Doing a video review this time. Let us know what you think!
Well, hello. I’m trying something a little bit different for this book review. So, normally, I type a blog post about a book that I read and what kind of impact it had on my life. I wanted to try a video post today just to see if things, ideas, maybe flowed better and maybe if it was a little easier to put out and see if people liked it as well. So the book I am going to review and just talk about quickly here is called “Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control” by Allan E. Mallinger and Jeannette Dewyze. It’s an older book. By older, I mean 1992, so not super old. I tend to read more recent stuff within the last ten, fifteen years. I’m not sure entirely where I came across this; it was in another book. Sounded interesting. Decided to read it. It’s by two psychologists, and they go through different forms of obsessiveness and perfectionism, and how it can undermine people’s lives, and also how you can detect it in yourself and then work your way out of it. And I found it pretty interesting. Let me go through here really quick, just a chapter list, and see if any of this resonates with you, perhaps.
So the chapters are: “The Obesessive Personality,” “The Myth of Control,” “Too Perfect,” “Decision and Commitment,” “Demand Sensitivity and Demand Resistance,” “Too Guarded,” “The Thinkaholic,” “Worry, Rumination and Doubt,” “Orderliness and Rigidity,” “Too Driven” and “Living with the Obsessive.” And so, just going through, lemme give you kind of a taste of, like, they start off with the obsessive personality, and they give you a list of items you can kind of check off to tell if you fall into that, and there’s a lot of them here. There’s twenty-five, so I’m not going to go through all of them. But, just to give you a few of them, “One: Do you get caught up in details, whether you’re preparing a report for work or cleaning out the garage at home? Is it hard for you to let go of a work project until it’s just right, even if it takes much longer than it should? Have you often been called picky or critical, or do you feel you are? Is it important to you that your child, spouse or subordinates at work perform certain tasks in a certain, specific manner? Do you have trouble making decisions? For example, do you go back and forth between making a purchase, planning a vacation or choosing what to order from a menu? After you do make a decision, do you find yourself second-guessing or doubting your choice?” And so it goes on like that, and it’s interesting — This is a used book, and someone put check marks by a lot of these, so whoever owned this before me apparently hit a lot of these items here, and I hit a lot of them myself.
And so there’s a lot to be learned in terms of self-awareness here. The biggest impact I had, I think, was with “The Myth of Control.” And so, if I make a mistake or something, I look back on it. My general response is like, “Oh, what did I do wrong? How do I fix it so it just doesn’t ever happen again?” And yes, there can be some value in that. But there’s also a certain myth of control that if we just do everything perfectly, we’ll always be able to control the outcome, and we’ll always be able to do things just right. And if things don’t happen just right, it’s because I messed up or somebody else messed up. And the point they try to make is just, “Hey, you’re really not that as much in control as you think you are.” And so with that, I’m being a little less obsessive with making some decisions and being, maybe, a little less thorough in every decision I make. I think that can be a little liberating.
And also, another thing is I’m not correcting or dwelling on past mistakes myself. One of the points in the book is realizing when you make a mistake, it’s like, “Hey, you could only have done so much. There’s a good chance that, perhaps, you did do everything right and you just overlooked something.” And that’s going to happen. So rather than just ruminating over that for a long time, just accepting and being a little lighter on myself and just admitting, “Hey, I couldn’t have done everything. I’m not in complete control of this. I’m not God, Master of the Universe here. I’m not master of my own universe, even.” So there’s a certain liberation in that as well, rather than just thinking that I have some sort of power to make everything perfect.
So that was probably my biggest takeaway from it. and that’s probably the main thing I’m acting on. But I would say check it out. I’m sure it’s not in print anymore, but there’s probably plenty of used copies on Amazon. Maybe you can find a digital, I’m not sure. But give it a check. I’ll put a link to it on bookschange.us website. So, again, thank you. I’m Matt for bookchange.us. Come and check out the rest of our reviews. Let me know what you thought of this review and if you’d like to see more video or blog posts on other life changing books. Thanks!