What is reality?

Reality can be defined as the state of things as they exist instead of within the imagination. We consider the reality of being the truth. Reality is based upon what we have experienced.

What causes us to deny reality?

Many people deny truths that are evident as reality even when presented with specific evidence. Often the denial of reality is a defence mechanism used to reduce anxiety when something feels concerning. We often see people denying fact today when seemingly intelligent and sane people ignore or refute the evidence or data based on science. Perhaps people deny reality because they are fixed within a particularly rigid way of thinking.

People who reject reality are referred to as ‘denialists’. This choice is often explained as a way of avoiding an uncomfortable psychological truth. Denialism is considered essentially irrational because it withholds prior experiences and empirical evidence to support a particular viewpoint. We may see holes in certain ideologies or supposed facts, but that does not necessarily mean we can deny their validity altogether.

What is the harm in denying reality?

Often the denial of reality is associated with ideologies of controlled thought and narrow-mindedness. Whatever you choose to call it, fundamentalism, zealotry, bigotry, fanaticism is dangerous to us as individuals and broader society. Denying reality can provide momentum towards movements of hate, polarisation and unnecessary control.

What are the benefits of accepting reality?

Accepting reality is essential to create a fairer society that retains a culture based on facts so that we can’t be skewed by prejudice or hate. Having a good acceptance of reality keeps you grounded and allows you to make decisions more clearly and fairly. Being open-minded is not only a less biased state of mind; it creates a better society for all.

How to be realistic:

Take steps to identify why you may be rejecting something which is understood to be accurate. Work on how to process information in a way that assures you it can be verified.

Read more