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Don't Drink the Optimism Kool-Aid


Registered Member
Optimism | Psychology Today

Society as a whole, but America in particular, has had this optimism fetish for the last several years - and there's even been plenty of research behind it. But new research indicates that both optimism and pessimism have advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. The research also indicates that people tend not to always be optimistic or always pessimistic.

This more nuanced view makes more sense to me. What do you think?


Where is my Queen?
I think that looking at things from a negative perspective and a optimistic perspective can setup you up for success. There are so many people that look at things optimistically that if they don't succeed their world is over and they get lost in life. I look at things from both perspectives. For example, I worked a ton of hours at work, I fell behind in school. I will be getting some good checks soon, and if I will try my best to pass my classes. But I also look at it like this, what if I don't pass, do I have a back up, can I afford to re take the same class. So I am taking the negative approach seriously, putting money aside just in case I don't pass, so I can take it again next semester. Versus, oh yeah, I am gonna pass no worries don't even come up with a back up plan. So yeah, I think you should look at things both postively and negatively. Hope for the best, and plan for the worst.


Registered Member
I hate the "silver-lining" approach to life. It's pathetic and drives certain statements like "well you have your other kids to be thankful for" following the death of a child. Or a more global piece of crap statement is "at least I have a job" in this climate of unemployment. In both cases these cliches basically shuts down emotional processing and the pursuit of growth. On the other hand, it is very necessary to have an attitude of gratitude. Not everything is always going to be perfect, and living within the confines of "a pretty good life" can be very peaceful.


Registered Member
No way people can be optimistic about everything. I'm optimistic about a ton of things but there's a lot of things I'm not optimistic about. If I'm not optimistic about something then maybe I can think of a way to make it better. But there's some things I can't get optimistic about.

We had tomatoes and peppers in a garden last summer. We also had a record heat wave and drought. I wasn't optimistic about eating tomatoes or peppers. I helped water them every day but the tomatoes died. But we did have tons of peppers!

And no way I can get optimistic about pollution or whaling. They're happening and nothing stops it. So yeah, nobody can really be optimistic about everything cause some things can't be fixed.