The surprising benefits of being a pessimist - Deepstash
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Defensive Pessimism

Defensive Pessimism

  • While normally pessimism means blaming yourself for the negative outcomes, defensive pessimism takes this at a whole new level, harnessing the negative feeling and using it as a stepping stone towards eventual success. It makes use of the negative inclination and brings unexpected rewards.
  • It is also used as a strategy by people who want to manage their anxiety and steer away from the imagined negative outcomes.
  • Defensive pessimism lends people a strangely high level of confidence and self-esteem. Their success in the anticipation and avoidance of the negative outcomes make them steer through life in a better way, especially in the formative school and college years.

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Setting Low Expectations

Having a defensively pessimistic strategy can help one chart out a course of action to ensure that the mishaps that are envisioned do not turn into reality.

Example: Having a low expectation of an interview, along with brooding about what all could go wrong can help one practice harder and plan to avoid those outcomes.

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Pessimism As Insurance

While waiting for a piece of important news, being pessimistic has better health benefits than being overly optimistic.

If the news is not in one’s favour, the optimists take a bigger hit on their wellbeing, experiencing great disappointment, while the pessimists do not suffer as much, as they were already ready to take the hit.

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Pessimism Regarding Health Issues

While anticipating and taking preventive action towards an infectious disease, or taking the necessary steps to get better, the coping strategy of a defensive pessimist far surpasses an optimist.

The pessimist is able to steer through the problem by anticipating future pitfalls and taking the required action, while an optimist might ignore or overlook the same.

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