Perfectionist Quiz


Are You a Perfectionist?


Find out if perfectionism is a problem for you! This quiz only takes a few minutes to complete. 


Please note: This quiz is designed to provide you with new insights about yourself. It is not based on research and is not empirically valid.

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Sharon Martin, DSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist and author specializing in codependency recovery. For the past 25 years, she’s been helping people-pleasers, perfectionists, and adult children overcome self-doubt and shame, embrace their imperfections, and set boundaries. Dr. Martin writes the popular blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today and is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and The Better Boundaries Workbook.

39 thoughts on “Perfectionist Quiz”

  1. Mary Elizabeth Slavicek

    I am going thru tough times. I want to locate that cbt book maybe it will help me from suicidal thoughts.

    1. Hi Mary,
      My book doesn’t target suicidal thoughts. There are other CBT books that address depression and suicidal thoughts that might be more helpful. And if you need immediate support please utilize a suicide crisis line such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK.

    2. Why…..I always felt different or distant from family or love ones close to me …and always shadowed by my twin brother but Thank you very much

  2. Hi. Thank you. I found out on your quiz I scored pretty well and that’s not bad for it being a challenge for me that I’ve learned to overcome. I also see you mentioned most of what I have struggled with in the past. I see you’ve also mentioned self/toxic shame and boundaries I am working on that as well. Seems like I am being challenged one day after the next which is a challenge but it is exhausting after awhile in itself, not too far from perfectionism itself. I live with a mentally ill relative and boundaries are a must because has been stressing my mother and I out and then I am also working on toxic/self-shame so looking into optimism. Any tips for any other challenges including self-shame and/or self-destructive behavior including helplessness/perfectionism besides looking into optimism? Any other resources/advice/links? Please help. I’m learning to break free from my (and I’m calling it for a lack of a better word) Old/bad comfort zone so I feel better, happier learning it’s okay to have fun and be happy (including enjoying little things) and so I don’t shame myself as a result not and not take things so seriously/internalize as negative/shame from one negative/bad experience to the next in my what feels like chaotic far from peace of mind and harmony-life, feeling stressful life right now even if I realize half-glass temporary. What do you reccomend for someone like me trying to overcome all these challenges? Basically i’m trying to for a lack of a better word, reprogram positive reinforcement. Just this and optimism, much help needed please. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

      1. I scored 53! I am 64 years old. Grew up in a dysfunctional home, my mother told me that from the moment I was born she new I would be the kind of people no one would love. She never loved me and has told me so many times. My brothers dislike me as well. But my father was the most loving person I’ve known. My spouse also dislikes me, still living but ignores me, doesn’t talk to me. In other areas I have been very successful, the best student, never a grade lower than A. At work very successful, lots and lost of people call me for advise on complicated matter — but I have never ever had a friend. I feel lonely, abused, taken for granted, disrespected and don’t really know what to do. I also feel overwhelmed with all the things I have to take care of and feel no one care or offers help.

        1. I am 65 and scored a 57. Perfectionism basically ruined my life. Now, I am trying to make a life for myself. I’m so sorry for what you have suffered through. I hope better days are ahead.

        2. I feel so sorry to read this. I scored 55. I have childhood trauma as well… It is not your fault, please trying so hard. You deserve to be loved and respected.

  3. Lately I have been having a really hard time dealing with many things in my life. Searching the internet, asking questions, I came to realize it is possible that I am that adult child from a dysfunctional family. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom worked and I just was here and there and wherever. I did poorly in school, marriage, work and just keep on making bad decisions. I currently have been taking care of my mom with parkinsons dementhia and now I am feeling I can no longer do this (8 years). I am trying so hard to keep her home like she always wanted, but I need help, taking care of me and finding myself so I can leave peacefully. I feel selfish, horrible guilt, anxiety, and cannot sleep much with worry about my mom. I really pray I can find peace and a balance in my life where I can breathe and relax. I dont even know how to relax…

    1. I have been doing all of the same things for my own mother, albeit for 3 years. You are still (I am guessing) her main point person and POA. ) PLEASE GET THE HELP YOU NEED!!! DON’T WAIT FOR A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, BEFORE TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF, LIKE I DID!!! TRUE that you cannot pour into an empty cup. D-

    2. I was not surprised at all by my score, it was spot on. I grew up with an alcoholic Dad and a codependent Mom. I love and miss them both, RIP My life has always been pretty difficult and I am still learning at the age of 58. I have taken care of both my Mom and Dad for the past 12 years. My mom passed 2 years ago, and my dad just in June 2019. He had Lewy body Dementia with sundowners. This story rings so true with me. Thanks for sharing this, it is appreciated.

    3. To Gina, do not ever feel guilty about getting help for your parents and for yourself. It gets very hectic, stressful, sad, and exhausting when you are caring for others and it affects your health. My brother and I just did this for 12 years with our parents. We did the best that we could. We had to put my dad in a home as he had Lewy body dementia and it is a very hard thing. It is hard to find top notch, trustworthy,caring people to take care of our loved ones at this point. Do what you need to do to give yourself a break, but please check the place out that she will go to. Do not feel selfish by doing something for yourself and for your mom. I just lost my dad in June, and the home he was in is now closed down, for reasons I will not say. So please still love and cherish your mom even when she is not in just your care. Prays for you ??

  4. Desiree Collings

    As a “recovering perfectionist” for 30+ years…I enjoy your writing, tools and information to make life a little softer & hopefully easier!

  5. Shelly Fitzgerald

    Darn, that quiz was accurate! I like to think of myself as a recovering perfectionist like others who have posted comments here, but perfectionism still makes my life very difficult at times. I have very high standards for myself and work in human services, so when there’s a difficult situation to address, I tend to be very hard on myself. I’m working on separating myself from work more often and enforcing boundaries between what is my responsibility and what belongs to other people. I love all of Sharon’s posts and they usually resonate with me deeply. I really enjoy getting the weekly e-mail. The site feels supportive without being judgmental. Thank you for being there!

  6. Hi thank you so much , well i scored 40 and its true i believe in perfection when something is wrong i feel bad and some people take advantage of that and i don’t like it with all my heart. And the way i was raised by my step mother,step brothers and was a terrible one .

  7. Dear Sharon, I knew that my score would be bad. Because when I was beat up when i was a baby! I was also mentally,physically,vocally,and traumatized before i was even 5 years old. Whipped with leather belts bare skin,hair pulled and picked up with it screaming for help at 3. I developed epilepsy at 4 after seeing the trauma plus being traumatized. My families kept this up all my life. Now i have 10 brain damages.They say that at i,m like a 14 yr. old at times I don’t know what to believe.Everything was always my fault,i couldn’t work so i had to do everything if it wasn’t the way they wanted i was scalded to get out or go to my room in my late teens & early 20’s.My seizures are held against me by some family members and still being told that i a jerk & stupid and more. I was even locked up in hospitals for suicide. I still feel at times that i’m no good.. My brother is a narcissist to me.Even after all the work i did for her i never can drive. so she said as my brother could drive he got in the truck he backed up to us and said to me i don’t need you anymore i have your brother at least can go to the store for me and you can’t. I said not even what i do for you counts she said why should it. He will do it with no trouble. I was so insulted that i said thank you now why don’t you let him do them instead of me. She said all i have to do is get your father to beat you up again.

  8. I just scored a 47–I knew I was dealing with some issues, but I didn’t realize just how much!! I am struggling with my marriage, my mental and physical health is suffering, and I haven’t worked outside the home in almost 4 years. So I think I will be taking a serious look at your workbook!

  9. I Love your work Sharon and I am very grateful for the weekly newsletters they are very informative and interesting. Thank you

  10. Love your work!! I am a people pleaser and an ‘I’m sorry, ‘ sayer too! I am working on this actively. As a person who has PTSD, and alot of anxiety, I believe this is something common. Thank you for your insight and information!

  11. Don’t feel comfortable giving my real name

    I scored a 45… I already have depression, anxiety and insomnia. At this point I constantly consider suicide. P.S.: I read two of your articles and I have to admit there incredibly informative and easy to digest.

  12. Yes, kind of surprised by my results. Clearly, mine is “hidden, but still equally destructive.”

  13. I scored a 43. Not surprised at all considering my father was an alcoholic and my mother divorced him when I was 12. I became the fill in spouse for him until he died from liver failure 6 years ago. I am a people pleaser, have major anxiety, recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I’m highly successful in my profession but do not feel like I am worthy at all. It is comforting to know I am not alone. I’m highly sensitive to criticism and want everyone to think very highly of me to fulfill my own feelings of inadequacy. Thank you for your work. It will change lives more than you’ll ever know

  14. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the reason I am who I am. I guard my heart to the extrême, am very observant of other people and their feelings. Love children, Was always different, very serious and very shy, analyzing everything! Books became my escape..Read every biography in the school library by the end of 4th grade. Then read the entire encyclopedia, then the bible.. read that 3 times cover to cover. Those books opened up my curiosity to other books and info.. my punishment at home was books taken away.. I kept everything in. In my 40s I suddenly realized I was distancing myself from others, so I decided to smile and be happy, meet people and have conversations, got à matters in library science, did public speaking (ha ha!) Spoke with strangers… could not stop talking! Started standing up for myself. Now 66 years old and retired I am back to questioning myself..who am l, where am I, why am I feeling displaced again. Thank you Sharon. For being there for all of us. You are very wise woman.

  15. Wow I thought I was but not that bad lol. Thank you I love your work. Need to really have a look at this.

  16. I received a score of 23. I see this as a great improvement. I’m 69 years old and earlier in life I believe I was very much a perfectionist which set me up for disappointment and extreme expectations of myself. I know that I’ve mellowed out and am more empathetic towards others and myself. I’ve learned a great deal from others such as yourself and thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’m taking the good I feel from my perfectionism – such as being well organized and feeling in control as strengths. I got into drugs when I was young and experimenting and got out of control – with my family and friends. Even in earlier adulthood I had a rebellious spirit that did not help with long term relationships. I’m now in more control of myself and a better friend and family member. I too was a caregiver for a parent for 10 years. That was a real challenge and my father got slight dementia. Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s has to be the hardest. I’m glad I had that special time to share with my father and that he did not have to suffer so much in his last days. Life is a challenge for all of us. It’s great to find tools to help us through the harder stuff. Thank you!

  17. Okay I scored a 62…. That’s unacceptable. I’m so tired of living with perfectionism I have to change!

  18. How would you connect perfectionism, self-sabotage, lack of boundaries?
    I bought your two books earlier this year but haven’t started them yet. At the time I made the purchase I was desperate because I had been recently fired. I discovered I’m suffering from C-PTSD after being harassed for two years and eventually fired from a stable employment position and from lingering effects of a childhood of physical and verbal abuse. During the ongoing ordeal at my former job I fell into depression and was in and out of medication. This was a reenactment of my childhood, as I’m pretty sure my mother suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and on top of that practiced emotional incest on me as well. I read tons of psychology and psychiatry books, including Bessel van der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps the Score” and Pete Walker’s “COMPLEX PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”. I’ve been doing therapy, alternating between CBT and EMDR and been doing neurofeedback for the past two months. I have been procrastinating taking major decisions in life which led me to lead a very precarious lifestyle that is endangering my ability to provide for myself. Strangely, the resource that is helping me the most are a Buddhist monk’s podcasts and two of his books. In one of them he actually makes one suggestion that you have made in a post recently: the practice of making a daily reflection every night before going to bed, examining the thoughts, words that we spoke and bodily actions and classifying them as “good” or “bad” and deciding on dropping the bad ones and repeating the good. Last week I started practicing saying (thinking) to myself as I was out on the street, “You have intrinsic value” and “You don’t need acceptance by anyone” and that finally “clicked” something. I was surprised because after reading “The Body Keeps the Score” I started seeing cognitive work as “not enough” to erase the damage my mother did to me, but I guess I was wrong. In 2020 I practiced a lot of yoga and my mood and feelings about the future improved significantly after some 10 months doing it almost all days. Unfortunately I’m unable to keep the yoga practice as for now. I also meditate, but not every day. I’d like to end this long post saying that in the past several weeks your articles are being extremely helpful and I’ve been mixing them with my secular Buddhist practice with good results. I have even shared one of your articles with my psychotherapist. Keep up the good work! Thanks for your time!

  19. I scored a 59.
    My father was an alcoholic and I grew up never knowing how I felt or what I needed. I am 61 and still working on those very basic developmental steps. Sharon, I really appreciate your help over the years and your newsletters and books. This email from you and perfectionism quiz has made me realize I need to pick up your CBT Workbook for Perfectionism again where I left off. I had forgotten that many of my dysfunctional thoughts and actions are related to perfectionism, and that with help I can improve. Thank you!

  20. When situations in my life leave me feeling vulnerable, I overcompensate in other areas by trying to control everything. I can feel the stress and perfectionism in every fibre of my being, but I can’t help it. This, too, shall pass.

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