When comparing defensive pessimists to anxious people who do not practice defensive pessimism, the defensive pessimists show these benefits:
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Defensive pessimism is a strategy used by people who are anxious about an upcoming event. They set unrealistically low expectations before going into a situation and take steps to avoid poor performance. Defensive pessimism involves over-preparation.
For example, someone preparing for a job interview might convince themselves that the interview is going to be a disaster. The anxiety of this likelihood helps to prepare them for the job interview. The result is that they do exceptionally well.
Self-handicapping is where an individual will create obstacles for themselves before an ability-evaluating event. If it turned out poorly, the obstacles became an excuse or explanation for the failure. If it turned out positive, the obstacles became conquered hurdles.
Self-handicapping involves expecting the worst and self-sabotage.
Pessimism can have positive effects. If you are an anxious person, try both strategies and see what works best for you.
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.
We all have either an internal or an external locus of control. This cognitive mechanism provides us with confidence that we can change the elements of our lives.
Having the locus of control on the outside makes it subject to every twist and turn of our lives, making us feel helpless.