Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Too Perfect Tuesdays - Chap 8 - Toward a More Flexible Orderliness

via FreedigitalPhotos from Ambro
This post continues with Toward a More Flexible Orderliness from Chapter Eight.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

Too Perfect, When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992.  If   you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

Toward a More Flexible Orderliness
Chances are you don't think of yourself as an excessively orderly or rigid person. Almost no one does. But consider carefully the following questions:
  • Do your demands for neatness make family members tense or inhibited around you?
  • Do your children ever feel pressured (by you) to do everything just so?
  • At work, has your resistance to new ideas or methods ever stifled your growth or inhibited development of your product or service?
  • Is it hard for your to enjoy an unexpected visit or call from a friend of family members because you had anticipated doing something else in that time?
  • Do you wish you could be more spontaneous?
  • Is it hard for you to start work or fall asleep until your surroundings are arranged meticulously?
  • Do you get upset when unforeseen contingencies disrupt your routine?
  • Keeping things extremely organized takes a lot of time. Is your need for neatness and order contributing to your feeling chronically overburdened?
  • Does your tendency to get into routines make aspects of your life such as lovemaking, meals, or weekends boring and predictable?
  • Do you wish you could be more creative?
  • Do you find yourself increasingly alienated from current social and political ideas, music, or clothing styles because they conflict with how things used to be?
Excessive orderliness can manifest itself in a variety of ways. If you can pinpoint difficulties these traits are causing you, you will be well on the way to making some improvements.

Catch yourself straightening, organizing, cleaning or filing far beyond what's necessary or functional. Think of a clock ticking away the precious seconds of your life. Add up all those wasted moments - the weeks, months, or even years - time that your might have spent creatively, productively, or just plain having fun.
<snip>Mark well how a vacation or an evening out can be ruined simply because things don't go as planned. Observe yourself doing the same things in the same old way time after time, while at the same time yearning for freshness, excitement, creativity and nuance in your life.

Take note each time you insist that a family member or employee do things exactly in the fashion you prefer, rather than in his or her own style or order. Ask yourself if having it done your way is worth the damage to the relationship. <snip>
It all goes back to whether the traits are a means to an end - or become the end, in and of themselves.

The questions are good ones to ask. I suspect that many who see their perfectionism, cleanliness, orderliness, etc., as an asset do not recognize, until they stop and really think about it, the extent to which the Quest for the Holy Order has become THE purpose in their lives.

Most people don't need or WANT to live like that. Most partners want to make love first and worry about washing the dinner dishes afterwards, not put off lovemaking until every dish is washed, dried, and put away.

When you're in the mood, you're in the mood, right?

We only get XX many days, hours, minutes on this earth, and lots of them are taken up by things like sleeping, answering nature's calls, getting gas - necessities of life, sure, but not things most people particularly enjoy. Of the remaining expendable minutes, how many do we want to spend "straightening" something for the billionth time?

Have you ever squandered a golden moment 
so you could clean something?
If you've ever been "postponed" by a loved one who wanted 
to clean or organize something, how did that make you feel?
Your thoughts?