Idealists are the unicorns of temperament theory. This is not meant to be flippant, though Idealist traits such as empathy and optimism frequently cause them to be caricatured as hypersensitive, hippie-dippie dreamers that fantasize all day about misty rainbows, magic, and a perfect world filled with purity and grace. Of course, like the unicorn itself, this perception is an illusion, and the real Idealist, the one of flesh and blood, is no more closer to virtue than the next person. Perhaps it is this myth that casts doubt on their existence at all.
Identity-seeking, Idealists often feel marginalized by a society that values the concrete over the abstract, material success over spiritual wholeness, and “fitting in” rather than “fitting out." And unlike the equally rare Rationals, Idealists choose to assimilate with greater society, becoming quite adept at repressing some of their more esoteric proclivities. While hiding in plain sight might give them a sense of belonging, what Dolphins, Giant Pandas, Baboons, and Humpback Whales really need is self-acceptance, and any thing or person that gets in the way of that goal is detrimental to an Idealist's personal growth. Fortunately, many are able to find the confidence to be that one black horse in a stable of white horses or, better yet, a unicorn drifting in a sea of thoroughbreds.
What sets Dolphins apart from their Idealist siblings is the ease in which they can assimilate into society. This is not to say that it is any better or worse for them in terms of emotional health, but externally, the popular Dolphin is a paragon of social excellence. And unlike the spacey, puckish otherworldliness of a Baboon, a Dolphin’s idealism is far more grounded and thus, accessible.
The Giant Panda
Disclaimer: Pandas do not have a monopoly on alienation. Every type, depending on the context, has probably felt a minor twinge of persecution in their life. Unfortunately, that is also the primary reason why many individuals tend to mistype themselves as Pandas—somewhere, a Panda is reading this thinking, “wait, someone wants to be me?” The same things that can riddle a Panda with doubt—their “underdog” status, humble romanticism, and pragmatic idealism—turn non-Pandas green with temperament envy.
At first glance, a Baboon’s neurotic zaniness might seem like showmanship, and thus lead observers to mistake them for a Peacock. It is only upon deeper inspection that one finds their motivations to be entirely similar to their other Idealist brethren, and what was first perceived to be an uncontrollable excitability of the body is more an exuberant enthusiasm of the spirit.
The Humpback Whale
The eyes that appear to be staring intently at nothing in particular, the quiet strength found in the bending but not breaking tremor of their voice, these are the marked traits of the Humpback Whale. From the outside, these reserved individuals might be hard to distinguish from their Panda siblings, but upon speaking with a Humpback Whale, especially on a topic that matters to them, you will find that the illusion quickly dissipates, and that timid, distant space cadet you initially thought was a dwarf star, has now exploded into a full on supernova.