Being realistic..? | INFJ Forum

Being realistic..?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Impact Character, Dec 3, 2021.

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  1. Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    Yeah, I know, it is that topic. We seem to mention it every here and there again and again. I felt like maybe during these times of reflection and calm maybe we can dig a bit into it. This is a bit like the "misunderstood and alien" topic. Many talk about it but it usually differs alot in the actual meaning. So..


    What did other people mean when they told you "to be realistic"? (let's turn the question around this time)

    In what context did that happen/does that happen?

    What were you fiddling with (in your thoughts or projects)?

    Any thoughts on what type they might be?

    Other ways, variations, wording of others communicating an idea of "being realistic"?

    How do your friends, collegues, families or aquaintances that have been told "to be realistic" interpreted and dealt with it?

    What type do you think they are?


    (Examples are lovely but no must. Let's see where it grows..)


    :goldstar:


     
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  2. Jexocuha

    Jexocuha Community Member

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    When I've talked to former friends, guys who wanted to pool their money together under a plan to build a private community with ambitions to build a kind of futuristic sub-culture, about my personal plans to simply buy my own land and build a fortress of my own if the group-based ambitions didn't work out[since, I had already had my own vision I was working out long before I got involved with those guys], they would say stuff that was equivalent to "be realistic". I've shared this idea to members of my immediate family over a decade ago and they gave me the same response. Then 10 years down the road, they got land of their own to build a business on with ideas that came directly from me. I just went out and bought my own and stuck with my plans by myself and kept them to myself. As more time goes on, the less and less I care to share to anyone, especially not with any seriousness, my serious thoughts, projects, or ideas.

    "Be Realistic" to me translates to this:
    • "I don't like/want to hear/care/understand what you are telling me; talk about something that's relevant to me."
    • "Who the hell do you think you are? You're nothing, you're nobody. Act like someone I can relate to. Be like everyone else."
    • "Cut your hair, straighten up, pay attention to everyone else, and don't say anything that will upset anyone."
    • "Get a job, pay your bills, get your act together, and don't disappoint anyone"
    • "Get married, have kids, go to church, go see a doctor, talk only to a professional, and be professional"
    • "Get with the program, don't whine, don't complain, don't have an attitude"
    • "Be responsible, be better for everyone else, don't blame anyone for your problems, everything is up to you, but it's not yours."
    • "Can you show your ideas now, did it make any money? Is it something that we all, everyone, can have?"
    • "It's all been thought before. It's all been done before. It's nothing special. It's nothing important. It's nothing. Forget it. Now go work for food"

    I started buying cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, in 2014. I started out going to coffee shops and meeting an online peer, where you would set up to give them cash, or a prepaid card or whatever they would except, you bring your laptop, and they do the transfer right there. A lot of people, even casual people I talked to at the time kept telling me it was not real, it was some sort of bubble that will burst, and it would eventually die. BTC was at about $400/coin, and I had already gotten some experience mining via correspondence with co-workers. I tried to convince my guys that it was worth it to put a good chunk of investment cash into Bitcoin, and I would help set up a mining farm. They didn't care. Even after showing them the documentation on it; it didn't matter. I eventually broke off from those guys, and kept all that to myself; and have had my own Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adventures. Now, I'm a Nexo investor, with land, and using crypto for practical purposes(like paying off college loans right now, and for water storage and purification system supplies for a land development), but I didn't need them, my family, or anyone's consensus to prove to me that what I was talking about was relevant, realistic, and certainly for me, has been a real practical asset toward reaching toward my goals.

    I guess overall what I'm trying to say is(I prefer to keep it brief, but this is an interesting topic(thx @Impact Character ): People, even those close to you like friends or family, won't care very much about something and will respond with "be realistic", or similar, if it doesn't concern or directly benefit them - or they didn't come up with the work themselves. And, I admit, often times, "be realistic" is a good and honest response to some ideas, projects, or work you are doing. It's good to be realistic and mindful of you and other's limitations. But my personal experience has been, unfortunately, if I really want something done or make something not easily possible, possible, I have to expect to do much of the hard work alone. If I get help along the way great. If I get a commitment, even better. But I never rely on that to get started, and especially not to finish. I always plan things out now with the expectation that it is something I could do by myself. And it's better not to share it(even if it's useful or interesting) unless I'm in an arena where that's the purpose of the meeting(like a venue, or I'm talking to someone interested to buy/sell/trade something). I mean, I don't want to sound harsh(and I don't think it is), but nobody really cares unless they actually care about it, or it directly and purposefully, involves or obligates themselves or an institution they already trust and are familiar with. And that's not a bad thing.
     
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  3. aeon

    aeon Amoureux des Chatons
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    It happened when I was a child, after they (parents, teachers, administrators, counselors) decided I was in possession of this thing called potential. They all had ideas of who or what I could be, but they all forgot and ignored who and what I actually was.

    They told me I would go on to do great things, no matter what I ended up doing...except it very much mattered what I chose to do, and where that choice would lead. They had a list of things I could do, of things I could be. Things I would do, things I would be.

    And if I dared to say what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be, I might hear “be realistic!”

    More often it would be “don’t be foolish,” or “that would be a waste of your potential.”

    So I murdered my own feelings and dreams so I wouldn’t say foolish things, and so the painful feelings would go away.

    When they would share their plans, I would nod and say “yeah, okay!” and try to sound chipper. But the world turned grey.

    A few years later, I didn’t really have a good sense of who I was any longer. I only existed for other people.

    And I didn’t understand why you would beat, and concuss, and yell at, and deny food to, and lock someone with so much potential in a closet.

    The pain of constantly being invalidated and abused was too much, and I needed an escape. So I tried to kill myself.

    Didn’t work, and no one found out, so it didn’t matter, and it didn’t mean anything.

    But then my resentment grew. And because I was not my own person, because I felt more like I was a thing...

    I said to myself “I will destroy their creation.” That’s actually how I thought of myself. I was a thing they had created.

    Although I was not a person, I could destroy myself. I could spoil and destroy all their hopes and plans.

    And it didn’t matter because I didn’t exist. That’s how it felt. I actually got excited about destroying myself because I would be free.

    I wouldn’t be something I was not, and I would escape pain and reality through oblivion and self-destruction.

    At some point they gave up on me, or maybe better to say their hopes and dreams. But they didn’t tell me. And I wouldn’t have heard them if they did.

    The manic energy and emotions that come out of thoughts of destroying yourself are electric, because of the mix of joy in finally being free, the little bit of fear and sadness, and the nothingness, the void that is nihilism. So schizo, to care so much that you no longer care.

    So I didn’t exactly know (or now remember) when it started, but at some point began a little over 10 years of no contact. I would find my way as I could, and to them, it would be as if I died. And I suppose I did.

    I burned their potential to the ground. They said I would go on to do great things. I proved them wrong. They didn’t know me. They never asked.

    Now if you think, in reading this post, that I got triggered or something, you’d be exactly right.

    Because I hate the words “be realistic.” No, fuck you. And I hate the word potential. There’s no such thing, it doesn’t actually exist. Potential is a psychological projection onto someone or something with selfish intent. Potential. Fuck potential.

    No, follow your dreams. Dream big. Be true to yourself, even if someone doesn’t think it’s realistic. What do they know about your reality? It’s your life, you have to live it for you. Don’t be anything other than what you want to be.

    Never tell anyone to be realistic, especially not a child. Saying that is so cruel, to say their hopes and dreams aren’t right, and so by extension, they aren’t right. That they dream wrong because they are wrong. How unloving that is to do to a human being.

    Be realistic? No. Be yourself. You can’t be anything else anyway.


    Encourage, don’t Disparage,
    Ian
     
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  4. OP
    Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    @Jexocuha @aeon Thank you both so much for your lengthy and honest posts.

    The topic is indeed rather sensible and full of emotion and I hope it is okay if we take it slow. There is so much to process, too, no? A lot of thoughts spark as well along the way.

    Right now I just want to tell you both, that I feel with you and I want to send my sympathies for what you have been going through. However I think it is really great that you still found your way, no matter what. That is very admirable! :)


    Hmh. Just to add a bit from my side.. I noticed that I must have incorporated an inner "be realistic" variation from outside due to negative "world comes down" experience. It sometimes comes out in stress and my SO think it is more pessimism than realism. I've often genuinely no idea what being realistic is or means. And it is almost funny that people around all seem to think they mean the same but actually it is a choir of different tunes. It seems to go well together but they all have another song on their lips.


    I hope we can all heal this sort of wound. I sincerely wish for that.
     
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  5. Gu33

    Gu33 Newbie

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    Great post. To be honest I think I’ve heard “be realistic” the most from my own internal monologue. I was raised in a pretty chaotic home where we were taught right and wrong but not by example. There was a heavy dose of gaslighting and refusal to acknowledge when a parent or sibling had ever done anything wrong towards me. This led me to constantly doubting myself and the validity of my thoughts, feelings and capabilities. I’ve been working on viewing my strengths and accomplishments as if I was viewing from an outside perspective which is much more gratifying haha. I’ve missed many opportunities in life because I didn’t believe I was good enough to reach for them and I needed to “be realistic”. That being said I’m content with where my life is now and couldn’t imagine a life that is different. I don’t think the other paths immediately would have turned into a “better” life, just different.
     
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  6. John K

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    There have been several quite different contexts that I've come across this. Often it hasn't been put to me in so many words, but the intent is the same. For example, I often use metaphor to express the heart of something complex in a concise away, but many people don't think in a way that can interpret metaphor easily - I get that "can't you be more realistic" sort of look in their eyes when that happens - *sighs*.

    Another sort of context is working on computer projects, particularly those involving new ways of working. It's easy for intuition dominated project management to be forever refining, expanding, particularly with applications that can evolve rather than those that can be specified in detail then built. What happens is that you start off by dealing with the relatively easy stuff and delivering it quickly - that gets credibility and you get approval to move on to more challenging things - and of couse you are building on feedback from the users of the first version. Initially this can go well, and that adds to the functions in big steps, but eventually you hit on ideas that start to stretch the boundaries of what the application can be extended to. It's easy to be so committed at this stage that you keep going, but the costs are rising and the added benefits are dropping or vanishing. If you are lucky, then at this point a competent SJT type will say something along the lines of this is no longer realstic - it's been really good but this is as far as it goes. The project is then given a necessary closure. But it can happen that the close-down types get cold feet before then if they have no feel for what the intuitives can see, and the project can get closed off before some really good new things are delivered. But it can also happen that the work isn't closed down soon enough, and a lot of time and effort is wasted by the intuitives who are emotionally committed by this time and can't easily let it go.

    There's a flip side to this because I think that intuitives are also people who use the phrase too, or at least maybe a more rational and gentle way of expressing it. We often see people getting themselves into a mess long before they realise it themselves and we may say something to them about getting real. Several times in my working life I saw people putting forward grand software development strategies that I knew would fail - it's amazing how people can have no concept of the scale of what they have dreamt up. I don't mean in terms of practical content but conceptually - some of the things I came across by the really creative guys were akin in computing terms to putting human beings alive on the surface of Mars and bringing them back home safely, but they couldn't see it was really that big. I didn't actually say something like get real guys - I was working on intuition with no solid evidence to back it up, so the guys had to learn the hard way.

    These sort of situations, in the workplace, are less emotive than those in the personal domain so it's easier to see what is going on more objectively there. I was lucky both with my parents, and my teachers, who in their own different ways wanted us to reach for the moon if that's where we wanted to be. I think on the whole their judgement was good so they would have intervened if I'd set myself dreams that could never be - I never wanted to be a fighter pilot for example, but it would have been a futile aspiration for me if I had wanted it, with my lack of binocular vision and weird differences in the optics of each eye. I don't think they would have expressed this as a Parental 'Get Real' though, but with a rational explanation and a show of concern that I was setting my heart on something that could never be.
     
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  7. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    Great topic @Impact Character. As a creative person and an Intuitive, you must have heard it often.

    "Be realistic" is now considered a toxic thing to say in many circumstances, especially to children. (If your kid said they wanted to live on Jupiter when they grow up maybe tell them that isn't possible yet but if they grow up to work for Nasa they could he humans achieve living on other planets instead of saying, "Be realistic.")

    As a kid, I was repeatedly told a career in the arts wasn't realistic –– that there weren't any careers in that field (at all). Of course, there are careers in the arts and as technology evolves, the internet, movies, and gaming need more and more artists. It's common to tell creative kids that they aren't choosing realistic paths, but I think the only way to help kids succeed in life is by helping them find viable pathways and options for what they truly want to pursue and helping them build their skills. If you discourage them, they'll do it anyway, but without all the tools they need to succeed, or they'll do things your way and be miserable.

    People have said this to me in adulthood, too. Most often, men say it when they are negging me. I don't find negging desirable.

    When I talk about creative pursuits of any kind or when I use my imagination for entertainment purposes (which I often do for friends).

    I think any type can be this way with kids because adults have so many fears that kids will get hurt or will get lost in the world. As I said earlier, this backfires.

    My brother is an ISTP and has no imagination. He reads non-fiction only. He has great taste, but he isn't creative. If I use my imagination or exaggerate for effect with him, the first thing out of his mouth will be, "Be realistic." He can't tell I'm joking. It doesn't hurt my feelings. I find it interesting. I adore him.

    This isn't something I've specifically talked about with others. From observation and discussions, I know people do not like being discouraged and will be quietly hurt and even resent people who are not supportive.

    Sports are another area where people act discouraging. A long time ago I knew a little kid who really wanted to be a pro basketball player but he was sure he wouldn't grow tall. I think he saw it as his only way out of the hood. He was a good ballplayer. I know others told him to be realistic and he got razzed by his peers for daring to dream. He'd come into the place I worked and talk to me about it and I'd try to think of all the short ballplayers to encourage him. I'd remind him that just because it had never happened didn't mean it couldn't, and he could also become a coach, or find other ways to be involved in the game he loved. I know nothing about Basketball.

    Everyone needs to be practical in life, but let people dream big, have huge goals, and strive to make their goals happen. Just make sure they also have their feet planted on the ground and have practical skills where it counts by teaching those skills and values. It's possible to say, "Yes, chase the clouds, but bring this raincoat."
     
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  8. OP
    Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    Hmh.. I'll try and just strangely rephrase because it is not my native language (please, bear with me).


    So in some ways this phrase or the meaning of it comes from a reaction following a feeling of unease in another person. It could be because the management of ressources or the management of social norms and values are perceived as "at stake" ..

    And in some variations it is "don't think/dream, just function/do"..or "chose something that is perceived as having a higher likelihood/probability/chance and more profitable/valued".. or some form of encouraging "projects/ideas/dreams that are already layed out in how they will be achieved/realized" and shooting those down that are not perceived as such..

    But it can also.. be like a "I cannot follow", "I cannot see (this far)", "please, make it seeable/understandable" need? A "give me more breadcrumbs" ..? The "give me an example (from my immediate experience/in a non-exaggerated and plain version)" sort of thing..

    Or sometimes a simple "this is too big"/"you need to cut a piece out of the whole thing" and "this isn't (yet) doable (with what is known/only by one person/with the level of skill)"..? And.. some sort of "scope it down (to something measurable/applicable/implementable to what already is here)"..

    There is also the phrase "kill your darlings", I guess, which might work with that "get real", overcoming emotional attachments and/or accepting results of testing something in the real world..?



    I know that sort of look you mentioned @John K here it is often followed by lots of silence and not necessarily a snappy comment. I sometimes wonder if people actually just need a bit more processing time (until the moment gets awkward, that is).

    @Gu33 My inner world is probably changed a bit by something like that too. But anyhow! That is a fantastic strategy you found for yourself. It sounds also very self-assuring and self-loving. Nice! :)



    A couple days ago I talked to my brother's SO about the meaning of "stop dreaming/be realistic". She mentioned her tendencies to "start big projects/have a big vision" that she wouldn't carry through and skip to other projects quickly or instead of working on them and getting better at it, spending more time on thinking about other projects/browsing other ideas etc. To me and my experience it sounded like consistency or being accountable .. and a bit of a realism that is "situational"..? When you master it it becomes realistic, no? It's the gab between learning to walk and wanting to run a marathon. (Not a wanting-to-fly "unrealistic" due to the lack of wings, which has more of that a dream-mind to me.)

    She also mentioned overwhelm of "too huge projects", dealing with disappointment when it doesn't work out, and how low self-esteem has a big impact on that. I suppose it either helps you resist the idea and not even giving it a try, or it actually helps you overcoming the hugeness in a weird way just to suprise yourself in the end. Some thing that are perceived as unrealistic really are not necessarily that unrealistic, or they make people "start smaller", I suppose. Then again sometimes working on "something smaller" or "only on a part of the big idea" seems odd and like a homunculous.. some projects in the professional realm look like that due to the "management of ressources" type of getting realistic mentality..

    I wondered because sometimes being unrealistic could also mean maybe wanting to synthesize things that are a shitload of things to synthesize/"un-synthesizable" or something, or "being unrealistic" in a way that one does ..make a leap and, let's say, artificially creates a user in their mind/having an idea of a group of people instead of do user research and getting updated user data for a project.



    @Asa It's really sad that it is basically a strategy to discourage (even if it comes from genuine care perhaps)..even if it's said in a nagging way.. (as an awkward way to connect).
    The discouragement is real and its consequences are there, sometimes as in triggers and sometimes more subtle like not sharing your ideas although the feedback could be really nice and beneficial. I feel we all here know that..

    I was lucky to grow up with my brother who has a very robust and strong sense of intuition. He never looked at me in a weird way when we talked about creative ideas and imagination. In comparison to my parents, my mother usually tuned out or perhaps be astonished/confused of some sort, and my father got tensed and grumpy.
    But some of the "be realistic, don't become an artist" came out a lot like a "questioning one's survival", which is gruesome. One of my first encounters came from an art professor early in life, who said that on an open door day. I'm don't even mean when people have false wishful thinking expectations about what a life as an artist is like. Let's be honest, there are plenty hindrances and obstacles to overcome besides dealing with an discouragement like that in such a setup on top of it.
    That prof surely missed out on this:
    It's a whole other lesson itself to learn how to see and engage with "where it counts". It's probably falling short behind the skills that are more likely to be taught.


    @Gu33, @John K and @Asa also thank you so much for contributing <3

    I hope the post is alright for reading, it's late and my brain is a bit mushy..
     
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  9. dZpADTLrPmX4c

    dZpADTLrPmX4c Impermanent Fixture

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    Not many people have known me close enough to tell me that. My big sister said something like that to me once or twice before.
    I'm terrible at guessing MBTI but maybe he's ESTJ? she reminds me a little like that. Circumstances were that it was my first job and I expected to work my way up to assistant manager in 3-6 month and general manager in 1-2 years.
    Her work experience is much greater than mine, being ten years older than me, and she felt that was unrealistic for my first job.

    My opinion is, it's usually a thought-terminating cliche.
    That is, often said at face-value and not expected to be rigorously examined on its own merits. It's especially common with people who struggle with self-image, because the idea of others accomplishing what they can't (or couldn't) is unsettling for them.
    We make assumptions on what realistic/reality is, based on our experiences. While our experiences are true for us, they aren't universal truths.
    It exists as a probability spectrum and some of us draw different conclusions (or at least, that's my experience).
     
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  10. OP
    Impact Character

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    This sounds also a bit like a hidden fear of being left behind, which is also somehow being overshadowed in reverse.

    Well said!
     
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  11. John K

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    I certainly think fear is behind many of the situations when I've come across it. Not necessarily in the exact phrase 'Be realistic', but with the same intent. It isn't as simple as saying it's always inappropriate because sometimes it's important, though the way it's expressed makes a big difference. For example if one of my sons as a young teenager proposed to go camping with some friends and climbing Munroes in Scotland, taking only shorts, a t-shirt and trainers, I'd be pretty frightened for his safety and he'd get a very definite get real off me - but also some information about what he'd really need (including someone experienced with Scottish mountains in their party). I'd try and find a way of making something like it possible - maybe going hiking up less challenging hills at first nearer to home.

    Now it's the same sort of fear when one of your children proposes to go in for a career that you know could lead to sorrow, even hardship. This is a real heartache because you want to give them as much information as you can so they can choose knowing what to expect - but they already have stars in their eyes about the upsides, so you, poor parent, are the one giving out all the negatives. This is much harder than the over-ambitious mountineering aspiration, because at some point we have to leave our kids to make their own destiny - but we never stop fearing for them and wanting their security. I'm afraid that too many parents try and close the door on their children's aspirations, but there are also parents who just shrug their shoulders too and take the attitude that their kids can go lie on whatever bed of nails they make for themselves. There is a middle ground where there can be a very helpful 'get real' (very definitely not expressed in these words) where parents coach their older children rather than directing them, but then leave them to make their choices with as much information and feel for the pluses and minuses as possible. A very great gift that parents can help with is to encourage their children to hedge their options if they aspire to a more risky lifestyle - so yes, have a go at (e.g.) acting, but have a fall back that you can call on to earn a living while you are resting.

    The insight you both mention - the fear of a change in a relationship - is surely a significant one. There's a sort of gaslighting that can happen here, where it's essentially an attempt to control somebody and stop them from following a star that might take them away, or change the social 'power' position between them. Parents can easily fall into that trap, but I've seen it at work too where a supervisor tries to prevent the development of someone on their team with greater potential than themselves. I'm sure it happens between couples too.
     
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  12. ua29£kd

    ua29£kd Newbie

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    What did other people mean when they told you "to be realistic"? (let's turn the question around this time)

    In what context did that happen/does that happen?

    These are some good questions I feel like I want to answer on..
    I loved to read books as a kid.. I loved especially, Before Green Gables. I read that book almost every week, and wrapped it in tinfoil so the book-cover didn't ruin. I wasn't aware of family values of faith enough to apply it in my personal life, it didn't change my interests. Then, when I was shown about my faith, what's right and wrong etc. I was half inclined to let go of my favorite novels and toys.. Then one day they disappeared and I didnt understand this dynamic. (I found them easily again but by then, interest waned.

    Other ways, variations, wording of others communicating an idea of "being realistic"?

    Perhaps the words, "be realistic!" wasn't spelled out but a kind of religion made it feel like anything different was not to be priority, and strange. That kind of realism, not much expanse with interests.

    What were you fiddling with (in your thoughts or projects)?

    I accept whatever is told or given me, especially from a place of love (however conditional it be). I started to write my own stories, at least I had a lot of encouragement for this.

    I think another variation for the word be realistic is be reasonable (do the right thing) implying I wasnt, enough. This reminds me of those times.
    People can be forgiven, it's better that way though it's not easy to foret, I decide to lovingly let go of what I couldn't measure up to be- in the eyes of people, religion and ezpectation.
     
  13. dZpADTLrPmX4c

    dZpADTLrPmX4c Impermanent Fixture

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    While personally I agree with this, some people have mentioned that having no fall-back can bring out our strongest attributes. Placing us in a Do or Die situation, so to speak. To me there's also some merit to that, as long as people know that's what they're getting into.
     
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  14. John K

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    Yes I agree. It seems to me that there’s a line between damaging interference and plain indifference and neither end is a good place to be with those close to us. The issue is whether someone really does know what they are getting into, and what the consequences are if things go wrong - and what kind of person they are. it’s not at all easy to get this right because we are all only human with faulty judgement and communication skills. What complicates it a lot is that there are often consequences for other people.

    I remember a lady who worked on one of my teams who was quite a remarkable person. She was a good software developer, a jazz musician, a mother of three adopted children, a brilliant seamstress and a qualified diving instructor. Some time after she moved into a different group to mine she had a terrible accident with a faulty rebreather when helping someone in difficulty while carrying out a dangerous deep dive, and was killed. It was awful - and utter tragedy for her partner, and their children who had now lost yet another parent. She was following her star, but when things went wrong while she did it there were consequences for others too. I remember thinking when I first knew her that she was taking big risks by going for very stretching deep diving targets, and it didn’t seem compatible with her family’s needs. I do wonder if someone in her family had intervened hard whether her children would not have lost their mother. Probably not in fact because she was very strong willed. In any case we can come to grief just crossing the road, or falling ill. Those are more avoidable risks though and it’s not the same as pushing the boundaries of safety in a very high risk sport.

    There’s probably no completely right place to be along that line I described.

    (edits for typos)
     
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  15. OP
    Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    Yes, there is no definite answer or go to when it comes to dealing with the topic in case of parenting, I guess. I think too that it really depends on the situation and the personality of your child in how to engage with that topic, but perhaps also on more context.. like do people just tell yes and no or do they actually also show up and live these values themselves (or is it just an expression of their own failed ways of solving these general life issues, or a way to put pressure on the child or gaslight), and therefore perhaps also teach or help to find help to learn maybe even practical skills and get the info you might need to "see clearly" and make "more approriate assumptions" or even real-life experiences in a smaller degree.

    I feel like in our times, people don't take time for that. It's often in short impulsive bursts and not in a more wise and slowed-down reflective guidance, where you can dig into the whole context of a thought pattern. What parents mean is not usually what especially very young children will understand, due to the context that is (a much shorter) life experience and the lack of being able to really mindread.

    It's nice that we also look behind the immediate intent of a sentence within a communication to derail someone's thoughts and focus..
    and dig into: "Be realistic" as a question of having aspirations as an individual and as an inquiry of taking responsibility (for self and others).

    @Sara373 and @Winterflowers thank you so much for contributing!
     
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  16. Vict

    Vict mechanical and habitual agent
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    Hm. I don't recall anyone ever telling me this. I reckon because I don't usually tell anyone what I want. It's mostly plans in my head, gauging what can be accomplished and how, and doing it or putting it aside to work on something else.

    But I suppose I've gotten looks along the same lines. The "really?" look or "okay, good for you" look. Mostly from an older generation who can't process having arts-oriented objectives. They came up in an environment of survival and doing what's necessary to stay above water. So learning to play an instrument, for example, only matters in relation to how much it costs and how much one can earn by doing it.
     
  17. Kgal

    Kgal Gone
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    Wow! This is a fantastic summation!
    So when we hear "Get realistic!"....it actually means for them....cause we're already being realistic for ourselves. ;)
    The question then becomes are we going to go against our own truths just to assuage their fear.
     
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  18. niar

    niar Community Member

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    Same. It never occured to me to ask more than I thought I was capable of because it was not even an option in my mind. Insanity all around made me the only reasonable person at a young age who assumed the role of the sensible adult in my family in addition to being gaslighted into believing I'm ''mature for my age'' which is a way abusive parents innapropriately share responsibility with their children, I've learned since. I absolutely agree that seeing yourself from a bird's eye view and in extention treating yourself with the same respect is eye opening.

    One of the few times I actually remember being told to be real as a kid was from a teacher who fucked up our exams and was terminated soon after. Hahaha. As an adult I'm the one who usually points out flaws in plans and expectations and sequences of events. I make a point to not do this for people who don't respect me or others, and to those close to me I do it in a respectful manner, and consciously try to curb my controlling/mothering tendencies, while making it plenty clear that my issues are not theirs.

    I think the most important thing, when it comes to expressing caution, is to ask yourself why you feel fear and to communicate that. There's so many problems in parent/child relationships, and relationships in general, that are the result of people closing off and not explaining themselves. You can be scared or worried about your child doing something and say so. You can say ''I'm really worried about whether that's a good option for you''. Even if you do mess up and treat them in a stern way, you can still say ''I didn't mean to be controlling, I was scared and feeling insecure, can you explain more about it?''. And it's important to do this at any age of the child's life, that's how you teach respect, honesty and trust to children, and how you establish all these in a romantic relationship as well.
     
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  19. slant

    slant Anti gum-putter
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    Maybe the person who says "be realistic" is whatever type I am, because I feel like I have the opposite problem.

    I have two parents who have always been really into daydreaming, coming up with these grand ideas, and never following through. I know there's nothing wrong with dreaming but it begins to frustrate me when people have a real problem and their way of dealing with it is a fantasy plan.

    For example, my mom wants to win the lottery. She doesn't want to work a job and instead of trying to treat why she doesn't want to work or find a job she likes, she tries to come up with thin plans of making money without holding a job that will support her (they never do).

    My friend who is bipolar quit his job and then decided to get a medicinal card and spend all of his savings on pot without ever looking for another job. He wants to come up with an app to make a bunch of money. But instead of actually doing that he just smokes pot, then he got mad at me when I didn't want to lend him money when he finally ran out of money when I had been telling him over and over again he probably needed to get a job, ANY job so that he didn't run out of money. He would rather go broke and try to borrow money because "jobs steal his inspiration" that he needs to make his app that he hasn't made anyway.

    In my experience, when somebody tells you to be realistic, they're doing the math of what you're saying and it's not adding up. They might think in the future you're going to put yourself or other people in a bad position because of your faulty plan. If your plan isn't flawed and people tell you that, then don't worry about it. But if there is a chance that you're throwing caution to the wind and there is a good reason that others are concerned... Do yourself a favor and heed the warning.
     
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  20. Anomaly

    Anomaly Selah.

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    This is similar to my own thinking. I think a balance is optimal, where you aren't crushing someone's dreams, but grounding them in the reality of the situation with a warning that it might not turn out how they planned.

    When I taught, a lot of my students came to me with unrealistic expectations of dreams they had. One wanted to become an Olympic gold medal swimmer. I answered saying, "Okay, that dream is huge. It's awesome. You could really do that, but you know what it's going to take? A lot of hard grueling work, and you may never ever get there, and it may not look like you wanted it to. You'll have to swim in every type of weather. You're going to have to train your body even when you don't feel like it. You're going to have to constantly be swimming, and keep that as your focus. If you really love it, if you really work at it, and you strive hard, it might be possible. Some dreams take perseverance in abundance." He thought about it a moment and then said, "Hm. I like swimming too much for it to be that hard. I think I'll be a firefighter instead." :tearsofjoy:

    I had the word perseverance really large on one of my walls in my classroom. I told my students that sometimes to obtain a thing, one only needs work hard enough. Soon, the students were telling their peers to persevere. It was really encouraging to witness. However, we also had discussions about what to do when you try with all of your might, and you still fail. We discussed that failure is a natural part of perseverance. We talked about dreams that will fail. I told them about my dream to become an astronomer, but how I wasn't skilled in computation, so I wouldn't likely do well and it would end up killing the joy I felt in staring up at the night sky. I think sometimes we merely need to look at a dream from a different angle and shape it into what fits us. Now, I go to observatories and study the stars as one of my many passions instead.

    I think my problem with people who cling to unrealistic dreams, is it harkens back to the notion that everyone deserves a medal or trophy simply for showing up. While I believe that everyone deserves recognition of some kind, and an acknowledgement on how their qualities or gifts are purposeful or meaningful, I do not believe that every person is geared for excellence. There are only a select few people who fit that category. It typically manifests one of two ways: either they have powerful connections/money, or they have an incredible drive that propels them forward in tenacious grit despite all odds with the talent to back it up. Sometimes, regardless of having one or both of those things, a dream will die. That's reality.

    All this to say, I agree with you.
     
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