The Idealist Personality

I have been writing a personality column for Natural Health, where each month I provide some insight into different personalities. Here is some insight into The Idealist. Does this sound like anyone you know?



This world is magnificent!  Just look around you – every person and every situation has positive potential. The possibilities for making the world a better place are endless. If these words ring true for you, then you are probably an Idealist. The key identifying traits of the Idealist personality include:  


  • The future is always bright – Their outlook on the future is always optimistic; the world can and will become a better place and everyone will eventually live together peacefully and in harmony.

  • The truth always matters – Idealists search for conversations and observations that hold deeper universal truths. They like to use metaphor to express their profound, insightful observations.

  • The big picture – Paying attention to the necessities of daily life is important, but the bigger picture is more fascinating to the Idealist. Everyone has a role in the bigger picture, which is why the Idealist encourages people to develop their full potential.

  • Rules are guidelines – Despite not disregarding rules, they do see them as mere guidelines for living and don’t shy away from bending and breaking rules when they think the situation demands it.

  • Authentic living – The Idealist strives to be true to themselves, and believes contentment and harmony come from living a life rooted in genuineness. Having to pretend, which they sometimes do out of consideration for others, can be very stressful for them.

  • Meaningfulness – Social positions and high status don’t appeal to them, but they thrive on forming and maintaining genuine relationships and engaging in meaningful communication. 

  • Altruism – The well-being of others, including their own, is of primary importance. Hence, Idealists tend to work in areas where they can help promote and develop other people’s personal growth; it gives them tremendous satisfaction seeing others thrive.



We are drawn to the Idealist because:


  • They will go out of their way to help people, and not just their friends.

  • They not only care for people’s physical needs, but also their development and fulfilling their potential.

  • They can intuitively and accurately sense what motivates and excites people, and will take action to support individuals in their endeavors.

  • Wherever they are, they bring compassion and understanding with them.

  • Helping and seeing others succeed brings them joy.





No one is perfect, and Idealists also have their flaws:


  • They can come across as trouble-makers because they will break the rules if they find it restricts their creativity.

  • Their tendency to seek the truth and express themselves metaphorically might make them seem as nothing but impractical intellectuals.

  • It can appear like Idealists live in a fantasy world where bad things rarely happen, making them seem unaffected by the harsher realities of life.

  • Sometimes they will do things to please others, such as dress up for an occasion when they don’t really want to or follow career paths to please parents. Ultimately, this makes them unhappy.

  • Their need for privacy may make them seem aloof and uncaring, but they find it helps them to better contemplate and stay in touch with their idealistic thoughts.



How Do I Deal with an Idealist?

Idealists value personal authenticity and expect everyone to do the same. They can get frustrated when they perceive that others are not taking action to develop their potential or change unfavourable circumstances. Sometimes Idealists need reminding to slow down, and that everyone develops at their own pace. Equally, they can need reminding, gently but firmly, that not everyone sees the future as bright; for some the struggles of daily life are more important than universal truths. Although Idealists feel stuck in an environment that requires conformity, they need to be made aware that some people feel more secure when working or living within such a structure.


Am I an idealist?


You know you are an idealist when:


  • You often find yourself contemplating the meaning or universal message behind everything, even if you stub your toe.

  • You are always interested in new ideas on how to change circumstances or relationships for the better, and how you can improve yourself.

  • Material possessions don’t really interest you, but new ideas get you very excited, and you can’t wait to share novel insights.

  • In your romantic life, the deeper spiritual connection is more important than the passing pleasures of physical intimacy.




Categories: Psychology

Tags: , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I found this helpful for my next speaking engagement. Thanks! I’m working on something like “psyche and phenomenology of idealists”… Thanks for this!

  2. Sometimes I envy these people because of their creativity which I struggle with.

  3. Nicely written, like an psychology doctor. …Do you have any suggestion how to change from idealistic to simple mundane person. How to stop their struggle with self to make everything perfect?


  1. Thoughts on „to be or not to be“ – an idealist | Absorbed in Thought

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