Column 17 – Facades of Perfectionism by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

My grandmother taught me that if you couldn’t say anything nice then say nothing at all. That is such a wonderful adage to live by. I first wrote to love by and that is probably the best way to live.

What happens to us that makes us want or need to criticize everything? Do we learn this at our grandmother’s knee or do we just pick it up through osmosis from our parents. How sad that the adage that we should live by is just words and not actions.

Or is it as we get older we just say what we think without thought to how someone is going to react to it. In the long run it doesn’t matter because whatever the reason for our blunders, the hurt is done. Do we become our mothers or some other negative person in our lives? Is the programming so engrained in us that we don’t stand a chance of changing? I pray not, but prayers are not the only answer; we have to dig deep to stop this behavior in us because we know how it feels to be criticized. If we know how it feels then why do we do this!

I think it is perfectionism plain and simple. The truth is that we think we are better and therefore our opinion should and must be shared. Now that is a scary thought. Perfectionism rears its ugly head again and we are determined to stick our foot in our mouths just cause were right.

When are we ever going to learn? Not every thought in our head should be voiced or written quickly and sent via email. If someone had wanted our opinion then don’t you think they would have asked for it?

Even the closest people to you don’t need to hear your every thought on a subject. These people are allowed to have opinions of their own. They can make decisions on their own. If they desire an outside opinion they are smart enough to ask for it and have enough courage to listen to it. Just because they asked does not mean they have to take your opinion and use it. If they ask for an opinion then when they don’t get the answer they were looking for it will teach them not to ask again.

Opinions should be given honestly when requested. The old adage comes back into play if you are not asked, If you can’t say anything good then say nothing at all! We can always find something nice to say if we will choose our words wisely.

Have you been hearing your mother or fathers voice coming out of your mouth? You don’t have allow this behavior to hurt another person. You can nip it in the bud by letting the words fill your head first and imagine how someone might react. We can also write it out to get the full impact of the harshness of the criticism. Then we can tear it up. We can stop negativity from becoming a cancer in our lives.

Has your perfectionism caused you to put on the facade of cattiness, gossiping, whining, sarcasm, martyrdom, cynicism, snide remarks, realism or I’m just saying? Isn’t it awful that perfect can turn into such ugliness? Watch yourself this week. Put signs to up remind yourself to stop this negative behavior. Just because you think you are right doesn’t give you permission to rain on someone’s parade.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2011 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

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