For many of us, perfectionism can bring life's most desired rewards. But when the obsessive need for perfection and control gets in the way of our professional and emotional lives, the cost becomes too high. Although many of us appear cool and confident on the outside, inside we are in emotional turmoil, trying to satisfy everyone, attempting to direct the future, and feeling that we are failing.
In Too Perfect, Dr. Allan Mallinger draws on 20 years of research and observations from his private practice to show how perfectionism can sap energy, complicate even the simplest decisions, and take the enjoyment out of life. For workaholics or neat freaks, for anyone who fears change or making mistakes, needs rigid rules, is excessively frugal or obstinate, Too Perfect offers revealing self-tests, fascinating case histories, and practical strategies to help us overcome obsessiveness and reclaim our right to happiness.
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- Leslie S. Wolfe
You know these sorts of people
You’ve probably known people who are obsessive: picky, critical, guarded, overworked yet unable to finish tasks or make simple decisions. These control freaks can be hard to live with even if they are attractive in other ways. They can also be unhappy.
Dr. Al Mallinger has been trying to help such people in his psychiatric practice for decades. Over the years, he has developed a variety of techniques for helping these perfectionists let go of their bad habits and lighten up. His work has changed lives, saved marriages and families, and helped obsessives overcome sadness and depression.
In 1992, with the aid of journalist and medical writer Jeannette De Wyze, Mallinger wrote "Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control," a book designed to help both obsessives and the people who live and work with them. The book is crammed with anecdotes about real people we’ve all met but never really understood. (The names have been changed.)
"Too Perfect" has remained in print for nearly 30 years and been translated into German, Spanish, and Chinese. Taiwan’s military once bought a batch of them to train its officers.
In 2020, Tantor Media (a division of Recorded Books) produced the first audio book version of "Too Perfect," read by co-author Jeannette De Wyze. Now obsessives who are too overworked to read books can listen to Mallinger’s advice while riding their exercise bikes or lifting weights. And the friends, loved ones, bosses, and subordinates of these perfectionistic people will take comfort from De Wyze’s soothing voice. Obsessiveness can be treated, even cured!