Characteristics Of An Optimist vs. A Pessimist

Characteristics Of An Optimist vs. A Pessimist

Characteristics Of An Optimist vs. A Pessimist

The past few days, we’ve been talking about optimism vs. pessimism.  Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

The pessimist might say, “How dreary, it’s raining,” while the optimist might say, “Thank goodness for this rain; the plants and flowers need it.”

The differences between an optimist and a pessimist:

Optimist Traits

  • Sees a problem as a challenge
  • Has a “can-do” attitude
  • Laughs and smiles frequently
  • Has a positive upbeat disposition
  • Expects all to work out for the best
  • Is determined to succeed

Pessimist Traits

  • Sees a problem as a catastrophe
  • Questions their own abilities
  • Does not laugh and smile much
  • Has a negative, bitter disposition
  • Expects things to go wrong
  • Gives up easily

When I talk about these traits, I’m talking in generalities.

And even though we are typically one or the other – an optimist or a pessimist.

We are human, and so I’m sure we all kind of go back and forth depending on the situation or how we are doing that day.

But that being said, we do typically lean towards one or the other most of the time.

How to Spot A Pessimist

You will typically know a pessimist right from the start; whereas, in some cases, the pessimist’s negativity might be a bit more subtle.

Sometimes it may take time to wonder exactly what it is about a person that makes you uneasy.

Sometimes a pessimist will come out blatantly and drop their negativity like a bomb.

Other times, you walk away feeling worse than when you first encountered the pessimist, but not quite sure why.

A pessimist sometimes also uses sarcasm and wit to disguise their cynicism.

It may be a need for bolstering their own self-esteem to make sarcastic comments under the guise of wit.

It is also possible they are pessimistic about everything in life – theirs, yours, and everyone else’s.

How to Spot an Optimist

When I talk about an optimist, I’m not talking about a Pollyanna type personality.

A Pollyanna type personality sees everything with rose-colored glasses; …everything is wonderful – even the not-so-wonderful aspects of life.

An optimist tends to have a more positive energy and aura.

Whenever you are around an optimist, you walk away feeling better than when you first encountered them.

They are always finding the lighter side of things, are more jovial, laugh and smile more.

Even in the face of adversity, an optimist can say, “Look at this challenge in front of me; I can’t wait to find a creative solution.

A pessimist will waste time and energy complaining, whining, and feeling sorry for themselves rather than look for that creative solution.

Optimism as A Way of Being

An optimist by nature is born with a positive, upbeat temperament.

It could stem from a lovely upbringing, a genetic predisposition, great childhood, or all the above.

Optimism as A Strategy

An optimist may also be an ordinary individual who chooses to be optimistic.

It is a conscious effort moment by moment in their everyday lives.

They may be in tune with spirituality, consciousness, or is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom.

Being optimistic is a possibility he/she has created for themselves by making a conscious choice to do and be so.

A pessimist might be aware of the power of choice to change their attitude to a more positive demeanor.

But they choose to remain the same.

The sound of their own voice complaining, feeling sorry for themselves, or getting attention for their woeful tales is enough to keep them satisfied.

Optimism is a Choice

Thankfully, optimism is a habit we can learn.

A pessimistic type personality can learn how to be optimistic and put the practices of positive thinking to work in their lives.

With a bit of effort and consciously choosing the lighter side of situations and circumstances a pessimist can learn the skills, habits, and traits of being more optimistic.

They just have to decide to be more optimistic, and then get to work to create that new habit.

Find someone who is a happy, always upbeat, positive person

Pay attention to these types of people.

They are amazing teachers!

While we may not always control our circumstances, we can control our mindset with the possibilities inside of the power of hope, optimism, and positive thinking.

We are always in control of our own mindset.

That is one choice which is always ours.

Is it going to be easy? Nope, probably not!

It’s a process. The key is to work on getting better every day.

As long as you’re working on it and growing, you’re moving in the right direction.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Are you naturally a pessimist or an optimist?

Have you ever even thought about it?

What kinds of things help you to be more positive and more of an optimist?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

I would love to hear your stories.

Did you find this post useful, inspiring?
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