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edmartin101's avatar

How do you get along with a perfectionist?

Asked by edmartin101 (776points) June 8th, 2008

I remember I had this gf who was a total perfectionist. I would visit her on weekends and I would always find her cleaning the house to the last detail. Sometimes it would take her 2 to 3 hours just to clean the windows. She wanted to do an immaculate job, and she was good but man! she spent hours and hours cleaning her place. One time she asked me to help her weed her garden, as I was doing it, she pointed out to me the steps she always took to get the job done. First you have to wear this gloves, then have a mask, wear these boots, she had all the gadgets in place. I asked her, do you have a written manual on how to weed the garden….you know, she got pissed. One thing I really appreciate about her is that now I put more attention at organization, but at that time it was driving me nuts.

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20 Answers

witchhazel's avatar

Wow! I’m all for clean and organized, but sounds like she takes it to the extreme. I don’t know if you can really get along with someone like that unless you are the same way. I would imagine it would lead to a lot of arguments after a while. Or, maybe, after arguing a while they start to wear down. I don’t know. I think it would be a tough road though.

playthebanjo's avatar

it probaby was driving her nuts as well.

janbb's avatar


No seriously, my husband is a perfectionist about many things and what somewhat works for us, although not all the time, is dividing up the jobs and doing them separately. I do the bathrooms, he washes the kitchen floor, etc. Luckily, he usually doesn’t criticize me for the way I’ve done something. We’re coming up for 35 years of marriage so I guess it’s working!

cookieman's avatar

My wife and I are like this. I’m the neat-freak and super organized. She’s disorganized and a bit of a slob.
On the other hand, she’s an amazing cook and great with family and friends. Meanwhile I can’t boil water and can be anti-social. So we each have our jobs and don’t (or try not to) criticize what the other one. Been working for 20 years.

edmartin101's avatar

@janbb Bravo!! I am happy is working for you. In my case I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to take a break to reflect on it
@cprevite My gf is super at cooking, especially cold sandwiches with spicy vegetables. Man, she does a pro chef job, that I have to give her credit for.

DeezerQueue's avatar

There’s a difference between a perfectionist and someone who has control issues. If she can’t deal with someone else who can’t or won’t measure up to her level of what’s acceptable as it relates to performance, then she has some problems with control.

I can be a perfectionist when it comes to some tasks, but certainly not all. I also don’t expect others to be behave as a perfectionist does, either. It’s not easy having a friendship with people who have control issues, either; they’re unusually demanding, easily frustrated by your lack to share in their enthusiasm of perfectionism, and frequently judgmental. They also seem to have problems understanding why others aren’t perfectionists, in their view, wouldn’t the world be such a better place if everything was perfect? They’re thinking, “What’s wrong with that?” While you’re thinking you could never possibly live up to their expectations.

Vincentt's avatar

@DQ – oh my, that’s so me… :(

janbb's avatar

I agree – there is a difference between someone who is a perfectionist about their own work and someone who wants to control the way you do things. The way you describe your former gf sounds like she is a control freak and it would probably be very hard to negotiate a way to relate that would be comfortable. It’s very difficult to deal with feelings of being inadequate when you are with a judgmental and/or controlling partner.

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playthebanjo's avatar

@nothere- no one ever claimed perfection (certainly not me – I make mistakes all the time) the difference is that I don’t get all pissy when someone points it out. Perhaps you should reel it back in and check out the thread on not holding fluther grudges from a few days ago.

thebeadholder's avatar

I am a perfectionist born into a perfectionist household that made me that way. I find it much easier to get along with someone who is also a perfectionist. My husband is the complete opposite, a slob! We have spent 10 years trying to find a happy medium and it is not easily done. We have both had to change our ways a bit.
I agree edmartin, we do eventually learn to appreciate the other’s point of view. I have learned that it is ok not have everything in place all the time and to relax and enjoy a little more. See…I am on Fluther right now rather than doing the dishes from breakfast :-) !!!

thebeadholder's avatar

@nothere- it’s pro-baby, btw!!!! No Fluther grudges…can’t we all just have fun and get along?

edmartin101's avatar

Fluther indeed is “The Place” I remember I had a sweater that had “LA is the Place” embroidered on it and I was proud to wear it cos that’s where I’m from. But now I can identify myself with Fluther, for I’ve found a greater sense of belonging here with all of you.

Vincentt's avatar

Actually, I can very well imagine it drives her crazy as well. I mean, it’s got to be quite frustrating when you always want to achieve perfection but, being human, can’t.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@Vincentt You certainly don’t come across this way, so it surprises me to read it.

Notreallyhere's avatar

I don’t have the time to spell check(obviously), much less to hold anything against anybody here. We are all here to have fun and learn something in the process…so no hard feelings at all.

buster's avatar

My pops is a perfectionist and i work for him remodeling. Sometimes he will hover over me watching to make sure im doing it right. He is always sure to point out anything thats not good enough for him. Sometimes he will start barking measurements down to a sixteenth of an inch. I occasionally get annoyed with him but i bite my lip and take it. Thats why we work by word of mouth and have a lot of jobs stacked up.

ljs22's avatar

Someone should tell the neat freaks of the world that slobs are just being environmentally conscious. Just think of all the water, paper towels, cleaning chemicals, washing machine cycles, swiffers, and energy I save by wallowing in filth!

That said, there is no excuse for a gross bathroom. Seriously.

gailcalled's avatar

@Ed, A good question w/o all the wordy history about someone you are no longer with. I read only the first sentence and last one, which make the point very well.

Personally, I keep up on chores because it takes less time and energy than to wade into the muck once a month. And everyone has his little quirks. My first husband insisted that all his sharpened pencils had to point up in the container.

Vincentt's avatar

@DQ – well, here on Fluther most people are quite like-minded, but in real life I can be exactly like you described… It’s a certain arrogance too, I think.

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