Given the discussions so far, every time it would be either about how an optimist is always the white knight and a pessimists end up as the dark horse. But it is high time that, someone cast a shadow and bring the darkness into the light. There is Yin in Yang and the other way round, but many of us just stick to black and white.
Dark Sides of Optimism
Optimism has a dark side too and that there are potential pitfalls to an optimistic personality which might prove the hypothesis that too much of a supposed good thing can be bad for you.
Those who underestimate the risk, take less action.
Optimism has its uses, to be sure. But the goal to “think positive” no matter the situation is insupportable and counterproductive. It misses realism, appropriateness, and above all it misses the importance of negative emotion. These are the aspects where optimism fails in the reality testing, and might lead us astray at times. We are usually cast into gloom not so much by negativity as by hope. It is hope – with regard to our careers, our love lives, our children, our politicians and our planet – that is primarily to blame for angering and embittering us.
It’s not about being a blind optimist, sticking your head in the sand and thinking everything is going to come out perfectly. Even if you talk yourself into being upbeat and cheerful, you could still be crippled by anxiety when actually faced with the situation you have been dreading.
Optimism has become almost like a cult.
Many people put themselves into one of two camps: optimists or pessimists, people who tend to approach the world in either a consistently upbeat or a mostly sceptical manner.
Prevailing mis-interpretations on Pessimists
The optimist has a gleeful attitude about everything except pessimists. Well, this one is for all those in the world that see things as they are and prepare for the worst, only to be pleasantly surprised every once and a while when things go better than you expected.
A pessimistic world view does not have to entail a life stripped of joy.
Pessimists can have a far greater capacity for appreciation than their opposite numbers, for they never expect things to turn out well and so may be amazed by the modest successes which occasionally break out across their darkened horizons.
People rely too heavily on the notion that the absence of optimism creates pessimism. Over the years, pessimism had been somewhat demonised as the opposite end of optimism. Pessimism is not uni-dimensional with optimism but a separate construct, and as such does not always have the negative outcomes that juxtapose it with optimism’s positive results.
Optimist, are the ones who should stop being so pessimistic about the pessimist. Show a little optimism because there are positives in pessimism, more than you can ever imagine, some of these can be pointed out as.
- A pessimist knows that you can’t fully appreciate life’s highs without recognizing its lows.
- Pessimists are actually suffering from a positive condition that enriches your life and sets you on a happy journey throughout your lives. We will always meet surprises and satisfaction as things constantly go better than you had planned or expected.
- Pessimism stems from our fear system, which is critical for our survival, by considering the specific ways that an anticipated situation could go awry, where people can actively prepare themselves and prevent disaster.
- A pessimist rarely suffers from hurt feelings. We just do not have our feelings hurt as badly by people because we expect nothing more from people than for them to look out for themselves and show no signs of manners toward others. This is actually a very positive thing.
Pessimists are never disappointed
Yes! we’re never, actually hardly (there’s a pessimism to boldly claim NEVER) disappointed. As stated in the first post of this series An Optimistic Approach To Pessimistic Theory Of Life – An Abstract pessimists are the kind who always expect the unexpected, in such situations there is usually little or no disappointments.
Every good news is all the more exciting because I have been anticipating the worst of them.
Pessimism can also prove to be an ally in the face of an objectively grim reality – when our fears are more concrete and immediate—when we think we’re about to receive bad news, when you finally get the bad news, you still feel bad, but not as bad as if you never saw it coming. You’ve had a chance to work through the emotional implications of this negative event in advance.
A pessimist mostly thinks every situation will turn out bad. Just think about it, no matter what it is, a pessimist will think of a hundred ways something will not work or how it will go wrong. To us every situation has a negative slant and anything we will have to go through will be something that takes endurance, patience and will almost always go wrong.
When it just so happens that it does not go wrong, the pessimist is beside himself with unbridled joy. An elation fills our body and soul. “Hey, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be” you will hear every pessimist breathe with ease. If the outcome to anything is good with an optimist, well, he expected it, no extra joy no elation, no surprise. So what is so special about that?
We expect it all to go wrong, fall through, be too expensive, or have lousy service, and for people to be at their absolute worst and most dishonest. When the opposite happens, we are the most joyful and awe-struck people in the world.
Yet people have tended to neglect the upsides to pessimism, in part because optimism seems, well … nicer.
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I guess a conclusion with few practical examples would convince others in the near future! Until then check out..