TS Factoid of the Day: Perfection Syndrome

Perfection is an insidious way of sabotaging one’s transition and gender authenticity.  Perfection is that unobtainable bar that promises that you’ll never be good enough, nor be satisfied with one’s efforts.  Perfection allows one to wallow in anger, depression and despair without having taken any real, meaningful actions to deal with one’s identity.

Perfection allows one to stay in place staring at the mirror, loathing one’s existence while demanding that no transition and no authentic identity can take place unless it is perfect.  Hands, shoulders and feet may not be too large; the waist must be small; the head and shoulders must be just right; and the chest configured in a way to be “perfect.”

Where does this measure of perfection originate?  Is it some impossible bar that we have intentionally set to be angry and upset that one is not just like other “real” genders?  Is it an excuse to sit still and blame one’s circumstances?  Did one read too many issues of Vogue, Seventeen, and People magazine?  Are we using mass-marketed “images” of what a woman or a man should be, all the while knowing that reality is not the “images” we see, but rather the truth of who we  are inside, and how to make an authentic showing on the outside.

Perfection can be a dangerous syndrome for perennial unhappiness and frustration.

Goals and being true to one’s self are laudable.  Demands for being “perfect” lead the way in mental health issues and neuroses.  Don’t be perfect.  As the great psychologist Winnicott once said, “Be good enough.” It is far healthier and allows one to embrace the inner truth for all to see.

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