The eternal pessimist. Vol1 The joys of misery.

It is not easy to maintain a state of joy whilst being surrounded by people who enjoy revelling in misery. Have you noticed the ones that no matter where you take the conversation they want to bring it back on a subject that revolves around some miserable perspective. It is as if that is all they live for. But then that is what life is for them; misery = life.

The eternal pessimist has an agenda that requires them to experience life as a problem to foresee and overcome. We can choose which side of the fence to habitat. For some it is about getting the best of whats good about life and the rest of the time they sit on the fence and rest.

Others live the other side of the fence where it is dark and frightening and experience life as a sequence of fearful events that they need to overcome. Where no problem exists, they need to find someone who has one to share in their misery. Where no problem exists, they need to create one either in their own life or someone else’s. The rest of the time they sit on the fence.

Its like 2 birds waiting on the fence. One a seagull the other a vulture. One waits for the breeze and sunny weather to take off and glide with the wind, dives and feeds. The vulture waits on the fence until something dies. Then feed from its demise.

Neither is right or wrong, it is just what they do to feed. Without feeding they would both perish. The talent is the choice. We can choose how to view life and therefore our experience.

Keep in mind that

“experience is food for the psyche/soul; without which we would and could not exist”

The challenge is two fold. How to deal with the eternal pessimist. On one hand we need to develop a positive mental attitude. For those that have this already it is easy; just continue to enjoy your good fortune. For those with a propensity for the dark side it is going to be challenging. The rewards are great though. Step one is to understand the cause. Where did you learn to see the dark side of life? Who was the major influence? How did you master it? What is the payback?

Additionally, the other challenge is dealing with the seasoned pessimist. The people that you love or care for, those who are in your life and who cannot help but show worry and concern at everything that could possibly go wrong. They revel in misery.

The solution for those people is to immediately, without excuses and without exception give a positive outcome to the situation. For example, you might be talking about work being a bit slow and perhaps the possibility of redundancy. The probability is the pessimist will launch into the “OMG what are you going to do” speech.   It may even be accompanied by ‘that look’ that says pretty much the same if not worst. (read the image on the right) thats right, answer promptly with a smile. For example “things have a funny way of working themselves out for me” or “if it happens, I will deal with it. Now, how about a cup of tea”.

Remind yourself that, it is not often that the pessimist sets out to ‘rain on your parade’, it is that they fear things going wrong and imagine themselves in your shoes. Once there they imagine the worst because that is what they expect could happen and need to prepare themselves for such events. They will persist and insist and you need to do the same. Once you have responded, move on and keep moving.

There are many approaches to dealing with pessimism, and I am sure that I will be posting more in the fulness of time. Until then, remember that the pessimist can not, not see the dangers. The dangers for them are insurmountable (otherwise they would not worry) and they can not help being pessimistic. Being kind whilst affirming your positive attitude is one way of helping them.

Pessimism is like a bad smell. If you are around it for too long you start to smell bad.

Until the next blog, stay safe and remember to smell the coffee.