Are there any Benefits to Pessimism?

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We give a lot of praise to optimism and encourage people in our life to be optimistic as we know there are numerous benefits to positive thinking. But how about those to whom a bright outlook on life does not come naturally? Will the proverbial glass always be on the empty side for them? Well, there is a good news for pessimists as well. There is something redeeming about pessimism.

An optimist may feel they have much more control over their circumstances even at the time when he or she is pretty helpless in a particular situation. While a pessimist, looking at the same situation without the pink-colored lenses, can gauge more realistically the amount of control they really have. So, from this perspective, a pessimist can be a voice of reason when it comes to making business decisions with a major financial impact for example.

An incorrigible optimist at heart, I do see how it could be useful for us to have a token (but only a token) of pessimism when dealing with a wide range of life’s situations. As an optimist, you may, for instance, be tempted to hold on to even wrong people in your life, giving them chance after a chance, only because you believe that you have the power to change them through your positivity. Or you could find yourself stuck in a mediocre job or even waste away your years in an entirely wrong career hoping that one day things will turn around. But if you only had the ability to take things with a grain of salt, you would see sooner than later that enough is enough and it’s time to let go.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? And how has this helped you in life?

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12 Comments

  1. Good one. Still not sure optimist or pessimist, I think my perspective changes depending on topic.

  2. I am more of an pessimist I believe. but as you mentioned, it’s not always a bad thing,
    is it!

  3. I’ve always been the type of person who looks for opportunity in any situation regardless of obstacles in my way. Optimism is a key tool for me to help maximize my potential. I feel that I always have a good understanding of the reality of any situation I’m faced with. If I were to look at each situation as if nothing further could be done or my options were limited I may not put the same effort in to make or cause change? Regardless of whether change can be made or not, the only mindset that provides that limitless opportunity and potential is optimism.

    1. Finally an optimist shared his few with us 🙂 Looking for an opportunity in every situation and seeing what you can change about it must be the key. I am an incorrigible optimist at heart but now that I think about it, the only situations where I might really feel down are those where I feel there was a wasted time or a lost opportunity

      1. I agree Natella. Being an optimist doesn’t mean that you don’t ever deal with setbacks and feel frustration. Regarding wasted time or lost opportunity, the true optimist would take that circumstance and then work to create a development opportunity ensuring that they learn something in an effort to improve in the future……Glass half full!

        1. That’s what I’m currently trying to do with some of my recent setbacks. Trying to see what can be learned from the experience and how to move forward. Glass is half full! Always

  4. Normally I am an optimist. But sometimes I have a feeling that under certain circumstances optimism is a kind of self-delusion while being a pessimist makes you more realistic

    1. Very true! Even though I am a complete optimist I still think that in some situations being a pessimist keeps you closer to real life.