To find out the facts about perfectionism, we can observe what other people think and respond to different situations using surveys. For today’s session, we will be learning ways to conduct a survey, but feel free to take the entire week to conduct your survey and understand it. Login to this session as often as you need too!
Earlier, you have noted the area(s) you had problems with perfectionism. Now, you can create surveys for these area(s) by asking your friends/family about the number of times they behave in a certain way or the time they spend doing something. Here are some examples:
|Belief||What to Ask|
|I make more mistakes than other people||In the last month, how many “mistakes” have you made e.g. forgotten an appointment, sent an email with a spelling error, said something that you regretted?|
|The mistakes I make are worse than other people||Please list as many “mistakes” you have made in the last month as possible e.g. giving the wrong change, forgetting to do something snapping at someone. Then, rate how bad you think the mistake was on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely). What effects did your mistake have? Do you think other people make similar mistakes?|
|Doing well in school/work comes naturally to other people but I have to work at it||How well are you doing in your studies/work? Please rate from 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely). How much would you say your success “came naturally”? Please rate from 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely). How much would you say you had to work to do well? Please rate from 0 (not at all) to 10 (extremely). What are the reasons for your success?|
|If I went out without make-up, people would think I was a slob||What do you think of girls who go out during the day without any make-up? What do you think of girls who always wear make-up to everything? What do you think of girls who wear too much make up?|
|Most people believe that “if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well”||Do you believe that “if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well”? Are there any times when this may not be true? Can you give me an example of when you have not done a job as thoroughly as it could have been done because you had other important things to do?|
|Most people wouldn’t choose the “easy way out”||If you could achieve the same goal by really pushing yourself, working hard, and focusing day and night or by taking an “easier” option, which would you choose? Do you believe it is good to push yourself to achieve a goal if there was another easier way? Can you give some examples?|
|Successful people are not overweight||Do you believe that successful people are not overweight? Do you know anyone who is successful and overweight? Please state who. Do you know anyone who is successful and average weight? Please state who. Do you know anyone who is successful and underweight? Please state who.|
|Other people don’t want to hear about my problems so I should always present a “perfect” front||What do you think about people who never share their problems? What do you think about people who always appear as “everything is rosy”? Who would you choose to spend time with – someone who discussed their personal life or someone for whom “everything is rosy”? Why?|
Try to make the information that you’ve collected as clear as possible.
Reflect on the answers
The answers from the survey can contain some surprises and a wide range of responses e.g. some people will think badly of a woman who always goes out with make-up on while others might think badly of a woman who never wears make-up.
As we can see, there are no “right and wrong” answers. Some people think one way while others think another.
Still, the survey can be a “reality check” about your goals and beliefs. You now know more about what is “normal” and about what other people believe. With this new information, you can now choose to adjust your standards or beliefs.