Better Than Perfect by Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo

I’ve considered myself to be something of perfectionist for most of my life, but have never before encountered a self-help book about overcoming perfectionism.  I think most perfectionists have no desire to be anything but perfect, and therefore don’t seek out books about moving beyond perfectionism.  The only thing I really learned from Better Than Perfect is that I’m not currently a perfectionist by Dr. Lombardo’s standards (although I was as a younger woman).

I guess I should have known better.  I’ve read more than a few self-help books in my lifetime, and I can’t remember a single one having actually helped me.  The thing with self-help books is that you have to actually do what the book says.  But it’s difficult to do that without someone supporting you, so self-help books are pretty useless.  It’s a much better use of one’s time and money to just do some hard work with a therapist and save yourself the self-loathing of never seeming to be able to change.

Maybe someone who is truly committed to change and unable to afford a therapist would get some use out of Better Than Perfect.  It’s hard to tell in the eARC format, where I can’t see the tables and worksheets that will be in the final version, but it could be helpful (perhaps more so than the average self-help book), since it does give step-by-step instructions on how to make the changes.  I think for me it just doesn’t seem worth it since I have a good therapist.  What I always find interesting about self-help books written by practicing therapists is that those books are really just manifestations of said therapists trying to keep people from going to see another therapist.  Maybe I’d be less annoyed if the books suggested that they were best used with the support of a therapist.  And now I’ve written therapist so much that it looks like I’ve misspelled it.

Better Than Perfect is the self-help book that finally made me realize how useless self-help books are.  So I’ll save tons of time and money (although I didn’t pay for this one) by not buying or reading such books in the future.  I recommend you do the same.

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