Would You Rather Die than not be Perfect?

May 21, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Being perfect may be bad for your health.

In a Canadian 6 ½-year study, perfectionists were approximately 51% more likely to have died than those who gave themselves a break.

A report of the study from the Miller-Mccune.com Web site, said overall just over 30% of the senior citizens (65 to 87 years old) in the study passed away. The research was published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

Faring even worse than perfectionists were those who were rated high on neuroticism. Their risk of death was nearly double than the risk for those with a more relaxed disposition.

In contrast, “risk of death was significantly lower for high scorers in conscientiousness, extraversion and optimism,” reported lead author Prem S. Fray, a research psychologist at British Columbia’s Trinity Western University. “In short, our findings confirmed that conscientiousness and extraversion are health-related dimensions that are enabling in their effects, and perfectionism and neuroticism are disabling. It is noteworthy that these associations endure well into late life.”