Hi, I’m Carin Rockind. Welcome to PPND Bites, where we give you 60-second helpings of the positive psychology news you need to know. So, when I was a little girl, my parents used to call me the perfect child. Now, of course, they meant it as a compliment but over time, it became a huge stressor for me as I was trying to be better, do more, have more, and live up to some unknown ideal.
Tal Ben-Shahar, researcher, positive psychologist and Harvard professor, has proven and shown that perfectionism is a leading cause of unhappiness. A 2017 study shows that perfectionism has actually only increased over the last 30 years.
Researchers looked at 41,000 college students from Great Britain, the US, and Canada and found that in that time between 1989 and 2016, college students were saying that they felt that people demanded more for them, that they demanded more from them, and they felt more pressure to be perfect socially, pressure for other people, and pressure for themselves.
So, this is an opportunity for all of us, an opportunity to learn growth mindset, that it’s okay to fail and to learn and grow, an opportunity for all of us to remember for ourselves and teach young people that they’re good enough as they are, and to really focus in on what we know are the ideals of true happiness, relationships, having positivity in your life, having a sense of purpose, and more.
With that, I hope that this has helped you have an additional bite of happiness in your life. Join us next time. Bye for now.
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Curran, T., & Hill, A. P. (2017). Perfectionism is increasing over time: A meta-analysis of birth cohort differences from 1989 to 2016. Psychological Bulletin. Advance online publication.