School years are over, but you continue to behave as if for every act you will receive a mark in your diary? Psychologist Maria Podolskaya told where the excellent student syndrome comes from and why we should start getting rid of it.

In pursuit of the fives: what is the danger of the excellent student syndrome throughout life

What can be wrong with the fact that a person strives for his goals, wants to be better, higher, stronger? Overcome obstacles and conquer peaks? Nothing at all!

However, why is there such a syndrome in psychology as the “excellent student syndrome”? And if a person who is versed in psychology calls this phrase, then he will immediately understand that we are talking about a serious problem that cannot be removed at the snap of a finger, and thatthe one who has this syndrome lives on an anguish, his nervous system is literally one step away from the state of the next stage - depression .

To begin with, let's define the concepts. What is the syndrome of an excellent student in psychology? And how does it differ from a healthy desire to become better?

What is this syndrome

When a person does not have an “excellent student syndrome”, he is ready for the fact that something can go wrong, in the wrong scenario. A healthy psyche is such that it can assume that a person will lose, will not get points in entrance exams, will not pass an interview  - but this will not be something fatal.

Yes, he can get upset, nervous, worry, but over time he will find a resource to move on, will not hang in his failure, and his self-esteem, most likely, will not fall “below the plinth”. This is a healthy perception of some personal failure. When the energy goes not to experiences, but to what needs to be changed in oneself, what knowledge to gain in order to cope with the task. This is constructive thinking.

What happens in case of failure in a person with excellent student syndrome? In a few words, it looks like this: “Everything. There is no further meaning. I couldn’t, I’m a loser, and I’m of no use.”Among people with this syndrome, most suicides.Self-deprecation reaches a peak, and the psyche can not cope.

These are just those sad stories that everyone heard about, for example, a 10th grade student got a C on the final control and stepped out the window. From the point of view of a normal person, this is absurd. From the point of view of a person with a syndrome, the only way out.

Signs You Have Achievement Syndrome

  • Self-esteem depends on whether you received approval from the outside or not. At the same time, it can be both very high and fall very low.
  • Hyper responsibility is always and in everything. The desire to bring everything to the ideal, while the feeling that “I did not do everything I could, and you can do better” does not leave.
  • Fear of new beginnings. This fear lies in the fact that a person is afraid that he will fail. Sometimes the fear of failure overpowers the desire to let something new into your life, and as a result, a person never starts a new business, does not look for a new job, does not receive the education he dreamed of.
  • Inability to accept someone else's success. A person reacts extremely painfully to other people's achievements. Experiencing unpleasant emotions, envy, anger, anger. Sometimes it is easier to belittle the successes of another person, to attribute it to the fact that "it was his father who helped him in his career, he has useful acquaintances / an influential family, etc."
  • Very painful attitude to criticism. At the same time, sometimes a different opinion is taken as criticism. A person, like a stretched string, reacts extremely sharply to comments, amendments, suggestions. It seems to him that they want to belittle or offend him on purpose.
  • It is easy to "catch" the praise. This is the hook, grabbing which, a person with an excellent student syndrome will do anything.

Where does the syndrome of excellent student in adults come from

Of course, like most problems, it comes from childhood, from parental attitudes. It comes from comparing the child with other children.

  • But the neighbor's daughter is well done! All night pores over textbooks, there will be a sense from it! And you... 
  • If you don't study, you'll live your whole life scrubbing floors at school.
  • I'm proud of your sister! Unfortunately, I can't say the same about you.
  • If you got all the final fives, perhaps we would have something to talk about.

And so on, all in the same vein. But the message is the same: “You are not worthy of my love, because you are (like this / not like that / did not achieve / did not study / did not receive).

The child forms a bond: to be loved, I must be the best. And he proves all his life that he is worthy of love. Already sometimes the parents are not alive, but he proves and proves everything, living on the verge of the possibilities of his nervous system.

Of course, most likely, the parents said all this with the best of intentions. Trying to stimulate accomplishments, trying to instill in the child the desire to be a winner. But where did you get the excellent student syndrome?

They did not say the most important thing: “I love you, no matter what, with all your victories and defeats, I am happy and proud of your successes, but in case of your failure, I will always support, help, and together we will find a way out of the situation. Do you know that there are no hopeless situations? You know what. With effort, everything can be fixed? I won't get tired of telling you this. I'm near. Always remember this. You are not alone, you are not alone, and for me you are the best in any case, simply because you are my child.

This is the kind of canvas that brings up self-confident people, capable of any life's adversity. Unconditional parental love that leads through life and not only in childhood. When a person realizes that he has the right to make a mistake, and this does not make him worse, dumber, he does not lose his self-worth.

How to get rid of the perfect student syndrome

If it so happened that you saw the syndrome of an excellent student in yourself, what should you do?

  1. Accept the fact that there is no person who would never, not once in his life would not do without mistakes . You have the right to make a mistake, to do something wrong. This is fine.
  2. Stop constantly looking at other people's opinions . What will they think? What will they say? Understand that in this case you are speculating for others. And the person may not think at all. Everyone has their own problems through the roof, and what seems important to you may not matter to others. Analyze your thoughts - do you often think that someone did something wrong? Most likely, I thought and forgot, switching to my own affairs. The same thing happens with those around you.
  3. Don't compare yourself to others . Everyone has their own life path, their own tasks, their own experience. Remember that you are unique. There is no such person anywhere else, in the whole world, there has never been and never will be. It's like comparing round and square - which is better? No answer. Same here.
  4. No need to think that you are loved for what you did (or did not do) something . Family and friends love you simply because you are you. Just accept this fact.
  5. Respond appropriately to failures . It's not the end of the world. This is an experience, this is an opportunity to look at the issue from the other side, to understand where there is not enough knowledge, in the end, any mistake is a new horizon for development.
  6. Love the process, not the result . People with the A student syndrome often do something for the sake of an outcome - praise. But praise is a nice bonus, not a goal. The anticipation of a holiday is better than the holiday itself. The path to the goal is more interesting than the goal itself.
  7. Learn to delegate authority . Doing everything on your own with the best result is very difficult. You need to learn to understand and accept the fact that the other person may well do some work, you do not have to drag everything on yourself and control everything.
  8. Don't be afraid to explore new horizons . Everyone once could not read and write, and it all seemed very difficult, but you read this text, you did it, you will cope with new studies, with the development of new knowledge. Don't give up on something you're interested in just because you're afraid of failing. In the end, even if something goes wrong, the matter can be postponed, rescheduled. But if you don't try, you won't know. That's how it's worth fighting the A student syndrome.
  9. Be respectful of what other people have achieved . Don't belittle other people's accomplishments. Behind every success is hard work. Instead of belittling the achievements of a person, look, what can you learn from him? Where did he start his journey? What knowledge did he have? What education did you receive? What qualities did you develop in yourself? Such a constructive analysis of other people's achievements can greatly help you on your own path to success.⠀
  10. Love yourself, love what you do, allow and allow yourself rest, respite, do not make a tragedy out of mistakes . And never compare your children to anyone. After all, they are also the only ones of their kind, and you can give them a ticket to an independent, conscious life, or you can walk with a straight face because of a triple in geography, instilling complexes and developing an excellent student syndrome.