Pessimist to be optimist

I, without a doubt, am an extremely negative person. I am a pure pessimist but only by choice. In order to change the bad things in life, one must be aware of what the bad things are. Optimists overlook these bad things in order to maintain optimism. On the other hand, pessimistic people see only bad things and seem to be gloomy and sadden over those bad things. What if you are a pessimist, seeing only evil in the world, but instead of being sad for those evils, change them in order to have a better environment. Look at only negative things so they can be changed so one may have a more positive environment. This is basically the way I view things. It seems to work good for me. What do you think?

Where did you get this idea? When i was young and reading about Banjamin Franklin, i got a quote from him that one should choose to be pessimistic, so if bad happens you won’t be disappointed, and if good happens you will be pleasantly surprised. I think I found it a workable theory of behavior – as long as you’re not too pessimistic to work for “the good”.

I endorsed this view for a long time, but recently i seem only have hopes for the good. Very disappointing.

Regards,
my real name

It bothers me when realism gets confused with pessimism. and it bothers me when pessimists become cynics.

To me pessimism includes more than just seeing what’s wrong with things, it means thinking they can’t be changed.

And I’ve heard pop-psychologists (not necessarily real psychologists, but not to exclude real psychologists from possibly holding this opinion) that pessimism is blaming things outside of your control on yourself. As an example someone e-mailed me a quiz that asks, “A friend has giving you directions to a cafe you’ve never been to and after following the directions for quite awhile it becomes apparent that you are lost, why did you get lost?”

The “pessimist” says, “I probably didn’t follow the directions right” the “optimist” says, “SHe probably gave me bad directions” looking back on it this looks more like a test of self-esteem… But whatever.

I came up with this idea on my own. I am sure that someone else has already thought of it though. That always seems to happen to me. I come up with this great idea, and I find out sometime down the road someone else already had that idea. I do take an optimistic view here, and hope that one day I will come up with an idea that has not been thought of yet…If such a thing could happen.

I agree with you in thinking that pessimist believe that he can not change the bad things. That is why I used the words gloomy or sadden, but the way you said it was much better. I will adding what you said, if you don’t mind, so when I tell others about my glorious theory, they will have a better understanding.

As my own personal mantra goes:

“I am not a pessimist, I am an optimist with experience”

One of the issues nowadays is the diffuse definition line that seperates ‘cynicism’, ‘pessimism’, and ‘realism’.

And, as a person mentioned before, I prefer the pessimistic/realistic expectations, doing this I am most likely to get happily surprised if it works out well (unexpected) and not likely to get - especially - disappointed in case it doesn’t work out.

However, an optimist doesn’t have to be punished for being wrong with the so oftenly used phrase: “I told you so”, people who say this aren’t usually as smart as they prefer to think… :slight_smile:

I like the “pleasantly surprised” theory, I think it can be more pleasing at times. But the problem with that theory is that the so-called pessimist who doesn’t expect much, won’t work for much. By saying/thinking that it can’t be changed, it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy. The optimist who has high standards will work harder to achieve those standards and as a result be happier.

My Real Name, Benjamine Franklin believed very much in constant self-improvement, he must have been an optimist because a pessimist would not be able to stick to his regimented life style if they felt it would not make a difference.

This seems very true to me. It is important to remember that the future is open. Even in the worst cases there is a chance of things getting better. Of course the opposite is true; but since i further believe that we have free will then we are in a position to do something about things to try to stop them getting worse.

I think we are all pessimists in some things and optimists in others, it depends upon the act, situation or scenario. Personally I feel that no one is a complete pessimist or an optimist at heart, if one was so, then there would never be any fear in the optimist’s heart ever as he would always see the good in things and so never experience sorrow, whereas the pessimist would always be depressed and never see joy. But we all know that we all see joy and sorrow so no one can be truly pessimistic or optimistic, we are all a mixture, some are more some are less and perhaps it’s for the best.

And optimists do not “overlook” bad things, it’s the people in denial who do that, you’re confusing the two, people who go into denial and the optimists.