What’s Bad About Being Too Good?
Episode Summary: In a culture that praises and rewards excellence and accomplishment, how can we avoid crossing the line to a dangerous desire for perfection? Dr. Jane Bluestein talks with Dr. Miriam Adderholdt about what perfectionism is, how it can negatively affect our social and emotional health, and the difference between perfectionism and what Dr. Adderholdt calls “the healthy pursuit of excellence.” They examine ways in which high-achieving students may be at risk, even when they seem to be doing fine. Topics include the importance of learning from our mistakes, the value of trial and error, the pressure to perform, the power of bibliotherapy, and the potential impact of encouragement. Right-click on this link to download a copy of this mp3 file to your hard drive, or click on the bar below to listen.
Program Notes: Click here for a PDF handout with information and a list of resources related to this topic.
Additional Resource by Dr. Adderholdt: Click here for an explanation of the differences between Perfectionism and The Healthy Pursuit of Excellence, along with a poem on Excellence.
Dr. Miriam Adderholdt has been involved in the field of gifted education since January 1980. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education of the Gifted and Talented and a doctorate in educational psychology with a concentration in gifted education, research methods, and creativity. She has worked as a resource teacher, grades K-9, and has also taught at various universities, community colleges, and public school systems. She is the award-winning author of Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good? (Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, 1999) and has presented papers at conferences throughout the country since the mid-1980s.
This program was recorded on February 4, 2013. The content will also be available on the Energize Students Web site.
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