Offended couple sitting back to back on sofa.

Barton Goldsmith: Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

By Barton Goldsmith
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As therapist Barton Goldsmith points out, “it is far better to strive for appropriate improvements than to put the pressure of being perfect on anyone, including yourself.”

Tribune News Service

Orlando Pescetti created an aphorism that was popularized by Voltaire in the eighteenth century. I recently heard it reworded as “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

It really makes a lot of sense. So much of the time we want things to go exactly the way we think they should go, and if they fall short on any level, we are disappointed. This is allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

If you and your partner are working on some improvements in your relationship, for example, you have to give each other room to be imperfect. Say you want to divide the housework more equitably. Each chore has to be discussed and divided up according to time, energy, and proclivity.

For example, my other half would rather dine out than have me cook, so I clean up after dinner. At least that’s the deal, but some nights we are both too tired to do either task, and we have come to accept that not every evening is going to be perfect. Thank the gods for pizza.

Many people push themselves to be better. That’s why we exercise, study, and watch YouTube.

Wanting your relationship and your partner to grow along with you makes sense, but if you become judgmental or impatient with your partner’s progress, it will halt your growth in other areas as well.

This is because resentment leaks out and affects our relationships at every level. As long as there is a small sign that things are headed in the right direction, and your mate states that he or she is still on board, just keep going.

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