I’m a pessimist and it’s no secret. I always see the negative in life. The glass is always half empty and the worst is always going to happen. It’s portrayed as a bad thing. I’m always told to lighten up and look on the bright side. And I’m not disputing that there are a number of benefits to positive thinking. And there are downsides to thinking pessimistically. But did you know about the pros of being a pessimist?
You rarely get disappointed
As Eeyore once said: “I never get my hopes up, so I never get let down.” And it’s true. If your expectations live at rock bottom, then you can only go up from there. Even if the outcome isn’t great, anything above the worst is better.
You get pleasantly surprised often
If you think only bad things are going to happen to you, then you expect very little in life. Following on from the point above, when your expectations live 10 feet below the ground, they tend to soar when something good inevitably happens.
You appreciate your trip to cloud nine; it serves as a nice break from the doom and gloom you’re used to.
You can plan for the worst
Statistically, the worse things are the more anxious you become. If you think over all the negative outcomes, you can put an action plan in place for each of them, lowering how anxious you feel when these things roll around.
If it turns out the worst comes to fruition, pessimists tend to take less go a hit to their well-being than their optimistic counter-parts. Why? Because they’ve already put an action plan into place and decided where they want to go next.
Pessimists live longer
Low expectations for a happy future might actually propel you into old age. A study done by researcher Frieder R. Lang suggested that: “being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade.”
Those who overestimated what their future would look like saw a 9.5% increase in the chance they would report a disability and a 10% increase in the chance of death (such sunny content, I know!).
It appears that a darker outlook on what the future holds encourages people to live more carefully, taking health and safety precautions. Ergo, pessimists live longer.
Pessimist generally have better relationships
One of the pros of being a pessimist is that you avoid being too hopeful and expecting too much. Without those massive expectations, you don’t get disappointed, like I mentioned before. Being more guarded, it’s harder to win over a pessimists trust but with perseverance, the walls start to come down. So it may not seem like a good thing at the start of the relationship but it’s worth it in the end.
Of course, for as many of the pros of being a pessimist, there are an equal number of pros to being anything else. I’m not claiming it’s better to be a pessimist, just shining an optimistic light on life as a pessimist.