life as an idealist, part II

So I’ve been reading what some others have had to say about idealists and find it amusing.  Supposedly, according to one website, idealists consist of 8-10% of the population.  That’s not very many.  So here’s a shout out to the idealists. :D

Anyways.  Just as a disclaimer before I discuss some areas of caution for idealists…I really do love this aspect of my personality.  It may make me more emotional, impulsive, and intense, but I’m learning to be thankful for all of these tendencies.  I want to embrace them, but in a healthy way…and in a realistic way.  So I want to be an idealist living in reality.  :)

Another disclaimer…I’m not a huge fan of labeling people…it’s not like “idealist” defines who I am.  I’m just going to use the term like that for the sake of these posts.  Please know that I don’t generally call myself an idealist as if it’s my whole identity…it’s not.

When relationships become deeper or intimate, idealists (at least ones like me) will love this and feel those emotions deeply.  From there, it is easy for the idealist’s perception of the relationship to become distorted.  In what ways?  Well…we may begin to see the relationship as an “end all,” and something we can’t live without.  This can easily happen to anyone who is caught up in a whirlwind of emotion.  We also may start to have an unrealistic picture of the other person.  We might put them on a pedestal, believing they are more perfect, amazing, perfect, beautiful, loving, perfect, blah blah blah, than they really are (or ever possibly could be)…

…and THIS can be damaging in more ways than one.  First, it can cause someone to stay in a harmful relationship that they should no longer be in.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, I think idealists are pretty committed.  (And honestly, with the trend to give up on relationships in our generation today, I think this is an awesome trait.  It’s disgustingly too normal for people to walk away from something just because it’s difficult.)  However, it is important for someone to be able to discern realistically if a relationship is harmful to the point that they must get out. (I suppose this might apply more to romantic relationships, but friendships, too) So this is one thing idealists should be aware of.

But what’s even more messed up is how this.. putting the other person on a pedestal because they are so amazing and perfect ..way of thinking can harm that other person.  I mean…imagine the kind of expectations that get placed on someone who is seen as being so absolutely wonderful?  Seriously…I would NOT want to be the person that I have placed such crazy expectations on.  I could never live up to them…that literally breaks my heart to admit.  I could never live up to the expectations that I myself have placed on others.  Expectations that, of course, I didn’t realize were so unrealistic.  I didn’t even realize I had them.  It’s now, in hindsight, that I can see them.  I can see the mess.  Expecting another to make me feel good, say encouraging words, always want to be around me, always want to listen, always want to talk … (of course these aren’t ALL bad in and of themselves…but seriously…humans are HUMAN…not God).

So that’s just another thing we idealists should watch out for.  Idealizing people to the point that we lose sight of reality and expect them to be something they can’t.
I sort of only got to one point in this post, which means I’ll probably be writing more on this later.  PLEASE feel free to comment if you have thoughts. (especially if you’re more of a cynic..that could be fun)

From one idealist to another,

Cheers. :)

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2 thoughts on “life as an idealist, part II”

  1. Hope you don’t mind me always pestering you. Their pole is inaccurate. Ever kid until they grow up, leave home, and face the world is an idealist. Every person who is religious has some amount of idealism in them. Actually, everybody is idealistic. However, not everybody expresses that idealism. I’d consider myself a very idealistic person. Yet I’m also a very realistic person. Don’t know how to explain it from there, but it has nothing to do with balance or picking one or the other in given situations. Maybe more like embracing and living both at the same time. I’ll have to think about it more.

  2. Psh…that’s what this little comment section is for…pestering. jk. I love it. I think I totally agree with you. Although it’s possible to live in la-la land…being an idealist doesn’t mean doing so. The ideal person is a realistic idealist. ;)
    And although I think I agree…I would be curious as to how you’d explain it as being different from just finding balance. Not sure how to explain that either…

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