Honorable Duke, do you have any friend who's a perfectionist or know someone who is a perfectionist? If so, could you share a story about it? And how do perfectionists make you feel?
Honestly I’m kind of a perfectionist. I don’t think it’s a bad thing so long as you’re aware of it and realize that ‘perfect’ really isn’t possible and you’re just getting as close as you can. That being said, it’s not a bad thing so long as the pressure is self-imposed and under control. If you’re feeling an unhealthy level of pressure from yourself or other people to be ‘perfect,’ then no, that’s not a good thing.
Here’s a story: When I was in grade school I was one of those annoying kids who tested pretty well, which meant that I didn’t study very much (or at all, for English/history. My information retention is pretty good). So once day my mom came to pick me up from school and I said, “Look, I got a 97% on this test!” And without missing a beat she said, “Well, maybe if you’d studied it would have been 100.” Kind of a callous thing to say to an eight-year-old, but she wasn’t wrong. My parents expected me to do my absolute best and be as close to perfect as possible. I struggled with this in middle school because I was fully aware of how little your grades in middle school actually matter, but as soon as I got to high school I self-policed pretty well and worked my ass off because I knew my high school records would determine where I went to college, and that was important to me. And because I did that, I ended up getting a pretty great scholarship. I did the same thing in college and now I’m headed to a pretty great grad school.
So the moral is, I think working as hard as you can and getting as close to perfect as possible is a great thing to do in areas you care about. I’m never going to do 97% of anything correctly if there’s math involved, and I know that, and I’m okay with it. Pick and choose where and when to be a perfectionist. You can’t do everything perfectly.
I answered an ask about this once before, which is here.