There Are Different Types Of Perfectionists, Learn Which One You Are

Perfectionists come in five different types - intense, classic, Parisian, procrastinator, and messy.

By Trista Sobeck | Published

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Mental health is very important, and it’s important to keep trying to improve your mental state. It’s an ongoing process, and no one is 100% at the end of their mental health journey. Still, many of us strive to be a perfectionist in our own ways, but the best thing you can do is get to know who you are and learn to put yourself first- and in doing so, hone in on exactly what type of perfectionist you are.

When you do this, you can not care so much about what others think, and you can lose a bit of a perfectionist trait. It’s also worth noting that, a big step toward self-love is quitting social media. More and more research shows just how toxic it can be. 

Social media is so negative for your mental health because it all hinges on the need for approval and getting that “high” when someone gives you positive feedback- this is not good for perfectionists. It’s easy to get hooked on this. According to NPR, this is a type of perfectionism. Although it doesn’t fall into the classic definition of being a perfectionist, it is indeed a lesser-known type. There are actually five types of perfectionists. 

Spotting a perfectionist–of any kind–is not hard. They typically are rule followers, demanding of themselves and others, and will not settle for mediocrity. But, this is only one type of perfectionism. Let’s get to know all five types of perfectionism.

  1. Intense Perfectionist: These folks are the classic perfectionist you would think of when you hear the word. They are extremely direct, give not a thought to how others feel or what they think of them, and will do anything to reach their goals. These folks are great at achieving outcomes, but if something goes awry and not to plan, they will lash out in anger. Think Gordon Ramsey in “Hell’s Kitchen.”

    These folks could probably take a moment and decide why they are striving for their goals. Redirecting energies into a goal that aligns with their values may bring more happiness.
  2. Classic Perfectionist: These people are highly organized and have their stuff together at all times (or they want you to think that). The pros to this type of person are that they are very reliable and know how to add structure to any environment. On the other side, they may not be very spontaneous or may not want their plans changed. Move the coffee in the morning? This will stress them out.

    These folks need to understand that they need to leave room in their life for surprises. Mindfulness or doing something like yoga to help them see the flexibility in themselves and in life is a good thing.
  3. Parisian perfectionist: This type of perfectionist gets its name from a classic Parisian woman who concentrates only on what others think of him or her. They are great at making other people feel seen, but can sometimes lose their own identity. They like to defer to others for making a decision because they are conflict-avoidant. They also can come off as passive-aggressive. 

    These people will more than likely suffer some type of mid-life crisis at some point as they try to make everyone else happy and ignore their own needs.
  4. Procrastinator perfectionist: These people are only going to start a project until there is a perfect time. The conditions have to be perfect, all the stars have to line up correctly, and they will get stuck on indecisiveness. There is rarely a perfect time to start anything.

    This is where anxiety about the climate crisis can rear its head. Folks get hung up on the idea that if they do one good thing for the planet, that one good act will cause another type of harm. An example would be driving an electric vehicle, but not feeling good about it because batteries can be harmful to the environment as well. If there isn’t a perfect act to do, they will freeze in indecisiveness and do nothing at all.
  5. Messy perfectionist: These folks love beginnings. It’s the start of things that really gets them going. However, finishing or tending to the details is kind of not their thing. And, projects or goals end up being “messy.” The beginning, when things are exciting and new is the only place they want to be. When details become tedious, they get tired and lose interest.

    These people should focus on attainable goals even though they are in love with possibility. 

So, knowing that there are all these types of perfectionists, which type are you?