The Best Remedy For A Perfectionist Personality

When a perfectionist slips up, they criticise themselves too much and can experience burnout and depression.

When a perfectionist slips up, they criticise themselves too much and can experience burnout and depression.

Being self-compassionate is one of the best remedies for a perfectionist personality, research finds.

Learning self-acceptance helps protect the type of perfectionists who are highly self-critical from depression.

Some perfectionists are very worried about making mistakes and push themselves too hard to succeed.

When a perfectionist slips up, they criticise themselves too much and can experience burnout and depression.

However, perfectionists who are self-compassionate and self-accepting are less likely to get depressed.

  • A practical approach to boosting self-compassion is explained in my ebook “Accept Yourself“.

The conclusion comes from a study of 541 adolescents and 515 adults.

All were given tests of perfectionism, depression and self-compassion.

Dr Madeleine Ferrari, the study’s first author, explained the results:

“Self-compassion, the practice of self-kindness, consistently reduces the strength of the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depression for both adolescents and adults.”

The study’s authors explain how self-compassion is helpful:

“…self-compassion is ‘a useful emotion regulation strategy, in which painful or distressing feelings are not avoided but are instead held in awareness with kindness, understanding, and a sense of shared humanity’.

Thus, instead of avoiding social comparisons or overcompensating for negative feelings about the self through futile attempts to attain a higher social rank, the cultivation of self-compassion might help individuals to unconditionally accept ones’ failings.”

The study was published in the journal PLoS ONE (Ferrari et al., 2018).


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Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.

This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.

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Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.