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To think it really is better going through life as a pessimist?

(50 Posts)
GordonTheGopher Wed 17-Sep-08 19:34:23

I've been thinking about this over the last two days. I had a miscarriage yesterday. I was only 5 weeks so physically it was bearable. It's still going on today.

I had about 5 minutes of crying then I got on with my day as normal. I just knew it was going to go wrong. I had made no plans, no pointless conversations about possible names... I just thought I would assume it was going to end rather than thinking it was going to be successful, then I wouldn't be too sad about it going wrong.

I do this throughout my life, thinking the worst, then I'm never disappointed, but if something goes right I'm pleasantly surprised.

Is this a sad way to view life? I don't think so. If I'd have thought this pregnancy was going to succeed and got excited about it, I would have been completely devastated yesterday.

This isn't a 'woe is me' thread and I'm not asking for your sympathy. I thought I'd find out if you see yourselves as pessimists or optimists, and what the pros and cons are of each standpoint!

compo Wed 17-Sep-08 19:36:05

I am a pessimist and dh is an optimist
In general he is much happier than me

I really hope you are okay smile It is very early days so take care of yourself xxx

Ashantai Wed 17-Sep-08 19:38:27

First off, i'm really sorry to hear of your miscarriage. I think at any stage of a pregnancy its devastating news

I'm definately a pessimist, always thinking the worst and then i'm over the moon if something goes right for a change!

nickytwotimes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:40:24

So sorry about your miscarraige Gordon. sad
No wonder you feel pessimistic today.

My dh is a dreadful pessimist and tbh, it can be quite wearing to live with. He is fantastic in so many ways but is just so negative about things. I don't think it is particularly healthy to be very pessimistic or optomistic.
On the other hand, I am totally perfect and am never negative or unrealistic about anything. Ever.

branflake81 Wed 17-Sep-08 19:42:54

I can see your point, it is good to have a healthy dose of cynicism. However my mum always sees the negative in everything and it's really depressing.

Hope you are ok.

GordonTheGopher Wed 17-Sep-08 19:44:29

Yes I probably am difficult to live with! I am quite negative about life and I don't think any of my friends would describe me as 'happy' as in smiling all the time, always seeing the best in things etc.

But I really am completely ok about this, because I had thought it was going to happen iyswim.

Swedes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:47:53

GordontheGopher - Sorry about your news. Life is sometimes shit.

pointydog Wed 17-Sep-08 19:48:16

sorry to hear about your miscarriage, gophe.

Re your question, I think it's best to be an optimist. I used to be a pessimist but now I am a (very cynical) optimist and life is generally so much more enjoyable.

But I do like the saying 'hope for the best, expect the worst'

Acinonyx Wed 17-Sep-08 19:48:31

Oh I'm the pessimimist ant dh is the optimist. It drives him barmy.

Sorry to hear about your mc. I lost my first pg and I think there is something to be said for the tradition of non-investment before 3 mo. It's still hard though.

When I got to 3 mo with my next pg I took a different tack. I knew it would be the last pg I would ever have, so I went with it. Did the nursery, the whole 9 yards. I figured that I would enjoy it as long as I could - and if I lost it - the nursery and baby goods would be the least of my problems and being pessimistic would not actually protect me from the loss. Fortunately, dd was the result.

So sometimes, I think it's good to risk the optimism, to 'kiss the joy as it flies' even if you are going to pay for it later. It's something I'm growing into - I think I've lived too pessimistically in the past and i want to live in the moment more. Because after all, us pessimists know the future is bound to be disappointing...

zippitippitoes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:48:46

i work really hard to be optimistic and laid back and it is definitely much better to realise that dwelling on the worst case scenario just makes you deptressed

i am much happier since i decided that enjoying stuff and moving on swiftly when things go wrong is the way to go

you can teach yourself to look on the bright side

nickytwotimes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:49:46

Tbh, Gordon, that incessant squeaking would be hard to live with, lol.
Mind you, i'm not surprised with Philip Schofield's hand up your bum all day. grin

GordonTheGopher Wed 17-Sep-08 19:50:03

Hmm acinonyx there's food for thought there. Maybe I need a touch of positive thinking...

GordonTheGopher Wed 17-Sep-08 19:52:40

I can look pretty happy when I want to

Szyslak Wed 17-Sep-08 19:53:13

ISo sorry about your miscarriage Gordon,it's such a hard time.

I don't agree at all with your premise though.It's like saying 'if I'm always miserable about things then it doesn't matter so much when miserable things happen.'

I think being an optimist is a much happier and healthier way to lead your life.

Yes it won't protect you from the bad stuff, but actually positive thinking will help you deal with bad things.

Optimists have positive thinking patterns that make them feel good, make others around them feel good and give them an ability to deal positively with difficulties.

Obviously being so optimistic you are deluded is a different matter.

There is lots of reasearch and evidence that pessimism and negative thought patterns make you much more susceptible to depression and anxiety.

webchick Wed 17-Sep-08 19:54:30

Sorry about your news gtg.

I read in the Metro this week that Danish research shows that people who are realistic about their life and what they are capable of achieving tend to have happy lives - this way they aren't disappointed when things sometimes don't happen/they are let down/disappointed.

I tried to google the research but couldnt find anything. sorry but hope this helps your point of view.

FWIW when people talk about winning the lottery and what they would do with the money I switch off as its such a pointless conversation.

ps I'm a pessimist!

Swedes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:55:10

Oh and I'm a hopeless optimist. DP too. I find realists bearable (just!) and pessimists terribly draining.

My exH was a pessimist it wasn't until we went our separate ways that I understood what a terrible strain all that propping-up was placing on me. I think he felt equally relieved to be free of my chirpy optimism. smile

If you've had a miscarriage you have a right to be on a huge downer, pessimist or optimist.

zippitippitoes Wed 17-Sep-08 19:57:36

but i think if you are confident in the likelihood of success you are much more likely to achieve success

and if you are good company then you get positive feedback from people and enter a virtuous circle

as i say i do go down the woe is me route and i have to kick myself up the backside to stop it by the next day

surrounding yourself with cheery optimists is also good they tend toi be entusiastic and have ideas and smile which rubs off too

GordonTheGopher Wed 17-Sep-08 20:02:02

Oh no cheery optimists do my head in. Much prefer moaning along with other moaners!

eekamoose Wed 17-Sep-08 20:02:10

I'm very sorry about your miscarriage. It is terribly sad, however early.

But I'm afraid I think YABU to think its better going through life a pessimist.

DH (pessimist) and I are polar opposites in this respect. I've been married to him for 14 years and as I get to know him and his parents better, I understand why he is like this. But it is hard to live with.

I believe broadly speaking that what you expect from life is what you get from life. Obviously not random sad events (like miscarriage or illness) but, overall, I think pessimism is self-fulfilling.

People who believe themselves to be lucky, are the ones who seem to be lucky. Its a bit chicken and egg but I really believe this.

GordonTheGopher Wed 17-Sep-08 20:03:36

Well I've never won anything so that theory works!

nowwearefour Wed 17-Sep-08 20:04:51

Very sorry for your loss. Be gentle with yourself. I tend to think of myself as a realist. This helps me try to be positive where I can (ie silver linings in situations) but not get my hopes up unrealistically. Works for me. DH more negative which i do find a bit sapping sometimes.

francagoestohollywood Wed 17-Sep-08 20:08:54

I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage gordon.

I'm a pessimist. Dh is an optimist or at least he tries very hard to be one.
I am aware that my pessimistic attitude does wear him out. I do think the quality of my life would be better if I had a different personality. But it is hard, and I feel sometimes he doesn't understand where I come from.

zippitippitoes Wed 17-Sep-08 20:10:35

ive been applying for jobs and recently i have found myself writing in personal statements things like

i approach projects with confidence that they will be successful and i believe this carries the team through when difficult problems arise

or similar stuff

i think talking about yourself as someone who believes things will go well gives other people confidence in you and gives you confidence in yourself

saying it brings you much closer to believing it and that in turn brings you closer to achieving it

francagoestohollywood Wed 17-Sep-08 20:13:51

Oh zippi, I envy people's ability of being self confident. I'm crap at that, no matter of how much aware I am of my strengths, iyswim....

littlelapin Wed 17-Sep-08 20:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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