Hello, I just wanted to clear some things out because it seems like Perfectionism and Criticism has finally become a hot topic as our ENFJ section is starting to grow. I really want all ENFJs to know that, if you are an ENFJ, then we firmly understand each other when we say that we don't take criticism too well. It kills us, especially when we're simply trying to "help" those around us. But what exactly does it mean to help those around us? Are you sure its not just another way for us to have control over others? We should all try and work on this because it really is a drawback of being an ENFJ. When I get criticized I tend to over-think it for days.
First, perfectionism can bring out great results, but there are times when it just gets out-of-control and becomes a sickness to ENFJs. Its a very fine balance that I personally have to work on.
Being a perfectionist doesn't mean you're great, it actually means you're a procrastinator. Perfectionism is just another form of procrastination. If you thought you were almighty and high class because you thought you're perfect, think again. Feeling perfect is just another form of positive thinking, but being naive is a different story.
The first thing I need to clarify is that not being able to take criticism doesn't just entirely stem from being ENFJ, but it actually comes from the fact that we are too obssesive with control and thrive to transcend above human limits (aka. perfectionists) When we are perfectionists, we live in the future, our goals, and get bored with the present. Let me tell you this though, perfectionism isn't realistic, its a fantasy. I know for a fact that we appreciate logic and intelligence, but what's the point of thriving to reach the greater part of ourselves, when we sit passively and fantasize?
How are perfectionism and procrastination related to each other?
Being perfect means we fatasize about getting things done the best way or rather trying to get things done your own way because you swear by it. This causes several things, a perfectionist mistakenly believes that by simply setting up a perfect but unknowingly unrealistic goals is already getting "good job" done. Some people believe that by setting up great but unrealistic goals is bound to result in good works either way even if it doesn't come out to be perfect. Some people on the hand become frustrated and discouraged and eventually find themselves running from their problems and have a hard time getting the job done, hence the procrastination. The answer is simple, we just don't acknowledge them. Its the all-or-nothing attitude that becomes so damaging. "If it can't be done my way, then you can hit the highway".
So what's the connection with being obssesive/perfect and not being able to take criticism?
As ENFJs we have subtle strategies to control those around us, we strive to make people think well of us. But the main objective underlying this strategy is to leave no room for criticism like our life depends on it. What happens when we get criticized?
1.) We cry about it.
2.) We get really shocked, thinking "I'm just trying to help" without realizing that the kind of "help" you think you're doing isn't really "helping", preferably unwanted and then cry like a little baby about it.
and the list goes on..
So what are the solutions?
Quite frankly, I don't know, I'm still working on it, but I have taken the first steps towards this solution to be open and honest about the fact that I don't know, instead of trying to cover it up and appear all "perfect". Overall, it really takes perspective on your own experience and insight to apply them, and I hope that this will give you new perspective and approach with criticism and perfectionism.