Case Study: She Has an Anxious Need to Be Right

She Has an Anxious Need to Be Right

Photo: ©Aris Leoven from capturenow photos via Canva.com

Mable is a perfectionist. Though her desire to be perfect is illogical and she is unable to maintain the high standard that she holds everyone else to, Mable is relentless in her pursuit to present herself in a manner that she wants others to perceive and accept her.

One of the ways she feels better about herself is by criticizing others. Putting others down is a way of elevating herself. She is also astute at blaming, justifying, and rationalizing her actions. She does these things because she does not want to look bad in front of others. When she is wrong, she deflects or makes excuses about what just happened.

In social settings, Mable is quiet because she has an anxious need to be right. If she is unsure of herself, she will not talk. When she does speak, it is usually about something she is an “expert” about and is confident she is right. Controlling future outcomes is important to Mable.

Because of her acute self-righteousness, which is motivated by fear, it is nearly impossible to bring an adjustment to her life. She either deflects, excuses, blames, or takes the discussion off into hair-splitting digressions. Mable is hard to be around, which is part of the reason why she does not have close friends.

Case Study Questions

  1. Her husband has come to you for help. What would you tell him initially?
  2. What would be your plan to walk him through what he needs to do to help Mable?

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