Do you think a realist is just a pessimist in disguise?

I sometimes wonder this about myself because I tell myself I'm just "being realistic" about certain things but I wonder if it's just my pessimism and fear disguising itself as realism. Do you ever feel that way? And, do you think realism can be used as a front to hide someones pessimistic based fears?

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Most Helpful Guys

  • There is this parable, about being in a boat, and it is an Optimist, Pessimist and Realist.
    The wind blows from the wrong direction, and the Pessimist complains, and curses the wind: "We will never get there, now!!"
    The Optimist, trying to lighten the mood, just offers his opinion: "Maybe with Wind will change direction, soon?"
    The Realist, understanding, says nothing, and just adjusts the sail, to catch the wind, and get them home!!
    How does your perspective fit in, with that parable? Which one, are you, really?
    It's hard to be the Realist, and say things are messed up! But part of being THAT REALIST, is the second part of the statement!!
    "Yeah, things seem bad, and messed up, but I AM ADJUSTING THE SAIL!"
    Are you the one that 'adjusts the sail' and 'offers a solution'? Or do you just complain, like a pessimist? THAT is the difference!!

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  • Nope.
    I'm a realistic optimist.
    I like to assume the best in people and the world. But reality is there are fucked up people out there too and the world is a harsh place. There's just a small but decent dash of beauty in both. I find if I expect the absolute worst of any given situation, I'm never really that surprised when it inevitably goes to shit and I always have at least the basis of a solution already formed up whereas I'm pleasantly surprised every time things end up turning out alright.
    Pray for the best prepare for the worst.

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Most Helpful Girls

  • A guy said to me - there is no such thing as the real world - you make your own reality. I agree with him! If you think positive and act good - people will like you and give you special treatment.

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    • So if I think positively and act good, slave trades, murder and rape around the world will stop? 🤔

    • Show All
    • That's not even the half of it, I know a lot more people who were subjected to terrible things at young ages, people who were completely innocent, who are empathic and caring for others, who never wronged anyone and got hurt by the world and the evil people in it for no reason whatsoever other than "bad luck" and lack of protections. At least with my stabbing I can blame myself for jumping into a situation thoughtlessly, but the same can't be said for others.

    • @4pple I'm really sorry to hear that. Nobody should have to deal the cruelness of the world at any age, yet alone a young age. I wish I could say I understand but I don't think my bad life stuff is anywhere near as bad as your life of stuff or that of the people you know. Again, I'm sorry.

  • Well, if realism and pessimism are interchangeable (as you say your pessimism is disguised as realism) then really it's no disguise at all. Being 'realistic' often comes across as a negative, glass half empty outlook which could also be called pessimistic. So, no, I don't think it's a front at all and you're likely being too critical of yourself. Perhaps you might be a little depressed? Or is it that you see the consequences and weigh your decisions from a worst case scenario? Whatever the case, you recognize this penchant for pessimism you've got and that's half way to improving any situation; recognizing that you're in it.

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What Guys Said 46

  • Pessimism and realism tend to go hand in hand. Both see the world as the bad place it is, they don't sugar coat their view or try to tell themself that things are good when they aren't. The only difference would be that a realist sees good and bad equally while a pessimist is more prone to seeing just the bad things.

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  • I think generally yes. Do you think Einstein was realistic? Not at all, he was batshit crazy optimistic.

    I think no great human acomplishment could have been achieved if people would have judged the situation in terms of probability of success.

    Do I think it can be used as a form of hiding fears? I think it can be used a a justification to not aiming high enough. Dare to be crazy, fuck what others say.

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  • Not entirely. Sometimes people assume the worst because they are afraid of reality and when things turn out to be better than they imagined, it gives them comfort. But most of the time in cases like this, people are just done with living in denial and accept reality as it is even if sometimes that reality is horrible.

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  • No. A realist just bluntly accept the negative side as well as positive side. I've met a good number of optimist who literally REFUSE to accept the negative things and funny enough they are extremely susceptible to depression.

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  • No. I am a realist, thus I prepare for the most realistic event to happen. This can be positive (I knew a lot on that written exam and finished it no problem => I will get a good grade on that exam) or negative (Winning the lottery is very unlikely => I will not win the lottery, even if I buy a ticket)

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  • A realist is one who is more considerable than both optimists and pesimists.
    They ask themself both questions, what can go wrong? And what will I get out?
    I don't think that that's a disguise. But when you are surrounded by optimists, it will make you feel like you are a pesimist as all others are not.
    Same is true when you swap optimist with pesimist, too.

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  • So this is my first opinion on this platform but I'm going to be authentic. I've called myself a realist on many occasions... usually when my view is different from the norm. It comes with experience and having seen how similar items have played out before. While it does have an element of pessimism, it's more about protecting others from going down that same path. Hope that makes some sense

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  • These two are so often confused, that i believe people live in their own little dream bubble.

    Reality is sad and the truths are harsh. So of course realism is often confused with being a pessimist. Keeping it real comes with such "accusations".

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  • On so many levels, yes! It's funny, the "realist" who are in denial of being in denial, which is a bit hypocritical

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  • Sometimes... it depends what the agenda is and if he or she has any bias, but the lines can be pretty thin between both

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  • I think everyone considers themselves a realist, no matter if optimist pessimist or actually realist. I mean not considering yourself a realist would question your ability to think reasonable, right?

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  • That sounds like something a naive optimist would say :P

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  • A realist is a realist
    But many pessimists will consider themselves realists though they are not actually realists

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  • My mom says that I'm a pessimist but I tell her I'm a realist. So maybe there is some truth behind it.

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  • No, who said that a realist is a pessimist in disguise. That makes no sense. However , yes realistic people can easily be misinterpreted as pessimists but that is not true.

    1. "I sometimes wonder this about myself because I tell myself I'm just "being realistic" about certain things but I wonder if it's just my pessimism and fear disguising itself as realism. Do you ever feel that way? "

    Feel? I don't go based on feelings. I am ruled by head. I know that it's not like that, I don't need to convince anyone.

    2. "And, do you think realism can be used as a front to hide someones pessimistic based fears?"

    The answer is NO, that is false.

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  • Nope, but a lot of pessimists try to put themselves as "realist", because they have a skewed view of reality, probabilities and opportunities.

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  • Optimist says the glass is half full.
    Pessimist says the glass is half empty.
    Realist says there is a glass with a water content of 50%.

    The notions of realism and pessimism (or optimism) are orthogonal. They kind of mirror science and art in the sense that one is descriptive and the other one is prescriptive. One doesn't give a shit about feelings as long as it is accurate. The other didn't give a shit about objectivity as long as it delivers a judgment and makes you feel something.

    I am a realist. And the reality I figure out is sometimes making me beam with optimism and sometimes it makes me somber with pessimism.

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  • It may be. As for me I look at the facts of the situation. I then try to deduce the most realistic outcome. Sometimes its good but in others its bad.

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  • What I feel real is what another thinks is old school. I argue for facts but it doesn't make me negative. Just revealing the truth. I'm overall happy.

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  • Optimists don't get it. Let them be stupid and wonder why God is teaching them a lesson.

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  • If you never expect anything from life you dont get disappointed so i dont think pessimism is bad. Realism and pessimism is almost the same thing

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  • I think people should only live and don't think about nonsense. It's just a different word. Like Apple or table

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  • Optimist: Glass half full
    Pessimist: glass half empty
    Realist: who dafuq has been drinking my pint?

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  • No as a real realist will be looking at everything practically. If they get over taken by emotions then they aren't a realist.

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  • You can't be a realist without being a pessimist , because you will realise that life is full of shit.

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  • Both pessimists and optimists are delusional because you know they expecting something that's not happening

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  • Being a realist doesn't have to be pessimistic it can just be a more grounded outlook where you can hope for better but you prepare for the worst.

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  • No I do not think so. But I do think that the real world is sad and when looked at in true manner, can be mistaken as pessimistic.

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  • No because a true realist can also see things that are realistically positive. If you understand what I mean.

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  • No, as long as your not holding yourself back in life. They are different words, different meanings.

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What Girls Said 12

  • Being realist dosen't mean necessary to be negative, but rather calculate your chances and stay with your feet on the ground... At an exam, an optimistic person would expect 9 or 10... a pesimist will expect 5, or maybe 4... a realistic person would think about how much did they study, about subjects they might have problems ata, and at their previous level and grades so the self evaluation will be more accurate

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  • Sometimes yeah asked it to myself, just at least be open to one aspect just try something u think ur rejecting or so skeptical about just to learn the nature of it and make urself understand why u choose that side about it. Yes, it's possible especially if ur being superficial about everything without having deep knowledge to certain aspects then it's just the fear talking.

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  • The lines can blurred at times, but I think there's a difference. I know a guy that calls him self a realist but refuses to ever look on the bright side of things. That's not being a realist to me. That's classic pessimism. Being a realist means you see things for what they are in their entirety. Good and bad.

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  • Nope. I see it as a scale truly in which a realist is completely neutral. I consider myself an optimistic realist--I'm logical but I hope for the better option.

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  • No. A realist understands probability and keeps their head out of the clouds. Its sometimes better to prepare for the worst yet be surprised if the right thing actually happens. Nothing lost at this point.

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  • No one wanna be a pessimist, but a realist is fine. So you are right. Many times it is pessimisme. A realistist is a bit of both. You can have a bad day, but you don't have to a bad again tomorrow

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  • A realist looks at things objectively, only puts faith into something if the probability is acceptable. More than capable of seeing positivity in a negative scenario, but acknowledging the potential of a bad outcome.

    Think of it this way: a cup is holding half it's practical volume of water.

    The optimist sees the glass as "half-full"
    The pessimist sees the glass as "half-empty"
    The realist decides whether the glass is "half-full" or "half-empty" based on whether or not the glass is actively being filled or emptied (or having its contents consumed), in the direction of its ultimate goal, "full" or "empty"

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  • Not always. But sometimes, certainly. Lots of people hide their negativity behind facades.

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  • Yes. My mom always claims to be a realist but she’s just copping for the fact that she’s a pessimist

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  • I personally don’t think so.

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  • Absolutely

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  • Pessimistic definitely

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