Noticing the negatives
Besides all or nothing thinking, people with perfectionism also have a “notice the negative” thinking style. They tend to regularly examine their performance harshly, ignore any successes, focus only on the negatives and be very harsh on themselves. To overcome this unhelpful thinking style, one can become aware of areas where one examines performance, and broaden one’s attention.
This “notice the negative” thinking style tends to occur in areas important to people. Some common areas of perfectionism are shown below. Tick the areas that you notice the negative and include your examples.
|Tick||Area||Example of noticing the negatives||My Example|
|Looks||I look like a mess because I have a small hole in my tights|
|Room Cleanliness||My room is not clean because there are a few streaks on the windows|
|Studies||I did poorly in the oral presentation because I mispronounced one or two words|
|Eating / Shape / Weight||Even though I am a size 8, my body shape is too big overall because my thighs are too large|
|Sports||Even though I was second in the race, my performance was poor as I did not start as quickly as I should have|
|Friendships||I do not have a good relationship with my friends because we argue sometimes|
|Social Situations||I made a fool of myself because I stumbled over my words at one point when talking to Brenda|
|Hygiene||I will spread germs to people because I have a small cut on my hand|
This thinking style continues because focusing on the negatives maintains an anxiety about how well you do in that area.