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Optimism Vs. Pessimism

Most people think of optimism and pessimism as the glass half full, glass half empty way of life. While those are basic characteristics of those view points, it doesn't define them very well. The views of an optimist and a pessimist are direct opposites, and those personalities do not often work well together. So what does define the difference between optimism vs. pessimism?

Defining Optimism

I think the optimistic often get the bad reputation of being nave, but this is not the case. The nave are just that, nave, which does not make them optimistic. The idea that everything will be fine is the essence of the nave personality. Because everything might not be fine, but that does not mean that everything must be terrible. That is where you find the definition of the optimistic. Not that its fine but that it could be worse so let's make the best of what we have. Optimists try to find a positive in everything they encounter, it might be a slim one, but if one is present you can bet an optimist will find it. Positivity breeds creativity and can be exactly what is needed to get out of a bad situation and is certainly necessary for a healthy mental state.

The Essential Pessimist

Ah pessimism. To me, the hardest of personalities to deal with. Some chose to call themselves realists but I find that unrealistic. When faced with a challenge or a bad situation a pessimist will almost always dwell on the negative aspects and ignore any positive that might be present. Pessimism is a dangerous realm, and when it isn't tempered by a persistent optimist can lead to a person becoming withdrawn and even depressed. The problem with the pessimistic mind is that it is trapped, constantly telling the pessimist that they cannot win, that failure is most likely, that something bad will happen. While it is always possible in any situation that something bad could happen, that is simply not a good enough reason to not try. Make a more thorough plan maybe, try a different approach, but never don't try at all because of a fear of failure.

Optimists sometimes need a dose of reality, as do pessimists. They often get that reality from each other, or someone in the middle. There are times when optimism must be tempered just as much as pessimism, as too much of anything can be a bad thing.

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Posted in Memorial Post Date 03/08/2015






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