I am going to put it out there right away that I am an idealist deep to the core.
I characterize an idealist as someone who is a catalyst for change. They see injustice in the world and they work toward ideal solutions. They believe that the ideal solution—no matter how difficult—can be achieved through education, kindness, love, and hard work. They have an altruistic view of the world.
I classify a realist as someone who has a negative view of the world. They believe life is unfair—that’s reality—and we can’t do anything about it. Realists look for “realistic” solutions to problems which in most cases means doing nothing at all. They look out for themselves and trust no one. They think “nice guys finish last”.
My husband who I love and adore is a realist. He would define idealism and realism much differently than I.
His definition of an idealist is a dreamer who has a warped sense of reality. They don’t understand how the “real” world works. Their solutions to problems are so unrealistic that they get in the way of realistic solutions. People take advantage of idealists because they are too trusting.
His definition of a realist is someone who see’s the world as it is and understands that things will never be perfect. They look at the world in terms of black and white.
You’re probably thinking, “how the heck are you still married?” Here is the idealistic reality of our relationship.
My definition of a realist is not who I consider my husband to be. Even though he may be slightly negative at times and often neglects to consider solutions outside of the norm he has more idealism in him than he would care to admit.
I would also doubt that my husband’s definition of an idealist is how he sees me. At least not entirely. I will admit that my sense of reality may be warped at times and my trusting nature has been taken advantage of a time or two, but in the end I am pretty grounded in the decisions I make for myself and my family. After all, look who I married.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Are you an idealist or a realist? How do you see those different from you? How do you communicate with those different from you? Please leave your comments below.