[ENFP] Cynicism/Realism vs Idealism

Cynicism/Realism vs Idealism

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This is a discussion on Cynicism/Realism vs Idealism within the ENFP Forum - The Inspirers forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; I'm not exactly sure if the right word would be "Realism" or "Cynicism", but here goes. In most general descriptions, ...

  1. #1
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Cynicism/Realism vs Idealism

    I'm not exactly sure if the right word would be "Realism" or "Cynicism", but here goes.

    In most general descriptions, I've noticed that ENFPs tend to be described as idealistic. First off, I'm going to give my definition of idealistic: believing that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen, no matter what; believing in the best case scenario. I'm going to separate this from being stupid: believing good things will fall from the sky. My definition of this other view (My idea of realism/cynicism) is realizing ,and accepting, things are the way they are, how little I can do, and how little it would matter.

    For the longest time, I've had HUGE inner conflicts when faced with a decision to pursue something, between the idealistic view and the realistic view. I'm going to try and illustrate this with an example. Recently, I had a fight with a friend. The only fault I can find (and trust me, I'm great at finding fault in what I do), was that I might've been adding to said friend's stress level. Otherwise, I did nothing wrong. I value the friendship, so I apologized. However, I have been getting cold replies, or am just simply ignored. I'm going crazy as what to do:

    Idealistic: If I give her (female friend, if it changes anything) time to relax, our friendship will resume. If I message enough (but not too much), things will work out, and return to the way they used to be. I want my friend, and I'm willing to keep trying, until I get it.

    Realistic: I didn't do anything wrong. If anyone should be apologizing, it would be her. Her not replying back to me shows she is a crappy friend. Me continually trying is simply a waste of time.

    Not sure that's the best example, as it kind of seems dramatic. But this applies to pretty much all sorts of decisions, people related, academic related, everything.

    Idealistic me sees Realistic me as a quitter. Realistic me sees Idealistic me as stupidly stubborn. As a result, I have these huge inner debates about what to do. It really interferes with me getting things done, so I was wondering if anyone else has/had something like this? (ENFPs especially, as they're described to be super idealistic, but I don't think it really matters what type you are. People are people.)

    I hope that wasn't too long winded... xD
    strawberryLola, Belovodia and Timbo3385 thanked this post.



  2. #2
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Are you sure you are not sending her mixed messages? Maybe the communication is not that great? What is her type?

  3. #3
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Mixed messages? Nope, definitely not in this case. Imagine, I said, "You'll do fine, don't worry." It's hard to take that in a wrong way (at least to me). But she's historically misunderstood a lot of things I say. I want to say the type is ESFJ, but I'm pretty sure I could be wrong.
    Risen from Ashes thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ENFP - The Inspirers


    I can relate to the constant battle between the two.

    I'm thinking that you may have the realistic/idealistic reversed in your example though. Realistically we know how something will play out or what hoops we need to jump through to appease, but idealistically we don't think we should have to do that. I'm at the point where I just apologize where I'm wrong and take it into consideration for future interactions with that person, but I'm not going grovel or be manipulated into doing something that I think is more about their issues. I don't want any high maintenance relationships.
    Risen from Ashes, Agelaius and Belovodia thanked this post.

  5. #5
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    @Tiggleric I have rewritten this post, because the original was a bit of a mess, when I reread it. I actually rewrote it once, but I accidentily clicked something other than the submit button and lost all my work! Feel free to read it again, I've added in some new stuff and changed some of the other things I put.

    I would call myself an optimistic realist (I'm an idealistic too, haha, definitely by your definition!). This means that I have hopes and dreams, but I realise that bad stuff happens too, and not every cloud has a silver lining- you have to squeeze the good from the bad when you can though. People that don't know me well, or only like the fun/easygoing/happy side of me think I'm a pessimistic, when I'm just expressing the way I feel about myself, I don't really think thats fair.


    It looks like you've edited your original post too, because there were things I wanted to quote as well, but now I can't, so I'll just work with what I've got.


    I think your attitude needs work
    ''My definition of this other view (My idea of realism/cynicism) is realizing, and accepting, things are the way they are, how little I can do, and how little it would matter.''

    I have a different motto. Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it. Everyone is dealt different cards in life, but its how you play them that matters. I have realised in the last few years that planning can be somewhat useless, because life often gets in the way. You should prioritise things if a)they are important to you, b)you enjoy doing them or c)you have to do them to accomplish your goals/dreams. With that in mind, it is really important to be flexible, because you can only plan so much in life, a lot of the time, you just have to go with the flow, which I know is frustrating. What you do DOES matter. If you give up, you've already lost.


    It doesn't matter how many times you fall, but how many times you pick yourself up again.


    Sorry if all of this sounds harsh, I just want you to make life as great as it can be, and not give up before you've started.


    As far as your friend goes... (I'm not sure if you've resolved this issue, but here goes...)


    I see there as being two possibilities:
    1. She already had a lot on her plate, you didn't do something that would usually upset her, but in this occasion, it was the straw that broke the camels back. Don't feel bad, you just approached her at a bad time. As a result of this, she took all of her stress out on you, and now you feel like you've done something wrong. If this is a case, I would suggest giving her some time and space, then try talking to her to see if everything's ok.
    2. You've consistently done things over time that have irritated her, but up until now, shes kept her mouth shut. Everything built up resulting in her getting angry. The problem with this is, it may have been a clash of personalities, rather than either party being right or wrong. If this is the case, she may find herself frustrated with some of your actions, find some of your traits irritating, when others find them endearing, may be embarrassed by things you say or do in public etc. I had a similar problem with a friend on facebook, she liked talking to me privately, but hated the way I responded to her statuses, which resulted in a huge fight. It was kind of funny, because some of her friends liked what I said, it just seemed as though my friend misunderstood me, or did not find my jokes amusing. Theres also the possibility that you've been too laid back as a friend (lazy) and she feels like she's the one doing all the work.. Again, this requires communication. Most people don't snap over one little thing, so it might have been a cover for something else.


    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by Risen from Ashes; 05-09-2012 at 06:28 PM.
    NaughyChimp, Belovodia and Tiggleric thanked this post.

  6. #6
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I think I can help you with this. I also have an ESFJ classmate. She has got the tendency to keep quiet and not opening up if something goes wrong. Only when she has been pushed too far, and when she's pissed off, then only she reveals it and argues. Not sure whether it's an ESFJ trait or not, but maybe your female friend also have the same tendencies. So my suggestion would be, give her time and talk to her and tell her clearly what you mean by your sentences. Make it sure to her that you're her well-wisher.
    Risen from Ashes and NaughyChimp thanked this post.

  7. #7
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I find that when solving other people's problems, I am pretty idealistic. (Telling them you never know, you could be wrong, etc. Pointing out reasons why things could go well and so on)

    When it comes to my own issues I am a bit more realistic.
    Risen from Ashes thanked this post.

  8. #8
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Sounds like a healthy internal tension to me. If they err towards not doing something, it's often because something wasn't worth doing, or that the situation wasn't optimal and your energies were best sent towards more useful targets.

    In your example, though, I would like to point out it sounds like you split yourself more along the martyr/selfish axis then the way you described idealistic/realistic, especially as both contain quite a few hefty moral judgments. Perhaps you would be better off meditating on whether your motives are pure versus the necessity of preserving your happiness, and consider whether the inefficiencies in decision making are overanalyses of motives than techniques.
    Risen from Ashes, Ace Face and Tiggleric thanked this post.

  9. #9
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by saffron View Post
    I can relate to the constant battle between the two.

    I'm thinking that you may have the realistic/idealistic reversed in your example though. Realistically we know how something will play out or what hoops we need to jump through to appease, but idealistically we don't think we should have to do that. I'm at the point where I just apologize where I'm wrong and take it into consideration for future interactions with that person, but I'm not going grovel or be manipulated into doing something that I think is more about their issues. I don't want any high maintenance relationships.
    Agreed!

    journeytoforever thanked this post.

  10. #10
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by saffron View Post
    I can relate to the constant battle between the two.

    I'm thinking that you may have the realistic/idealistic reversed in your example though. Realistically we know how something will play out or what hoops we need to jump through to appease, but idealistically we don't think we should have to do that. I'm at the point where I just apologize where I'm wrong and take it into consideration for future interactions with that person, but I'm not going grovel or be manipulated into doing something that I think is more about their issues. I don't want any high maintenance relationships.
    Ahhhh, the way you explain it, it sure does look like I have the two switched. But I guess my realism was more of a "no matter how hard I try, nothing will change", which seems more cynical than realistic. I agree with you on the apologizing part, but in practice, I seem to apologize no matter who's at fault...


    Quote Originally Posted by chickydoda View Post
    I see there as being two possibilities:
    1. She already had a lot on her plate, and wasn't actually that upset at you, something minor happened and it ended up being the straw that broke the camels back, and as a result, she took it out on you. If this is a case, maybe you should give her some time and space, then try talking to her and seeing if everything's ok.
    2. You've consistently done things over time that have irritated her, but shes kept her mouth shut. Everything built up, and in the end, she ended up making a big deal over one thing because you're always bugging her. It might not be your fault, maybe you have imcompatible personalities, shes embarrassed by things you say/do (perceives them as stupid) because she doesn't get where you're coming from, maybe you have been too laid back as a friend or whatever. Again, this requires communication. Most people don't snap over small things, it might have been a cover for something else.

    BTW, I think your attitude needs work
    ''My definition of this other view (My idea of realism/cynicism) is realizing ,and accepting, things are the way they are, how little I can do, and how little it would matter.''
    I have a different motto. Life is 10% what happens to you, and is 90% what happens to you. Everyone is dealt different cards in life, but its how you play them that matters. I have realised in the last few years that planning can be somewhat useless, because life often gets in the way, but you should still follow your dreams, do things you enjoy doing or find important and plan in the future, even if you have to allow for flexibility. What you do DOES matter. If you give up, you've already lost. It doesn't matter how many times you fall, but how many times you pick yourself up again.

    Sorry to sound harsh.

    I would call myself an optimistic realist.
    You're not sounding harsh at all! I actually agree with your views on life. I guess I phrased what I meant incorrectly. It wasn't so much of a "I give up right away", but more of a "I tried extremely hard, and nothing is coming out of it. Therefore, my time and energy is better spent elsewhere." Where as in my idealist view, I think my energy will pay off in the end, if I keep trying. In regard to your possibilities, I can assure you it's not the second xD, so I think it'd be safe to say it's probably the first.


    Quote Originally Posted by liza_200 View Post
    I think I can help you with this. I also have an ESFJ classmate. She has got the tendency to keep quiet and not opening up if something goes wrong. Only when she has been pushed too far, and when she's pissed off, then only she reveals it and argues. Not sure whether it's an ESFJ trait or not, but maybe your female friend also have the same tendencies. So my suggestion would be, give her time and talk to her and tell her clearly what you mean by your sentences. Make it sure to her that you're her well-wisher.
    Thanks for the heads up, I'm sure all my friends know I'm a well-wisher ^.^ I'm not sure it's an ESFJ trait either, but now that you mention it, I could see her doing that. Thanks again for the observation!

    Quote Originally Posted by legallyblonde502 View Post
    I find that when solving other people's problems, I am pretty idealistic. (Telling them you never know, you could be wrong, etc. Pointing out reasons why things could go well and so on)

    When it comes to my own issues I am a bit more realistic.
    Hahaha same! The idealism never ends when it's about someone else (really pisses off people that aren't as hopeful); my little inner conflict really only shows up in my own decisions x.x

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisaurius View Post
    Sounds like a healthy internal tension to me. If they err towards not doing something, it's often because something wasn't worth doing, or that the situation wasn't optimal and your energies were best sent towards more useful targets.

    In your example, though, I would like to point out it sounds like you split yourself more along the martyr/selfish axis then the way you described idealistic/realistic, especially as both contain quite a few hefty moral judgments. Perhaps you would be better off meditating on whether your motives are pure versus the necessity of preserving your happiness, and consider whether the inefficiencies in decision making are overanalyses of motives than techniques.
    XD I'm glad to hear it's not totally unhealthy! That pretty much sums up why I tell myself to stop doing certain things, because I could probably spend my energy in better ways. I've actually never heard of the martyr/selfish axis, do you happen to know anywhere I could read up more about that?
    Risen from Ashes and liza_200 thanked this post.


 
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