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Old 06-30-2015, 07:09 PM
 
174 posts, read 134,635 times
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I think it would be nice to be perfectly happy with an item that is dented, and right now I can't imagine that's possible for me. I can tune it out and accept it but a marred object will remain marred to me. I examine items closely in stores before purchasing. For example, with towels and socks, I check for areas where the threads have come up. With other items, I check for scratches. If leather or plastic is discoloured in places I won't want to buy it.
I have replaced three iPhones and three iPods in the past year, and recently dropped my Macbook Air and there are two large dents on it that have been bothering me, though i've come to accept it.
When I would enter the classroom for a lecture, I would blow pencil shavings and hairs off my desk before placing my notebook on it, and remove long hairs from the seat before sitting. My classmates noticed my behaviour and I'm sure thought it was ridiculous, but I didn't care.
I received a $40 bluetooth speaker and there was a scratch on the surface that bugged me quite a bit, though I've come to accept it.
I would mop my dark wood floors every couple days because smudges, oil marks, etc. are so visible.
It would even bother me when a cap was off my hair products in the shower.
I realized that I just cannot keep up with my high standards and have relaxed them somewhat, but I cannot be perfectly content with a marred item. I want to, but it would seem that would require being undiscerning and oblivious, which I don't really want to be. I am very sensitive to my physical environment as well -- cigarette smoke, the people around me...if people are yelling, I want to move away from them, and this is all over some parts of the city. When someone on the bus has their volume cranked up and I can hear the song clearly, it pisses me off. When someone on the bus has their backpack on near my head and brushes against me with it, my blood boils and I feel like calling them out on it. When someone in public stares at me, I find it very distracting and recently I have moved to a different area just to evade their glance, and have come close to asking them why they keep looking at me (it's often men, and it's clear that it's because they find me attractive. Even then, I think it's rude).
Now, my boyfriend is considering leaving me unless I go to therapy for my anxiety.
How can I become less anal?

Last edited by minougirl; 06-30-2015 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:29 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,955,483 times
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We called it being uptight in the 60's. Making something out of nothing because you assume too much about people definitely.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:17 AM
 
20,581 posts, read 16,645,141 times
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No, this is OCD. OP you should speak to someone about this if it is affecting your life in a negative way, but only you know that.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Arizona
1,599 posts, read 1,363,175 times
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I agree this is more than just being upset that something you own gets damaged. Nobody likes that, but normal people move past the disappointment and continue to use the product until it can longer function. Scratches and dents do not effect the functionality of something.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,657 posts, read 41,937,403 times
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Fixating upon minor details such as you describe to the point where it is disrupting daily life significantly is a mental health issue - possibly something related to obsessive compulsive behavior, possibly something else. A forum isn't going to be an effective place to seek guidance on that, you would need to be assessed by a trained professional meeting you in person.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:14 PM
 
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I disagree that it's OCD. Yes, the behavior might be somewhat obsessive-compulsive, but it's not necessarily obsessive-compulsive disorder. Liking things to be as nice and as perfect as possible it not a disorder. Liking things neat and clean and undamaged is not a disorder. It's only a disorder if 1) it causes you significant distress or 2) it significantly disrupts functioning in one or more areas of your life.

A lot of non-mental-health professionals, and some mental health professionals, tend to forget or not understand that in order for someone to qualify for a diagnosis of an actual mental health disorder, they not only have t have the signs and symptoms, they have to have that second piece (significant distress or impairment in functioning).

Only you and a professional who assesses you will be able to determine if it's actually OCD. Perhaps the fact that your boyfriend is fed-up is a sign that the issues are significantly impairing your relational functioning... OR, perhaps he's just fed up with you being a bit neat or perfectionistic, or he's fed up with one of the other things that people get upset by when they are in a relationship. Maybe the relationship was just troubled anyway, and he's using your perfectionism as the reason or excuse.

You would really have to look at the level of distress you feel when something is damaged or flawed. If I just bought a car or a laptop a few weeks ago, and it now has a dent in it, I would be extremely upset. This is something I've just spent a ton of money on, which I expected to last a long time. Now it's no longer "new." But to me "extremely upset" might mean I yell a few colorful words, and then furiously research whether this damage is covered or if it can be repaired. If "extremely upset" means you start hurting yourself, or you make a scene in public and have to be restrained by police, then we're talking a whole 'nother level of distress.

If I'm buying new bath towels, of course I'm going to inspect them to make sure there aren't any runs or lose threads. But if I keep finding a problem in every one I pick up, I'm more likely to just go to some other store, instead of spending 4 hours going through all the towels in that store. If you're spending 4 hours, and the store workers are trying to close and turn off the lights, then that's more of a problem. If you are rejecting towels because of a visible tear or loose thread, that's reasonable. But if you are rejecting towels because of some flaw that only you can see and no one else can, then maybe it's more of a problem.

I'm pretty compulsive about lot of things. To the laid-back people in my life, they probably think I have OCD. To people with actual OCD, I'm likely just an amateur who happens to be a little bit picky.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:30 PM
 
12,540 posts, read 12,531,731 times
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You need a therapist. Your problem is beyond what anyone on a message board can help you with.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:46 PM
 
602 posts, read 453,318 times
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The part before talking about interacting with people seems normal (iPhones, scratches, cleanliness).

When people **** you off because they are doing x, that could mean you are wanting to control people but can't do it (nor should you).

For me in this situation, I just have to recognize that people are doing annoying and weird stuff because they don't know any better. Lots of folks in public don't have boundaries (nor know what that means) and just think about themselves. Its amazing how many parents who don't know basic skills. The result is children who don't know basic skills. Then these children grow to adults, have kids and those kids get the same deal. Rinse, repeat.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,657 posts, read 41,937,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minougirl View Post
Now, my boyfriend is considering leaving me unless I go to therapy for my anxiety.
In a previous thread, you were pretty adamant that your boyfriend was A-OK with your behavior. What changed?
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:21 AM
 
1,921 posts, read 1,249,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minougirl View Post
Now, my boyfriend is considering leaving me unless I go to therapy for my anxiety.
How can I become less anal?
Have you tried going to therapy?

Some of what you are describing is just part of who you are, and you don't seem distressed by it, so it's fine (like the part where you clean your desk and seat before sitting there).

Some of what you are describing seems to distress you, which suggests you might be looking for help in how to reduce that stress, because you don't like it (your blood boils when someone brushes you).

Also, it seems that you want to try to change your behavior a little bit, without changing who you really are, in order to reduce the stress on your boyfriend, because you would like to stay together.

A good therapist will try and teach you to think about how you think. Will try and help you learn how to change your patterns of thinking to reduce the stress on yourself, and on your boyfriend. And a really good therapist will show you how to do this without changing who you really are, without changing how you feel about things, just changing how you think about how you are feeling.

Go find yourself a really good therapist. Make sure you apply your high standards to your quest for a therapist as well, don't just quit if the first one or two aren't very good.

Oh, and you don't have to have a disorder for a therapist to be helpful. Just like you don't have to have a learning disability in order for a math tutor to be helpful. Even the best kids at math have math tutors. In fact, that's probably why they are so good at math. Therapy is the same way, just think of the therapist as a tutor who will help you learn things about how to think.
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