The realm of extreme pessimists

  • The real gloomy pessimists think evidence of past progress is misleading, incomplete or manipulated. Life is as hard as it has been in the past and will stay that way.
  • The cynics view anyone promoting progress as being secretly motivated by power and greed.
  • The pure pessimist is the extreme. He thinks everything is bad and will always be bad. He views positivity as a character flaw.

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The Spectrum of Optimism and Pessimism

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The range of optimists
  • On the one end of the spectrum, you find the pure optimist. He is confident everything is great, and all negativity is a character flaw.
  • Next to him, the extreme optimist accepts that bad things sometimes happen to other people.
  • Then comes the optimist who can be sceptical of other people's optimism.
  • After him, you find the optimist who is confident in himself and equally pessimistic about others.

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  • The closet pessimists view historical progress as coincidence but think low growth or stagnation is more likely.
  • Next are the sceptics. They agree that progress is likely, but question the validity of the data or if something is missing.
  • Then we get to the first tier of true pessimists. They know things will improve, but they doubt they'll be part of it.
  • Next comes the pessimist who sees progress as only benefiting small groups of people.
  • A level down is those who quietly hope for decline (to benefit their investments.)

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  • The single-issue optimist/pessimist views everyone's future as being hopeless because of a handful of things that stand in the way.
  • Next to the half-optimist are people who are pessimistic with their words but optimistic with their actions.
  • In the middle, we have the reasonable optimist who acknowledges that life is full of setbacks but who remain confident because they know setbacks are a small part of the bigger picture.
  • The possibilist knows progress is likely but sees it as playing the odds.

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A sense of optimism

What you need to maneuver through a world of uncertainty is a sense of optimism—an attitude characterized by hope and confidence in a positive future.

Optimistic attitudes are linked to a number of benefits, including better coping skills, lower stress and anxiety levels, better physical health, healthier relationships, and higher motivation and resilience when pursuing your goals.

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What is Optimism, and Why You're a Born Optimist

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Control your Reaction and Responses

Optimist sees an unfortunate event, something that is limited in time.

pessimist, on the other hand, sees negative events as permanent, as part of life and destiny.

( So, when you find yourself in this situation, take a moment to really reflect on the challenge before you react.)

Try to visualize the next step towards improvement rather than responding to the setbacks that you have no control over.

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How to Be Optimistic During Challenges | Brian Tracy

briantracy.com

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.

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The Upside of Defensive Pessimism: The Potential Benefit Anxiety

positivepsychology.com