Optimist vs. Pessimist

If you ever go to a sales meeting, you will hear a lot of witticisms about optimist vs. pessimist. “An optimist see opportunities in every difficulty; a pessimist see difficulties in every opportunity.” “A pessimist see a dark tunnel and an optimist see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Or something similar.

However in real life, there’s no absolute optimist or pessimist. Just think about your friends. Often you can’t decide whether he or she is a pessimist or an optimist. If you have a friend like this, what do you think?

Me: I can’t eat this.
My Friend: Don’t you think you are eating too healthily?
Me: There’s no such thing that’s called “too healthy”.
My Friend: When we are all dead, you will be the only one alive, eating your ultra healthy rabbit food. What’s the point of living a long life when all your friends are in the cemetery.

I can’t decide whether my friend is an optimist or a pessimist. He is eating too much sweets, chips, meat for his own good, but he really enjoys food and enjoys friends’ company. He is right that without high cholesterol high fat food, or without his friends, life will be without pleasure, which is not worth living. On the other hand, he is not honoring the long held tradition of respecting longevity. A good long life should be cherished, shouldn’t it?

Me: The lockdown is coming. (This happened before last year's lock down.) We'd better prepare ourselves. Keep things in stock at home and be careful with...
My Friend: Let's eat more good food, travel more, and party more.
Me: What are you talking about?
My Friend: What if the world is coming to an end? I don't want to have regrets.

I don’t know who’s the optimist and who’s the pessimist here. I’m always anxious and over prepared. If the end of the world is coming, I want to try my best to make preparations and find ways to get out. Is this being pessimistic or being optimistic? My friend, on the other hand, wants to spend all the time eating and drinking and enjoying himself to the last possible minute. Is he being a pessimist or an optimist? It is hard to say.

Many are optimistic who don’t want to be too optimistic–this mean they are cautious optimists. An optimist without caution is too reckless for human existence. A cautious optimist believes the world is going to be better in general, but he also gives allowance for the possibility that the world can go bad and crazy.

A pessimist, on the other hand, believes that the world is going to be worse. And being a happy pessimist, she is doing everything she can to prevent it from being worse or at least to delay it. If by any chance, the world becomes worse, she is prepared for it; if not, she will be happy and relieved to know that things are better than expected.

Actually I don’t think I can distinguish between a cautious optimist and a happy pessimist. The line is either blurred or nonexistent.

22 thoughts on “Optimist vs. Pessimist

    1. Yes, being optimistic can easily cross over to being too optimistic. I know that through going to casinos with friends. Whenever we win, we would become so optimistic that we bet recklessly until we lose all the winnings and more. Fortunately we set a limit beforehand so that we don’t go crazy later on. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. As actively like you are. LOL. Love your optimism and energy and your posts. Let me think what’s the secret. I think I am reserved and even repressed in my daily life. This is why WP is a good place for me to vent. Sometimes we don’t listen to our old friends or relatives so attentively since they are “same ‘ld, same ‘ld”? However we care about the comments on WP a great deal. So people pay attention to what I have to comment and it makes me smile.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. My brain hurts trying to classify your friend too but I agree with the description “happy pessimist”. I think i’m a lot like that too, in the sense that i always expect the worst but i make sure i still enjoy the little things that I can. I think i’d rather have “responsible” pessimism than toxic positivity for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 🤗Enjoyed the funny exchanges with The Friend especially about that healthy rabbit food! Haha. Eating junk food may give some temporary satisfaction but never feels good after the event! So for me that’s mucking up both the present and the future..😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s so true. I can’t remember how many times I felt regretful after dining at a buffet restaurant. I finally put a stop on that. Also I feel that eating is a group activity. And friends do influence each other on the eating pattern. It must be subconscious, but it is there. This is why as a healthy eater, we want to spread our good words …

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are right. A cautious optimist is much better than a reckless one. The reckless ones won’t see what’s coming their way because they’re too busy living the moment. While that’s good, not thinking about the near future is not a wise thing. Look at the world currently. No one thought of the repercussions.

    Liked by 4 people

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