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March 9th Discussion - Perfectionism & Goodism

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey Everyone,

    We had another fantastic discussion this past Saturday! I am really enjoying our conversations. This week, we'll be discussing the next two cases, Therese and Adrienne, found in the chapter on Perfectionism and Goodism from Pathways to Pain Relief. Therese and Adrienne represent two personality traits prevalent among TMSers -- perfectionism (Therese) and goodism (Adrienne). The cases themselves are quite interesting, and I found Dr. Sherman's analysis fascinating as well. Like always, anyone is always welcome to join in the discussion, regardless of whether they have done the reading or not.

    As usual, the discussion group will start at 2:00pm EST, and will run until 3:00pm. You can connect to the discussion using your computer or your phone. Please start connecting early, especially if you are using your computer! Click here for detailed instructions on how to connect.

    Hope to see you there!

  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Dr. Sherman talks a lot in this section of Pathways about perfectionism and perspective. He basically says that perfectionism is both initiated and fueled by a lack of perspective. (We had a great thread on this topic here.)

    Sometimes it can be difficult sometimes for others to understand why we can’t just “snap out of it” and just stop perfectionistic/goodist tendencies, especially when they seem completely irrational to others. Dr. Sherman does an excellent job of exploring the underlying cause and the development of Therese’s and Adrienne’s perfectionism and goodism to show why that is so hard. Here’s one quote I found that captures the fear fueling Adrienne’s and Therese’s perfectionism very well:

    “Adrienne and Therese certainly uphold moral principles for all the right reasons. However, neither of them can imagine the world going on if they are rude to a salesclerk, or forget someone’s birthday. And although they are genuinely sorry for their occasional human lapses, they are at least as concerned about their lovability, and ultimately, their survival.”​

    When characteristics are founded early in our childhood, especially when they are created to protect us, letting go of them can be painfully difficult. What sort of methods or approaches have helped you let go?
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here's the audio from our discussion on the 9th. If you prefer, you can also download the discussion as an mp3 file by right-clicking on this link and saving it to your computer. I hope to see you all this Saturday!

  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    This posting on perfectionism reminds me of my best friend, Tim. We were reporters on the Chicago Tribune and became like brothers.
    We liked to take our lunch together so we would leave the Tribune Tower and go to any of a number of nearby restaurants. If we had to wait for a table, Tim would get angry and storm out. I always followed because I figured we'd find a table at the next place. If we did and were seated, Tim might get angry because he couldn't get a waiter to come to our table. So he would storm out of that restaurant. I followed again, and sometimes it might be three or four restaurants before he stayed and ate his lunch. I can only imagine how his stomach must have been in an uproar so how could he ingest what he ate.

    I never really figured out why he was so angry but now that I know about TMS pain I believe it was part of his perfectionist personality, which Dr. Sarno says can cause a lot of our pain. His perfectionism created a lot of impatience in him. He liked to fix things at home but used to tighten a screw so much that he could never get it off the bolt.

    And while we worked at the Tribune he was very impatient for advancement. He could never get promoted fast enough. Bosses recognized this so they didn't promote him much or enough to satisfy him. His impatience for promotion at work carried over into his lunch hours and showed itself in his impatience to get a table or to be served. I never knew that then, but it makes sense now. His impatience in not being promoted led to him quitting the paper, working as a stock broker, then back to the Tribune, impatient there again, finally opening a scuba dive shop which later failed.

    I never thought he was really a happy guy, and later learned that was probably because when he was a boy, just before World War II, his father left him and his mother to fly for Chenault's Flying Tigers in Burma, preferring to face the Japanese rather than cope with his domineering wife. Tim was left with his mother who dominated him. I don't think Tim ever forgave either of them, and that together with his perfectionist personality and its impatience, caused him to have severe back pain he had until he died about five years ago. I think if he had known about TMS, it could have helped him, but I didn't know about it myself until about a year ago. He may not have believed in TMS anyway, perhaps unable to admit he had repressed emotions from his boyhood.

    Anyone have thoughts on how perfectionism can cause TMS pain and how to deal with it? I and others would like to know them.
    Stella and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.

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