People often confuse realists to pessimists because both of them negate optimistic views. If given a certain problem, a pessimist will approach it in a negative way but realists will not, they will think of a more practical way to solve the problem with less risks involved. But they are not in the middle of being an optimist or being a pessimist, they are more leaned towards being a pessimist and this is why: In being a pessimist, you won’t feel bad if something goes wrong, you only feel relief or surprised if something goes right. Either way any outcome will not cause any negativity for you. Being a realist you already know the bad outcomes and you are trying to avoid that by being practical, so there will be no surprises there if something does not go in your favor. The same thing with good outcomes but you will be as equally surprised as the pessimistic person right next to you if something insanely good happens.