I was going to call this "INTP Perfectionism", but hey, all Ps are welcome. But, eh, mostly NTPs I expect. Hence, NT forum. Whatever.
Story time! I'll bold the important parts because this is really long.
Once, I had a school project to make a board game based on medieval life. Pretty much the only instruction we had was that it had to include questions for the players to answer. Well, I spent all night making a very elaborate game board--shaped like a cross, very detailed, beautiful Gothic lettering, hand-drawn pieces that looked like little pilgrims. It was called Pious Pious Pilgrims, and it was based on Pretty Pretty Princess. Instead of jewelry, there were capes and hats for you to collect and wear. But? I didn't make any questions. I didn't forget, I just didn't feel like it. When I finished the board around 3 am, I said, "Screw the questions, my awesome board makes up for it," and went to bed. Of course, people who followed directions but put in a lot less effort than me got a higher grade. I still got a B or something though, so no regrets.
The topic of my college admission essay was a project I did at summer camp when I took a fashion design class, something I stayed up all night doing just because, when I could have finished it in an hour--or not done at all, considering it was a summer class that didn't matter at all. Again, something I made ridiculously elaborate when I didn't stand to gain anything from it.
There were a lot of things my teacher and admission counselor took issue with when I wrote that essay--for example, I made a point to write that I had never put that amount of effort into a school project that was actually required of me. When I was talking to my teacher, and she tried to help me temper it into something more attractive to the people who were going to read my applications--she kept making suggestions like, "Say how you thrive under pressure. You like working against a deadline," while I would answer, "But... that's not true." I wish I'd saved a copy of the original draft, not the edited one I turned in, because that first one was much better and truer, I think.
It ended up working out fine--she still thought I was sending out a "dangerous" essay, while I was regarding the essay as more of a way for me to weed out colleges I didn't want to go to (since my SATs were far above the range for any of the schools I was applying to and my grades were fine). For example, UCLA rejected me, and thank god, because I would have hated it there. (But, uh, I don't like the institution I did end up in so much so maybe it wasn't a perfect strategy.)
A recent project I had was to design a church, pretending to be Borromini, designing something he would have made. Well, I hated this. Now, this is partially because I am just really, really lazy, and the only way to do it right was to do a lot of research. Partially because I am really, really resistant to extrinsic motivators, and therefore can never enjoy any school project. So you can call this rationalization for my laziness, but part of what made me have such a hard time was that the project was sort of doomed to failure--of course I couldn't make anything that was really Borromini, no matter how much research I did, because I'm not him. Similar to my issue with when I had to write a paper on the synoptic gospels last year--how many times in the past 2000 years has this been done before, much better than I will be able to? Or any paper lately--I have to pretend to be an expert, when I'm not, and don't tell me I just need to do more research, because I could live in the library for the next two months and not be an expert--people have dedicated lifetimes to this topic!
Okay. Less of me whining. Tell me your stories about weird NTP perfectionism.