“Perfect” Relationships are Toxic

No matter how much our rational brain knows that “perfect” relationships are a mythical unicorn (i.e., they don’t exist 🦄😭), our perfectionist brain inevitably tries to convince us that if we work really hard and do allllllll the right things, we’ll be able to ride that unicorn off into the sunset. But relationships are tough enough. We certainly don’t need toxic perfectionism creeping in and eating away at them.

If you’ve ever struggled with wanting to be the perfect partner, child, parent, sibling, friend, or employee, strap in for some real talk, red flags, and responses when it comes to toxic perfectionism in relationships.

MFTP Episode 26: “Perfect” Relationships are Toxic


The closer and more intimate a relationship is,
the more our own stuff gets stirred up.
— Jenna
If we make ourselves responsible for another person’s happiness,
that becomes a cancer to the relationship.
We’re setting ourselves up for failure.
— Jenna
We are each responsible for our own happiness.
— Ashley
We have to be willing to disappoint others in relationships, to put ourselves, our needs, and our boundaries first, and to speak up for those things, even when it’s really uncomfortable.
— Ashley + Jenna


  • How toxic perfectionism shows up in different types of relationships -- romantic, family, friendship, and work

  • The crushing expectations of needing to be the “perfect” partner, child, parent, sibling, friend, employee, etc. and how these expectations can smother our relationships

  • Disappearing boundary syndrome in relationships

  • Signs that toxic perfectionism is creeping into your relationships + red flags to watch out for

  • How to respond when you notice toxic perfectionism showing up in your relationships -- Hint: Compassion is key, for ourselves and for others.


Brené Brown

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