Millennials Increasingly Strive for Perfection

Millennials Increasingly Strive for Perfection

A constant desire to achieve perfection can have serious mental impacts. New research conducted on the university student populations in Britain, Canada, and the United States looked at over forty thousand individuals. They were tested on their levels of perfectionism, using three main metrics.

The first looked at the pressure people expected to receive from others to be perfect; whether that pressure was real or only imagined on the part of the perfection seeker. The second examined the expectations of the study participants towards perfectionism. And the third focused on their own personal desires, irrational or otherwise, towards wanting to be perfect.

Researchers found the latest studies point to perfectionism is at much higher levels than in previous times. Today’s students were more likely to be perfectionists than older studies that looked at past groups of student participants. The metric for irrational perfectionist desires was ten percent higher in the new study versus studies conducted in the late 1980s. Expectations of perfectionism had gone up by more than fifteen percent, and external perfectionism pressures had surged by a third.

The researchers speculate social media may play a role in the higher levels of perfectionism. Other explanations include increasing desires to improve economic and social circumstances. The result though, whatever the cause,is a population that is more likely to be tolerant of good but not perfect, of a lowered ability to accept good enough rather than perfect.

Key Points:

  • 1Millennials have problems with perfectionism which is affecting their mental health.
  • 2Social media is the biggest problem and factor that is affecting our well being, e.g. body image issues.
  • 3Social media in the worst case leads to suicide, social isolation, depression, anxiety. A common problem found today in millenials


For instance, scores indicating an irrational desire to be perfect — also called self-inflicted perfectionism — jumped 10 percent between 1989 and 2016.
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