Perfectionism & Control

Is perfectionism a form of control? At a casual glance, it seems to not be related, but when you look a little deeper you find that perfectionism feeds our desire to be in control. Two of the roots of control are fear and pride, and both can be roots of perfectionism as well.

Many times control is an underlying motive and not as easily recognizable.

Here are a few markers a person could have if they experience perfectionism and the need to control:

– I have to appear perfect/my home has to be perfect/my kids have to be perfect (in looks and/or behavior) so I can control how others view me
– I have to insist that others follow my way of doing things (because I believe it’s the “best” way)
– I have anxiety when I think about not meeting my standards of perfection
– I need to be in control in order to make sure things meet my standards
– Many of my “rules” of perfection, whether personally, in projects, or for others are in place in order to receive a specific positive response from others

Can you think of any other examples of how perfectionism and control are related?


  1. Deborah Berg says:

    I have symptoms of control issues. Who am I kidding? I have control issues in my life! Check list: 1. Yard mowed 2. Dishes match in coordinating colors. 3. Inhaler close by 4. Diet coke in fridge. 5. Daily call list of friends and family 6. On and on and on…That being said, I have worked diligently on improving these control issues. Did you notice the pronoun I? Where is the surrender? Is it tucked and hidden my mind and heart? To relinquish the control by prayer and supplication is the only answer. Therefore, my first step will be repentance before my God. A more humble spirit in daily life. I will make my request known to Him. It’s hard to be in control on my back, face down, or on my knees!! Much love in Christ!

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