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Syndrome of the honors pupil

Medical expert of the article

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 17.10.2021

It is noticed that children who have not studied hard at school are more clever and successful in real life than excellent students. It would seem that the same bad in the desire to always and in everything achieve success and be the first? Nothing, as long as this desire has an acceptable framework. If this becomes an end in itself, such a person is dependent on the opinion of society, and painfully tolerates any criticism or lack of attention. Syndrome of an honors pupil is what in an adult life is called perfectionism - when a person is not able to accept the imperfection of his results in something and suffers very badly because of this.

Causes of the syndrome of the honors pupil

The roots of this pathology go deep into childhood, but they affect the further life no less. And if a child has this fix is relatively easy, then the older, the harder it is to get rid of such a syndrome.

Problems to which the pathological syndrome of an honors pupil can lead

Syndrome of an honors pupil is dangerous for emotional and mental exhaustion, especially for children. The danger is that the child develops unwillingness to suffer defeat, accept difficulties and, of course, lack of self-confidence. This leads to the fact that the child will achieve results to harm himself and his health, and since it is impossible to always win in everything, it will invariably lead to depression.

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Symptoms of the syndrome of the honors pupil

Syndrome of an excellent pupil in a child is manifested in the fact that he is very hard, woefully going through any mark, which differs from the highest one. An insufficiently accomplished task causes a tragedy and a lack of desire to continue studying further.

Children with the syndrome of an honors pupil can easily sacrifice fun and communication with friends for the sake of primacy in school.

Since the main motivation for studying for a child with a pathological syndrome of an excellent worker is not knowledge but the attainment at any cost of the highest appraisal, as well as the approval and admiration of others, such a child differs in dependence on the opinions of others and unstable self-esteem. When it is praised, it is greatly overrated, but it is worth criticizing - it gets frustrated and may even be offended. Also, the symptom is the child's morbid jealousy to the praises and high marks of other children.

A child who, as a child, parents did not give a sense of security and acceptance as he is, did not show that they love him unconditionally, and not for achievements, he has to deal with the problem of unstable self-esteem. Even when they are adults, it is very difficult for such people to realize that they are not friends for gain, or they fell in love not with the idealized standard of the spouse / father / friend / worker, but for their personal dignity, which they themselves most often do not even realize.

Syndrome of an excellent pupil in adults often manifests itself in a complex of several features:

  • increased sense of responsibility;
  • feeling guilty for a possible failure;
  • exaggerated claims to surrounding people;
  • inability to set priorities, to try to be successful in all spheres;
  • inability to lose.

Diagnostics of the syndrome of the honors pupil

Differential diagnostics of pathology is required from the desire to self-actualize. Currently, the problem of the normal and pathological types of the best worker's syndrome or perfectionism has been highlighted in several comparative studies, but the lack of a psychodiagnostic technique that allows differentiating types of perfectionism is the main obstacle to clear differential diagnosis.

To date, a differential perfectionism test is used to determine the type of perfectionism in an adult (normal, pathological), which involves a survey of 45 and / or 24 points, where the subject determines the degree of agreement or disagreement with the proposed statements. To pass this test, you need a desire and honesty in the answers. At the end, the balls are counted, and the result is determined.

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Who to contact?

Treatment of the syndrome of the honors pupil

Since there are no purely child problems, they usually involve his family. As a rule, such a sharpened attitude towards their success is a manifestation of the attitude of the parents towards the child "we love you only if you fully meet our expectations, and we expect that you will be the best." Thus, parents try to satisfy their own vanity, perhaps, to compensate for their own insufficient self-esteem. A child instinctively very afraid of losing parental love, and he will make every effort to preserve it, because the evaluation itself as such for the child is less significant than for adults.

If a child brings home a bad evaluation, it makes sense, above all, to talk with him, to discuss why the higher score did not turn out and find out his feelings about it. If the child does not care, then one should think about the methods of education, because he is not critical to himself. If he is distressed, you need to help him cope with this, and believe in yourself.

If you observe in your child the symptoms of an emerging pathological perfectionism, try to show your love to him in a language more accessible to him:

  • more often hug him, without cause;
  • pay attention, be interested in what is happening in his life;
  • listen to him, find out his feelings for those things that he shares with you, help advice if he asks you about it;
  • tell him the words of support, let him know that he is more important to you than his results, that his failures do not determine your attitude towards him;
  • spend free time together, do something together that fascinates him;
  • Do not compare it with other children, better show progress or regress with it the same.
  • if he pays too much time for classes, suggest that he distract himself, take a walk with friends.

Adult people who have noticed the signs of this pathology are advised sometimes to deliberately violate established habits and personal stereotypes, as well as get rid of the fear of failure:

  • let others notice your mistakes from time to time, remember that you are a living person, and you can make mistakes;
  • be careful not to shift the blame for your blunders to circumstances or other people. For example, after being late for work, be honest, if you are late out of the house, then in your delay the driver of the vehicle is not guilty;
  • sign up for courses that interest you, but because of the fear of failure you did not dare to go;
  • try to treat your mistakes with humor;
  • Ask a straightforward, frank friend to talk to you about your mistakes. Analyze the unfortunate moments with him, listen to his point of view;
  • experiment with clothes - if you are accustomed to see only in business style, put on an off day old worn jeans and a crumpled sweater, or do not apply makeup and walk around the city. Allow yourself to loose days, when you can put on comfortable clothes, without thinking about the produced impression on people you do not know.
  • delegate affairs, ate allows official position, and do not hesitate to ask for help or advice if you are incompetent in something;
  • remember - it is impossible to please absolutely everyone. Do not forget to praise yourself for achievements, even the smallest ones and forgive yourself mistakes. Everything can be fixed, and your health is more important.

If you are given these tips with difficulty, the best solution is if you seek help from a good, proven specialist.


The best way to deal with the syndrome of an honors pupil is to do everything so that it does not arise. If it is clear that the child starts to show itself, first of all parents should listen to themselves, how they behave with the child and make changes to their behavior, and their attitude to the child's studies and thus help the child get rid of the emerging syndrome of the honors pupil, so as not to spoil his future.

Adults need to understand that to strive for excellence is important and necessary, but life is not perfect, and it is impossible to be successful in everything, you need to prioritize and achieve success in the things that are important for you. To make mistakes, to be sometimes second, third is normal. And there are always people who can do something better than you.

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Normal, controlled excellence syndrome is not turning into a crazy race for excellence in everything and manic self-improvement, gives strength to accomplish major achievements - many successful people were perfectionists. However, pathological perfectionism differs in that it is very destructive for a person's life and has negative consequences, since the realization of his helplessness or failure, even in some things, is very painful and leads to serious harm to his health and depression.

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