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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Praus, MSE, LPCC

Are You an Overfunctioning Perfectionist?

Have you come across the term overfunctioning? I first learned about this term maybe a year or two ago and I definitely resonate with the definition. Finally, there is a term that perfectly describes something I, and many high functioning anxious perfectionists, suffer from: overfunctioning.

Overfunctioning is doing more than is necessary, more than is appropriate and more than is healthy.

Sound familiar?

Because perfectionism is one of our specialities at Praus Guidance & Healing, let’s address overfuctioning perfectionism.

Overfunctioning perfectionists typically appear to "have it all together." They’re hard working, reliable, responsible, organized and well-accomplished.

These individuals do a lot. In fact, they’re often doing too much. Even so, it's not uncommon for these folks to feel like they aren’t doing enough.

Signs you may be an overfunctioning perfectionist:

- You are driven, yet you often feel like you’re not doing enough with your life.

- You often compare yourself to others and feel insecure or less than.

- You feel like everything is urgent and should be a priority, and this leaves you feeling frustrated, exhausted or even paralyzed when you need to make decisions.

- Everyone relies on you and is use to you getting things done, so much so that you end up doing far too much and feel annoyed by others lack of engagement or help.

- It’s difficult for you to ask for help and even though you may need help, you often struggle through things on your own.

- You spend copious amounts of time perfecting something even if it means sacrificing your sleep, relationships and personal time.

- It often feels like others aren’t doing enough and you feel resentment towards them for not helping out more.

- You’re often doing things because you feel like you should be doing instead of actually feeling like you want to.

- You experience difficulties saying no and often put others needs before your own.

- You say yes to things you don't actually want to do because you're worried about disappointing or upsetting others.

- You overwork or over-schedule yourself and you experience periods of burnout.

- You set goals that are out of reach or unattainable and beat yourself up when expectations are not met.

- You’re successful, but you don’t quite feel as accomplished as you appear to be.

- You feel a lack of fulfillment, excitement or happiness.

Recognizing the signs is the first step. Once you’ve done so, you can start building awareness of your overfunctioning tendencies, so you can decipher what’s serving you well and what’s taking too much of your time and energy. The goal isn’t necessarily to get rid of your overfunctioning habits, but to find more of a balance, allowing these tendencies to work for you rather than against you.

If you resonate with any of the signs and you'd like some support in finding a healthy balance, reach out. We’d love to hear from you.

-Samantha Praus, MSE, LPCC



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