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  /  Self-improvement   /  How to understand if I have excellent student syndrome

We all come from childhood, which means that even as an adult, people often continue to live by past ideals and attempts to meet expectations – parents, teachers, adults in general. It is from here that the roots of the “excellent student syndrome” grow. This implies that a person has the desire to always do everything perfectly. That is, to demonstrate correctness, ideality, and diligence.

Such a life principle develops when a child is immersed in conditions in which they must be the best or at least one of the best. School ends, the child grows up, enters an adult and independent life. However, they continue to try to be the best in everything. And then the following happens: the personality will very painfully perceive the difference between their own ideas about themselves and adequate reality.

The motivation for the syndrome is the desire to strictly comply with the requirements that are put forward by people higher in the hierarchy. This is how an obedient, executive, and easily manageable; but most often a deeply unhappy person is formed and grows up.

The reasons why they become “excellent students”:

  • Avoiding punishment. The child tries to be “comfortable” and “ideal”. This is in order to avoid criticism and physical pressure from parents. As well as negative attitude of teachers, rejection of peers, and public censure.
  • Receive encouragement. The desire to gain praise; receive parental love; strengthen sympathy; become the owner of power; feel superiority over others; enlist the support of people; etc.
  • Become a “rescuer” for someone else. The child sets themselves the task of giving their parents a lot of reasons for pride. In order to compensate for their dislike, rejection, conflict, and even addiction. Also, they often want to help the teacher get approval from colleagues. As well as, they can continue the family tradition in choosing a profession. Even if they do not feel the vocation in this profile.

The fact that the basis of the “excellent student syndrome” is perseverance and hard work. But all of this damage other areas in their lives.

Consequences for the “excellent student” in the future:

  • Unreasonably high exactingness to oneself and to others. It looks something like this: “If I can, then you should / can”. First of all, this approach is obvious in relationships within the family and with loved ones.
  • Fear of mistakes. This does not allow a person to live a full life and have freedom of choice.
  • In the case of even the slightest misconduct, there is strong criticism and a hail of reproaches. This can be addressed both to yourself and to other people.
  • A clearly visible imbalance in personal development. The head is full of knowledge, the person is perceived by others as a professional in his field and a highly qualified specialist. However, the emotional side of life is poor and narrow.
  • Inadequate self-esteem.
  • Perfectionism. Manifested in the constant control of oneself and others, in the waste of time and resources on bringing all processes to a perfect state.
  • Unreasonable concessions – a person can take from others for granted what is not the norm for him, but at the same time, he will not take confident steps towards stopping such actions on the part of these persons.
  • Difficulty in defining your own, personal, individual needs, which leads to a depressed inner state and dissatisfaction with life.


I want to note that over time, all of the above signs become fixed as behavioral patterns and form what is called pride. Statistics show that women have an “excellent student” syndrome more often than men. Thus, an “excellent student” usually takes either the position of the Victim (if, by his own idealization, he leaves something – criticism, evaluation, etc.) ), or the position of the Rescuer – does everything perfectly for others.

If you have now recognized yourself or someone from your own environment, then you may need the help of a psychologist in order to get away from the framework and obligations in which you are used to living, or to learn to take care of yourself, living next to an “excellent student” or by being in contact with him.

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