Sunday, March 24, 2013

Feed your inner pessimist.....

After years of telling us that we should see the glass half full, there now seems to be a shift to  - seeing the glass half empty - as not a bad thing.  Here's why. Pessimists prepare for the worst. However, once things are resolved, the results are usually never as bad as they thought they were going to be - negative thinking, producing a positive end, maybe. Also because pessimists prepare for the worst, they often are very cautious, better prepared and not overextended - braced for the worst, perhaps!

It's interesting that this "jump on the bandwagon for pessimism" comes at a time when boomers are facing more negatives than positives - declining health, fixed incomes, dramatic changes in lifestyle. The world economy is in a downturn, there are fewer jobs, higher prices, lower wages...the list goes on. So all of a sudden, it's cool to have a negative outlook. The flip side of which may be, that it is difficult in these conditions, to have a positive outlook. Really, how many rejection notices can you take and still keep smiling!!

According to an article by Wency Leung in the Globe and Mail the other day, here is how to be a better pessimist!!

1. Be specific. Think of all the "things" that can go wrong and then address them individually. This is constructive pessimism, rather than the "O me meserum"-  everything is wrong and nothing is right, type of outlook.

2. Be selective. Restrict your pessimism to important things. Don't fret daily over everything!

3. Keep your pessimism to yourself. Things may be bad, but dragging everyone else into your maelstrom only makes everyone else miserable and presumably they are also dealing with their own pessimism and keeping it to themselves. Ironically this may create an atmosphere of seemingly happy people all "faking it." :)



I'm not sure where I stand in all of this. However, I do know, that if there is still something in the glass, the party isn't over!!

Have a good one!!

4 comments:

  1. I think I might be an optimistic pessimist. I go by this quote:

    “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” ― Lee Child

    Keeping this in mind seems to allow me to celebrate small victories and keeps my expectations reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I might be an optimistic pessimist. I go by this quote:

    “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” ― Lee Child

    Keeping this in mind seems to allow me to celebrate small victories and keeps my expectations reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. someone is spamming your blog comments to sell drugs! How rude!

    Your post is interesting. Makes me think.
    I'm a baby boomer and I think I used to be more of a pessimist when our investments were making double-digits, there were unlimited jobs in my field, national security was a 'given' and our real estate value was growing. I think all the negative media on the economy, environment, terrorism, etc over the last decade made me reach the point where I had to decide that I wasn't going to be such a worrier - there is so much in life that is not in our control!
    That said...I was once a Girl Guide...and I like to think I am always prepared.
    N

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent post! I'm drawing off of it for my own blog post today.

    And keep in mind that the great oracle, Mark Twain, himself said "the man who isn't a pessimist is a damned fool."

    ReplyDelete