a professor of ours was giving us a talk about how we should conduct ourselves in a job interview. She said '' When you enter the room, first extend a greeting. If there is no chair directly in front of the table, but slightly away from the table. Gently grab the chair, and place it in front of the desk. But do not drag it on the floor when doing this! Instead just pick it up and gently place it in front of the desk. Make sure it is not too close to the desk, but not too far either. "

I was hearing all this and I was like '' What?.....What does this have to do with the job itself? It's not a chair positioning job! Why does it matter if the chair is slightly far away or slightly too close!? ''

And I know if you ever ask those questions to anyone, they'll treat you like you're in the wrong and give you the same answer. " Well that's how it is. You have to make a good impression. If someone doesn't take the time to make a good impression, why would they bother with them? ''. Right because deciding the perfect length from the desk to the chair is a good indicator of what kind of a worker you'll be. It's not the work itself which is important, but HOW you do it and whether or not you care about how you're being perceived that's important.

I just don't like this outlook on life where everything is expected to be perfect and anything short of perfect is unacceptable. So what is something is not perfect!!? Why is it so binary.
I don't think this is perfectionism, more social rules. You can make a very good case for an employee needing to conform to social rules, and to social custom. Why? Because they have to fit in with the organisation, the existing procedures, the people there.

What was missed out, in your professor's lecture, was the acknowledgement that yes, this doesn't strictly make sense, and it doesn't strictly apply to the job, but it might have some role in determining the right applicant because if you have someone working there who is constantly challenging tradition, the culture, and so on, he or she will be a massive pain in the arse.

There is also a lack of acknowledgement that yes, the world doesn't operate in the best logical way, not even close. But in order to exist in the world you have to be able to play within the ruleset of the world itself. Its also true, however, that in reality you aren't actually going to lose a job based on something like dragging a chair, though why you would drag a chair escapes me.

The bull**** and, ill be honest, "customs" around job interviews is reality, and it took me a long time to accept this as well, but you have to be able to accept reality as it is, and not as you want it to be.

As for perfectionism, learning to do just good enough applies to interviews as well. Be friendly, be social, try to do your best, and eventually someone will employ you. I am literally going through this process now, so yeh. I used to think like you though as it justified my avoidance quite well, but really, it doesn't matter a jot to me if there are nonsensical rules at play, so long as I know what those rules are. It matters not to me how I position a chair, why would it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
Its even worse when dating....you're cosntantly being evaluated by the other person.
and you are constantly evaluating them. Or you should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
Is he too eager ? Is he too desperate? Why is he desperate ? He lacks confidence ? Why doesn't he know what to decide when we go out ?
He did xyz or stammered that must mean he lacks confidence
Dating and job interviews are similar, they both raise up anxiety for me because they both have that element of being judged, but again its, just reality, two people are trying to find someone who is a good match to them, while also trying desperately to avoid rejection and therefore present themselves in the best possible light. In situations of limited information, where there is benefit in deception, you have to play the game.

It is ****ing dumb, tbh, in dating, people should just be themselves from the outset, but it is what it is, and you are left trying to read through the bull****, and using subtle hints to make those decisions.

My advice here, fwiw, is to start judging women who use these kinds of criteria. Make that your criteria. Ask them how they would rate someone on a date who was anxious, or who was uncertain where to go on a date. Interview them for the traits you are looking for, which includes the ability to demonstrate compassion for things like nervousness and uncertainty, and to give men a bit of slack. Women who fail here very likely are women who will just be a massive ****ing ballache if you end up in a relationship with them.

This doesn't apply if you just want to get laid, ofc, but there isn't much point in trying to impress a woman who isn't worth impressing, imo.

Compassion focused therapy audio, guided meditations:

https://balancedminds.com/audio/
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 04:23 PM
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The irony is, everything therapy tells to do, social norms and social pressures will always push us to do nearly the opposite in order to function in society.

What goes up, will inevitably come back down. Whoever you have to step on when you go up, you will be at their mercy when you go down.

The truth is strictly what the ones in power perceives it to be.

Enjoy any good things, even the little and menial ones, as you will never know what impending distresses could descend upon you in a moment.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 04:33 PM
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Normal people are only perfectionists about things that matter. Like job interviews, where you show off your ability to perform elaborate social dances so that the potential employer will see that you're capable of it when required and thus pay you.

Such delicacies are required eventually in almost every job, and demonstrating the willingness and ability to pick up on and practice them is important. Who wants to risk hiring a socially awkward person, spending lots of money on training them, and then their social indelicacy offends a touchy client into canceling a contract or causes a misunderstanding between coworkers that leads to them or someone else leaving the company?

The rest of the time, people aren't perfectionists about their social lives -- they're just much more practiced and skilled and innately capable at them so a higher level of performance comes easily to them.

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"Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'" ― Kurt Vonnegut
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-30-2020, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeDuck View Post
When we go to therapy, we get told '' Oh your problem is that you're a perfectionist. You're not going with the flow like everyone else. Everyone else is just going with the flow, and that's why they're able to get along with other people and be happy. ''

But the thing is, the rest of the world is far more perfectionist than we are.

When I was in art uni, a professor of ours was giving us a talk about how we should conduct ourselves in a job interview. She said '' When you enter the room, first extend a greeting. If there is no chair directly in front of the table, but slightly away from the table. Gently grab the chair, and place it in front of the desk. But do not drag it on the floor when doing this! Instead just pick it up and gently place it in front of the desk. Make sure it is not too close to the desk, but not too far either. "

I was hearing all this and I was like '' What?.....What does this have to do with the job itself? It's not a chair positioning job! Why does it matter if the chair is slightly far away or slightly too close!? ''

And I know if you ever ask those questions to anyone, they'll treat you like you're in the wrong and give you the same answer. " Well that's how it is. You have to make a good impression. If someone doesn't take the time to make a good impression, why would they bother with them? ''. Right because deciding the perfect length from the desk to the chair is a good indicator of what kind of a worker you'll be. It's not the work itself which is important, but HOW you do it and whether or not you care about how you're being perceived that's important.

I just don't like this outlook on life where everything is expected to be perfect and anything short of perfect is unacceptable. So what is something is not perfect!!? Why is it so binary.
I don't think this is perfectionism, more social rules. You can make a very good case for an employee needing to conform to social rules, and to social custom. Why? Because they have to fit in with the organisation, the existing procedures, the people there.

What was missed out, in your professor's lecture, was the acknowledgement that yes, this doesn't strictly make sense, and it doesn't strictly apply to the job, but it might have some role in determining the right applicant because if you have someone working there who is constantly challenging tradition, the culture, and so on, he or she will be a massive pain in the arse.

There is also a lack of acknowledgement that yes, the world doesn't operate in the best logical way, not even close. But in order to exist in the world you have to be able to play within the ruleset of the world itself. Its also true, however, that in reality you aren't actually going to lose a job based on something like dragging a chair, though why you would drag a chair escapes me.

The bull**** and, ill be honest, "customs" around job interviews is reality, and it took me a long time to accept this as well, but you have to be able to accept reality as it is, and not as you want it to be.

As for perfectionism, learning to do just good enough applies to interviews as well. Be friendly, be social, try to do your best, and eventually someone will employ you. I am literally going through this process now, so yeh. I used to think like you though as it justified my avoidance quite well, but really, it doesn't matter a jot to me if there are nonsensical rules at play, so long as I know what those rules are. It matters not to me how I position a chair, why would it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
Its even worse when dating....you're cosntantly being evaluated by the other person.
and you are constantly evaluating them. Or you should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
Is he too eager ? Is he too desperate? Why is he desperate ? He lacks confidence ? Why doesn't he know what to decide when we go out ?
He did xyz or stammered that must mean he lacks confidence
Dating and job interviews are similar, they both raise up anxiety for me because they both have that element of being judged, but again its, just reality, two people are trying to find someone who is a good match to them, while also trying desperately to avoid rejection and therefore present themselves in the best possible light. In situations of limited information, where there is benefit in deception, you have to play the game.

It is ****ing dumb, tbh, in dating, people should just be themselves from the outset, but it is what it is, and you are left trying to read through the bull****, and using subtle hints to make those decisions.

My advice here, fwiw, is to start judging women who use these kinds of criteria. Make that your criteria. Ask them how they would rate someone on a date who was anxious, or who was uncertain where to go on a date. Interview them for the traits you are looking for, which includes the ability to demonstrate compassion for things like nervousness and uncertainty, and to give men a bit of slack. Women who fail here very likely are women who will just be a massive ****ing ballache if you end up in a relationship with them.

This doesn't apply if you just want to get laid, ofc, but there isn't much point in trying to impress a woman who isn't worth impressing, imo.
Are you suggesting I flip the switch and straight up ask girls I date, if she would immediately write off a guy if he appeared anxious and/or desperate ?
Well that's a new one, LOL.

I mean, its not to put myself down but...yea I kinda find it hard to follow all the dating norms and be like a smooth criminal all the time, so whatever woman I end up with, has got to accept that....yes ....I do get less anxious the more I get to know someone....but I can't turn off the anxiety in the initial stage... I'm 30 y/o believe me I've tried.

When is a Door not a door ?
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2020, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SplendidBob View Post
I don't think this is perfectionism, more social rules. You can make a very good case for an employee needing to conform to social rules, and to social custom. Why? Because they have to fit in with the organisation, the existing procedures, the people there.
I've heard people say the opposite to this too. That they expect diversity of mindset because that'll lead to new ideas for the organization and new paths.

That's how it works in music too. If all of the band members of a group share the exact same taste, you're not going to get something interesting and new out. It might as well be the same person who's playing all instruments.



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Originally Posted by SplendidBob View Post
There is also a lack of acknowledgement that yes, the world doesn't operate in the best logical way, not even close. But in order to exist in the world you have to be able to play within the ruleset of the world itself. Its also true, however, that in reality you aren't actually going to lose a job based on something like dragging a chair, though why you would drag a chair escapes me.

The bull**** and, ill be honest, "customs" around job interviews is reality, and it took me a long time to accept this as well, but you have to be able to accept reality as it is, and not as you want it to be.
So are you telling me its okay to deny someone with Aspergers a job because of their inability to smile and appear friendly like everybody else? Those are the rules after all - All employees must smile.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2020, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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The irony is, everything therapy tells to do, social norms and social pressures will always push us to do nearly the opposite in order to function in society.
Yes exactly! The thing is, we're all wired just like everybody else when we start out. But then realize that that regular wiring only works for people who don't have the same issues that we do. So we have to adapt to our problems, but that adaptation isn't accommodated by society.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2020, 09:55 AM
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Are you suggesting I flip the switch and straight up ask girls I date, if she would immediately write off a guy if he appeared anxious and/or desperate ?
Well that's a new one, LOL.

I mean, its not to put myself down but...yea I kinda find it hard to follow all the dating norms and be like a smooth criminal all the time, so whatever woman I end up with, has got to accept that....yes ....I do get less anxious the more I get to know someone....but I can't turn off the anxiety in the initial stage... I'm 30 y/o believe me I've tried.
Maybe not the desperate part, no haha, as that would be a huge red flag (and even if you are you should hide that as it very clearly decreases your perceived value). But I see no reason to be ashamed of anxiety, or to expect someone to not be tolerant of it. If a woman is expecting someone who isn't anxious, and thinks anxious people are "weak" or something, you aren't the right person for them, similarly they aren't the right person for you since you are anxious, and will need someone who is able to make accommodations for that.

I have always brought up anxiety, first dates. I can't say its a positive, because all other things being equal it isn't on their shopping list lol, but if you confidently talk about your anxiety, that's the best possible thing you can do, if you aren't pulling off the act.

What happens if you ask them that question? And add that you have anxiety?

1. You are being authentic
2. You are revealing a vulnerability (that requires courage, honesty and vulnerability)
3. You are assessing them, they will feel obliged to answer in a way that won't make them look like ****. When someone is being judged, they tend to automatically switch to trying to impress. It raises your value, because the one doing the assessing obviously rates their value.

You pretend you don't have anxiety. Best case, you end up with someone who expects you to not be anxious (I suspect you have been there, done that) - for as long as you can pull off the lie. Worst case, it's obvious you are anxious, are pretending to be what you think is attractive (smooth chad), so you also come across as inauthentic, dishonest and untrustworthy. An absolute nightmare of red flag traits. If you also come across as desperate, and pestering, it's like you appear to be the least desirable man on earth, where you could have come across as a guy working his *** off to work on a problem that isn't his fault, but nonetheless has the courage and authenticity to own it.

So yeh, I am suggesting you ask them how they feel about that, and to say you have anxiety. I don't see how it can be worse than trying to pull off a deception. Worst case for you, you get to judge them for being shallow and judgemental and can reject them. That isn't a bad thing . Why do you want women who have ****ty opinions about mental health? (you don't).

Like I say, this differs if you just want to get laid, then you might have a higher chance if you can blag it, look good, and so on. But if you are genuinely looking for someone, at some point you have to admit this stuff, so, given that, you might as well admit it and earn some authenticity points, imo.

I might be wrong on this, of course. And not my fault if it goes wrong haha, and this may be a thing to reveal in a second date lol, but being anxious really isn't that low down on the list of negatives, when compared to dishonesty and flagging their creepy sensors (which will be flagged if you are acting, and are a bad actor).

Obviously, and this goes without saying, you need to maximise all of your positive traits, but everyone has negatives, and you need to weed out those judgemental and low-quality women too. I can't think of a better way to do it. **** it, own your **** and assess them. Why not?

Also I am in no position to give advice here, so take it with a pinch of salt.

Compassion focused therapy audio, guided meditations:

https://balancedminds.com/audio/
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2020, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeDuck View Post
I've heard people say the opposite to this too. That they expect diversity of mindset because that'll lead to new ideas for the organization and new paths.

That's how it works in music too. If all of the band members of a group share the exact same taste, you're not going to get something interesting and new out. It might as well be the same person who's playing all instruments.





So are you telling me its okay to deny someone with Aspergers a job because of their inability to smile and appear friendly like everybody else? Those are the rules after all - All employees must smile.
Nope, clearly that wasn't the point I was making (I didn't mention Aspergers).

I would advise you consider disclosing Aspergers though, there may be strengths you can play off there, and it means they have to be very careful about rating you on social ability.

Compassion focused therapy audio, guided meditations:

https://balancedminds.com/audio/
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2020, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by VIncymon View Post
Are you suggesting I flip the switch and straight up ask girls I date, if she would immediately write off a guy if he appeared anxious and/or desperate ?
Well that's a new one, LOL.

I mean, its not to put myself down but...yea I kinda find it hard to follow all the dating norms and be like a smooth criminal all the time, so whatever woman I end up with, has got to accept that....yes ....I do get less anxious the more I get to know someone....but I can't turn off the anxiety in the initial stage... I'm 30 y/o believe me I've tried.
Maybe not the desperate part, no haha, as that would be a huge red flag (and even if you are you should hide that as it very clearly decreases your perceived value). But I see no reason to be ashamed of anxiety, or to expect someone to not be tolerant of it. If a woman is expecting someone who isn't anxious, and thinks anxious people are "weak" or something, you aren't the right person for them, similarly they aren't the right person for you since you are anxious, and will need someone who is able to make accommodations for that.

I have always brought up anxiety, first dates. I can't say its a positive, because all other things being equal it isn't on their shopping list lol, but if you confidently talk about your anxiety, that's the best possible thing you can do, if you aren't pulling off the act.

What happens if you ask them that question? And add that you have anxiety?

1. You are being authentic
2. You are revealing a vulnerability (that requires courage, honesty and vulnerability)
3. You are assessing them, they will feel obliged to answer in a way that won't make them look like ****. When someone is being judged, they tend to automatically switch to trying to impress. It raises your value, because the one doing the assessing obviously rates their value.

You pretend you don't have anxiety. Best case, you end up with someone who expects you to not be anxious (I suspect you have been there, done that) - for as long as you can pull off the lie. Worst case, it's obvious you are anxious, are pretending to be what you think is attractive (smooth chad), so you also come across as inauthentic, dishonest and untrustworthy. An absolute nightmare of red flag traits. If you also come across as desperate, and pestering, it's like you appear to be the least desirable man on earth, where you could have come across as a guy working his *** off to work on a problem that isn't his fault, but nonetheless has the courage and authenticity to own it.

So yeh, I am suggesting you ask them how they feel about that, and to say you have anxiety. I don't see how it can be worse than trying to pull off a deception. Worst case for you, you get to judge them for being shallow and judgemental and can reject them. That isn't a bad thing <a href="http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="" >:-)</a>. Why do you want women who have ****ty opinions about mental health? (you don't).

Like I say, this differs if you just want to get laid, then you might have a higher chance if you can blag it, look good, and so on. But if you are genuinely looking for someone, at some point you have to admit this stuff, so, given that, you might as well admit it and earn some authenticity points, imo.

I might be wrong on this, of course. And not my fault if it goes wrong haha, and this may be a thing to reveal in a second date lol, but being anxious really isn't that low down on the list of negatives, when compared to dishonesty and flagging their creepy sensors (which will be flagged if you are acting, and are a bad actor).

Obviously, and this goes without saying, you need to maximise all of your positive traits, but everyone has negatives, and you need to weed out those judgemental and low-quality women too. I can't think of a better way to do it. **** it, own your **** and assess them. Why not?

Also I am in no position to give advice here, so take it with a pinch of salt.
Oh well....I will try this and see ...

As for the desperate part. I don't know how "not" to appear desperate. Some of what I've read says not being desperate means focusing on yourself....well its easy for me to focus on myself , all I would have to do is go to work, come back home study, play music and engage in any of the half dozen solitary hobbies that I have ....yea I don't see how that's supposed to help get dates....

I mean I could "not" be desperate by never asking girls out on dates and only talk about work. ....but that would just keep me stuck as a friend.

I honestly dunno how to build sexual tension in conversation. Even if I've read about it....sigh.

When is a Door not a door ?
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-31-2020, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Normal people are only perfectionists about things that matter. Like job interviews, where you show off your ability to perform elaborate social dances so that the potential employer will see that you're capable of it when required and thus pay you.

Such delicacies are required eventually in almost every job, and demonstrating the willingness and ability to pick up on and practice them is important. Who wants to risk hiring a socially awkward person, spending lots of money on training them, and then their social indelicacy offends a touchy client into canceling a contract or causes a misunderstanding between coworkers that leads to them or someone else leaving the company?

The rest of the time, people aren't perfectionists about their social lives -- they're just much more practiced and skilled and innately capable at them so a higher level of performance comes easily to them.
But if the job has nothing to do with social presentation, then why bother with evaluating it? If its a sales job, then sure. Because body language and social skills are important. But if the job is about accomplishing certain tasks, shouldn't be centered around that?
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2021, 08:51 AM
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But if the job has nothing to do with social presentation, then why bother with evaluating it? If its a sales job, then sure. Because body language and social skills are important. But if the job is about accomplishing certain tasks, shouldn't be centered around that?
If the job is to be a sensory deprivation tank experiment subject who never interacts with a coworker, boss or the world, then the interview tips are inappropriate. For that interview, go in with a blank face and don't say anything to win the job.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2021, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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If the job is to be a sensory deprivation tank experiment subject who never interacts with a coworker, boss or the world, then the interview tips are inappropriate. For that interview, go in with a blank face and don't say anything to win the job.
I didn't say that the worker should not cooperate with everyone else and do what they're supposed to. This is more about how they do it. Whether or not they do it the way that is considered perfect should be irrelevant as long as they accomplish the task at hand. That was my point. To be result oriented and not process oriented.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2021, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Dating and job interviews are similar, they both raise up anxiety for me because they both have that element of being judged, but again its, just reality, two people are trying to find someone who is a good match to them, while also trying desperately to avoid rejection and therefore present themselves in the best possible light. In situations of limited information, where there is benefit in deception, you have to play the game.

It is ****ing dumb, tbh, in dating, people should just be themselves from the outset, but it is what it is, and you are left trying to read through the bull****, and using subtle hints to make those decisions.

My advice here, fwiw, is to start judging women who use these kinds of criteria. Make that your criteria. Ask them how they would rate someone on a date who was anxious, or who was uncertain where to go on a date. Interview them for the traits you are looking for, which includes the ability to demonstrate compassion for things like nervousness and uncertainty, and to give men a bit of slack. Women who fail here very likely are women who will just be a massive ****ing ballache if you end up in a relationship with them.

This doesn't apply if you just want to get laid, ofc, but there isn't much point in trying to impress a woman who isn't worth impressing, imo.
The problem with this is that if you go with this mindset, you will say things that you think the other person wants to hear and not what naturally would come.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2021, 05:08 PM
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I think we have to distinguish between perfectionism and "most efficacious way of completing a task". These are not the same thing.

For every task, there will be a most efficacious way of proceeding. This is inherent in the nature of reality. In this sense, the world is "perfectionist". Even when it comes to social tasks, where subjectivity plays a large role, there will be a most efficacious way of proceeding, not in an objective sense, but in a statistical sense: some people like mavericks, so some people will like job applicants that take an unusual approach to solving the chair problem; but, statistically, more people are going to expect (for sake of argument) something along the lines of what your teacher is describing. This will be the most efficacious way of solving the chair problem for the greatest number of people based on current etiquette in our culture. Your teacher is not telling you that you must be perfect; your teacher is presenting the most satisfying way to solve this particular problem.

Perfectionism, by contrast, is the feeling that one is a bad person for not having completed a task in the most efficacious way. This is a judgement about a person's performance, and a particular emotional response to that judgement. You don't have to beat yourself up for screwing things up. Many people have simply internalized a habit of doing that.

The question is: can you walk into the interview, bungle the chair problem, and still be okay with yourself? The fact is that you failed to execute the task in what you have been told is the most efficacious way; but you can have different responses to this failure. 1: You can castigate yourself, and call yourself an idiot, and feel bad about yourself, in which case you will have perfectionism. Or, 2: you can say, "Well, nobody's perfect," and get over it and get on with things. This boils down to whether or not you give yourself permission to be an imperfect person. If you don't have that permission, you're going to experience a lot of negative emotions, you're going to be afraid to do a lot of things because you're afraid of those negative emotions, and your life is going to be very circumscribed. If you do have that permission, you're going to have a very different kind of experience. The kind of experience that we call "normal" in our culture.

So, when your teacher is explaining the most efficacious way to solve the chair problem, she may or may not look down on people who fail to execute it properly. If she looks down on those people, she's a perfectionist, too. But her explanation doesn't carry the moral imperative to do it properly; you are adding that moral imperative. You're saying something like, "Great. Now I have to move the chair such-and-such a way or I'm going to feel bad." But no one is asking you to feel bad. They're just telling you how to move the chair. You're the one telling yourself to feel bad if you don't do it properly.

This is not to say there won't be negative consequences for bungling the chair problem (it may create a slightly more negative impression) but the question again is: Can you forgive yourself for creating that slightly more negative impression? Can you accept it and say, "Well, nobody's perfect. I still have plenty of time to fix that impression." If you sit there beating yourself up about bungling the chair problem during your interview, your interview is probably not going to go very well, so there's a clear advantage in being able to let it go.

When your therapist talks about how other people are just "going with the flow" this is what they're talking about: not getting hung up on the mistakes that you're making. Letting the mistakes go and moving on to the next thing. A perfectionist is a person who can't let those mistakes go. A perfectionist dwells on their mistakes (and puts off making any) instead of using their time productively.

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-02-2021, 07:57 AM
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The problem with this is that if you go with this mindset, you will say things that you think the other person wants to hear and not what naturally would come.
How so?

Wouldn't being yourself / authentic and also trying to assess whether the other person fits your criteria make you more likely to be yourself that trying to impress the other person? It would / does for me anyway.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-03-2021, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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I think we have to distinguish between perfectionism and "most efficacious way of completing a task". These are not the same thing.

For every task, there will be a most efficacious way of proceeding. This is inherent in the nature of reality. In this sense, the world is "perfectionist". Even when it comes to social tasks, where subjectivity plays a large role, there will be a most efficacious way of proceeding, not in an objective sense, but in a statistical sense: some people like mavericks, so some people will like job applicants that take an unusual approach to solving the chair problem; but, statistically, more people are going to expect (for sake of argument) something along the lines of what your teacher is describing. This will be the most efficacious way of solving the chair problem for the greatest number of people based on current etiquette in our culture. Your teacher is not telling you that you must be perfect; your teacher is presenting the most satisfying way to solve this particular problem.

Perfectionism, by contrast, is the feeling that one is a bad person for not having completed a task in the most efficacious way. This is a judgement about a person's performance, and a particular emotional response to that judgement. You don't have to beat yourself up for screwing things up. Many people have simply internalized a habit of doing that.

The question is: can you walk into the interview, bungle the chair problem, and still be okay with yourself? The fact is that you failed to execute the task in what you have been told is the most efficacious way; but you can have different responses to this failure. 1: You can castigate yourself, and call yourself an idiot, and feel bad about yourself, in which case you will have perfectionism. Or, 2: you can say, "Well, nobody's perfect," and get over it and get on with things. This boils down to whether or not you give yourself permission to be an imperfect person. If you don't have that permission, you're going to experience a lot of negative emotions, you're going to be afraid to do a lot of things because you're afraid of those negative emotions, and your life is going to be very circumscribed. If you do have that permission, you're going to have a very different kind of experience. The kind of experience that we call "normal" in our culture.

So, when your teacher is explaining the most efficacious way to solve the chair problem, she may or may not look down on people who fail to execute it properly. If she looks down on those people, she's a perfectionist, too. But her explanation doesn't carry the moral imperative to do it properly; you are adding that moral imperative. You're saying something like, "Great. Now I have to move the chair such-and-such a way or I'm going to feel bad." But no one is asking you to feel bad. They're just telling you how to move the chair. You're the one telling yourself to feel bad if you don't do it properly.

This is not to say there won't be negative consequences for bungling the chair problem (it may create a slightly more negative impression) but the question again is: Can you forgive yourself for creating that slightly more negative impression? Can you accept it and say, "Well, nobody's perfect. I still have plenty of time to fix that impression." If you sit there beating yourself up about bungling the chair problem during your interview, your interview is probably not going to go very well, so there's a clear advantage in being able to let it go.

When your therapist talks about how other people are just "going with the flow" this is what they're talking about: not getting hung up on the mistakes that you're making. Letting the mistakes go and moving on to the next thing. A perfectionist is a person who can't let those mistakes go. A perfectionist dwells on their mistakes (and puts off making any) instead of using their time productively.
This post has really done a mind bender on me lol. Isn't that pretty much what I was saying? A perfectionist is someone who dwells on tiny mistakes instead of moving on and getting on with bigger goals. That's what I don't understand about that teacher. Why was she saying all this? If she's saying all this, it means that she's a perfectionist. Or if she's only saying this to cater to certain employers, well then the employer is a perfectionist.

As long as you don't break the chair, I don't think anything needs to be said on that front. Just sit down and get on with the interview. Why say anything about the chair?
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-05-2021, 02:41 AM
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This post has really done a mind bender on me lol. Isn't that pretty much what I was saying? A perfectionist is someone who dwells on tiny mistakes instead of moving on and getting on with bigger goals. That's what I don't understand about that teacher. Why was she saying all this? If she's saying all this, it means that she's a perfectionist. Or if she's only saying this to cater to certain employers, well then the employer is a perfectionist.

As long as you don't break the chair, I don't think anything needs to be said on that front. Just sit down and get on with the interview. Why say anything about the chair?
Um, no, that isn't the point I'm trying to make. I thought that, since this was a thread about perfectionism, and people who struggle with perfectionism might therefore read it, that I would try to elaborate on the differences between the way perfectionists think and the way "normal" people who "just go with the flow" think. I just find stuff like this interesting to talk about.

It's entirely possible that your teacher is a perfectionist, ofc, and that she is telling you how to move the chair because she herself is a perfectionist, but there's no way you can know that without her telling you (or reading her mind). She could just be explaining a minor point of social etiquette because she thinks it's useful to know. "This is how most people like you to move chairs." And, well, isn't it? Don't most people consider it rude to kick a chair across a floor, or make a bunch of unnecessary noise when you're moving it? Most people do pick up chairs to move them and try to set them down softly. Also, most people are sensitive to proximity. They don't like people being too close or too far away when they talk. They don't want you to stand while they're sitting, and they don't want you sitting so far away they have to raise their voice to be heard or strain to hear what you're saying. (Proximity varies mostly by culture.) What your teacher is describing is just how most people already behave. But the fact that you have no problem in this situation doesn't mean that other people won't. Some people will be afraid to move the chair because they're afraid to do anything unless someone specifically tells them to do it. They would only move the chair if the interviewer specifically tells them to move it. (My brother is like that.) Some people might stand instead, or move the chair too close, because they come from a culture where that might be considered normal. So this information might be useful to some people.

From my perspective (and keeping in topic with this thread), it seems like one reason someone might object to her explanation about how to move a chair is because they themselves feel overly concerned about their performance. If you feel you have to do everything correctly to avoid feeling bad, then every time someone explains the correct way to do something, that becomes one more thing you have to worry about. You may have even done all these things automatically all your life without thinking about it, but the moment a teacher lays it out as a procedure it becomes an obligation. (I'm not saying this is how you think, I'm saying this is how perfectionists think.) It only feels like an obligation to someone who doesn't give themselves permission to make mistakes. The teacher's explanation doesn't feel like an obligation to anyone else (it doesn't to me), it's just a good way to do things (it's efficacious) and your teacher may have had no intention to make it feel like an obligation. That was my point. If I'd been in that class, I wouldn't have thought anything about her explanation, because it wouldn't have felt like she was trying to impose an obligation.

It really doesn't matter how perfectionistic other people are. That's their problem. It doesn't matter if the person interviewing you is a perfectionist and doesn't like the way you move a chair. The only thing that matters is how perfectionistic you are, because perfectionism can be an enormous drain on your energy and make you averse to taking any risks. There's an enormous difference between: "This is the way it must be done, and if I don't do it this way I'm a screw up," and "This is considered the best way to do it, so I'll try to remember to do it that way." Think the first way and you're going to have a really tough time. Think the second way and things like this are no big deal.

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I just don't like this outlook on life where everything is expected to be perfect and anything short of perfect is unacceptable.
I don't have a problem with how "perfectionist" the rest of the world is, because it doesn't seem to me that the rest of the world is that way. It seems to me that only some people are that way. And I'm not much concerned about whether or not those people approve of me. It's simply not a problem I ever think about. People either like me or they don't. You're right though that most people are probably not going to pay attention to how you move the chair in an interview unless you pick it up and throw it. (I interviewed dozens of people and don't recall ever paying attention, but no one ever threw any at me.)

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