I think it’s the cynic in me getting out when I find myself not responding well to compliments. When people tell me that an essay* I wrote was clear, well-written, and polite–mentally, I automatically translated that to dry and wishy-washy. I doubt it has anything to do with perfectionism, rather, my inner dismay at not eliciting any passionate responses. However, I still have a little over a week to revise it–that is, some time to think about how to make that essay more aggressive.
*For the curious, the essay focuses on one small aspect of liberal democracy and is primarily philosophical in nature. I might end up posting a version of it here at the end of the month. I’d be interested in what other people think of it since I am in no way a philosopher.