A heads up: this is going to be a bad read. It will teach you nothing. You might even wonder, in the end, where the few minutes of your life went. You might also feel bitter, resentful, and even resentful. But hey, no promises!

Now that I’ve prepared you for the worst, let’s begin.

First, answer me this. Do you see the glass half empty, or do you see it half full? Think about it, seriously. Apparently, that determines the kind of person you are.

A few years back, when I was on a date with a girl (obviously o.O), I was asked this very question. Being the person that I am, I answered it was half-empty but she wouldn’t have it. She went on to explain how glasses were never really empty because even though there is no water, it is always full of atoms that make the water…

Kind of sensible, yes, but then, it’s hard to counter scientific logic. You see, I simply explained to her that if everything is made of atoms, and atoms are 99.9999% empty space – is there even a glass? Needless to say, she never spoke to me again…and so, I’ve been single ever since. You see, being a pessimist is a tough job.

What is Pessimism?

In a sense, it is the tendency to think of the worst possible outcome – seeing the worst side of things, believing things will go wrong. And that will, of course, make things not so easy. You think a lot before doing most of the things. “Will it be even worth it?” you’ll ask yourself. And even when you find it in you to do it, you’ll begin thinking of the things that’ll go wrong first – the negative outcomes.

If someone gives me a task, I’ll check it and recheck it again and again, even though I know I’m on the right track. And even after I’m done, I’ll be waiting for the negative feedback to come first, or something I missed that went wrong. I expect the bad news first. And if it does, in the tiniest sense, I can go on to make a whole screenplay out of just a prompt.

For instance, if I get scolded or told off at work for a tiny mistake, I’ll flip. I’ll start looking for other jobs, right away. Not even kidding. Picture the worst…be prepared, that’s what it’s about.

Also read: Hello World!

But pessimism is also a way of the world. The world runs on it, it’s good for business. See – if everyone was optimistic and believed in themselves, thought that they were enough; why go out of our ways to be better, in a sense? Why put on the best outfits? Why buy beauty products? Why take self-help classes? Why go to the gym?

Now, that is stretching it a bit too far, yes. But the point is, pessimism is much more than just expecting the worst outcomes. It’s also realizing your shortcomings by being critical of yourself. Your worst expectations, can actually, be harnessed as a means to reach your goals!
That is called Defensive Pessimism, and it’s an actual thing.

How is it good?

Those who expect the worst can do better. Doing something over and over to see if you’re right is a good practice. That’s how most scientific experiments work! Pessimism helps!
A perfect example is Taiwan’s handling of the Corona Virus pandemic. When Covid-19 first hit, they expected the worst outcome and made full preparations. So, they beat it easier than all the others. Other countries, such as ours, did not share the same fate, or the wisdom.

Pessimism = Happiness?

My point, of it all, is being a pessimist is not only having negative thoughts or demotivating people. It’s not just expecting the worst outcomes and worrying yourself to death. It is mostly about keeping your expectations in check.

The psychologist, James William, devised an equation.

Happiness = Expectations / Reality

So, in essence, there are two ways to ensure contentment – either change your expectations or change reality. And we all know which one’s easier.

Hence, we pessimists endorse some things others don’t want to acknowledge.

For example,

Life is not just unicorns farting rainbows. It generally goes wrong at some point in time. 

It’s normal to have big regrets around things – everyone is worried most of the time.

Almost all your hopes are going to be dashed. 

It’s hard to be happy for more than 15 minutes. 

Life, as you grow older, generally, tends to get worse. 

And is there anything wrong to be expecting all this?
So, don’t always think of us pessimists as grim. We know there is a gap between what is and what should be, and we can fill that with laughter. We can laugh at stuff, too.

I laugh with certainty that today will go wrong, tomorrow will probably be even worse…and it will go on…until the worst happens. And we realize that’s okay.

 

 

That’s all folks – I can understand if you’re mad.