Are There Any Benefits of Pessimism?

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Are There Any Benefits of Pessimism?

It’s true that optimists are happier, healthier and often far more determined than pessimists are. Optimists don’t quit at the first sign of trouble, but keep on pushing against a problem until they make their dreams come true.

The flip side of optimism can be that they tend to be cloud thinkers rather than ground dwellers. In other words, they dream of the extraordinary without always taking the time to plan all of the ins and outs of achieving their goals.

There’s no ‘can’t’ with them, so optimistic people sometimes charge ahead like a bull in a china shop – enthusiastic, no doubt, but there’s a better way to accomplish goals. This is where the benefits of pessimism can come in handy.

Pessimistic people are often highly critical. That’s bad when it comes to judging others, but extremely valuable when it come to researching a problem or a task. A pessimistic person is going to look at all of the angles and dismiss what can’t be done without wasting time, money or effort on it.

These types of people can save corporations a lot of money because they base their outlook in worst case scenario thinking. They have a plan B – and a C! One of the benefits of pessimism is found in being what’s called a ‘defensive pessimistic.’

Being a defensive pessimistic can help that person do his or her job better. They know that something bad could, happen so they will often over-prepare. They’re going to be half an hour early to the meeting ‘just in case’ and the boss sees a hard worker – someone dedicated to their job.

Another surprising benefit of having a pessimistic outlook is that pessimistic people fare better in romantic relationships. They don’t expect too much, so when it doesn’t happen, they’re not disappointed. They’re less likely to get their hearts broken as quickly or to be as easily duped by a romantic partner.

Being pessimistic means a person has already prepared for the worst and gone to work on the solution ‘in case’ the worst does actually happen. They’ve listed the worst case scenarios that might occur so they’ve thought through and come up with alternative options. They’re viewed as prepared and bosses love that.

Just as there’s a flip side to being an optimistic person (happier equals healthier), there are health benefits of pessimism. Since a pessimistic person expects the worst to happen, they usually see their doctor more often. They prepare in case they get sick and they get checked for catastrophic conditions such as cancer more often than their optimistic peers.

They know something bad ‘could’ happen, they avoid taking chances that optimistic people take and avoid getting hurt in adventures like sky diving or bungee jumping. They live longer – not by being happier, but by being more careful.

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