Pessimism Articles

Pessimism is a tendency to see the negative in matters. Pessimistic people believe that bad things are inevitable. They do not have hope for what the future holds. They are naturally skeptical of others and can be distrusting, thinking that people have malicious intentions. A pessimist thinks that events will turn out badly no matter what the starting circumstances are.

Here you will find articles about what causes pessimism and how it develops within a person. You’ll learn common negative thinking patterns, why they occur, and how to prevent them from using positive coping techniques. Pessimism isn’t a permanent mindset, and it can change with the right therapeutic methods.

What Is Afro-Pessimism?

One type of pessimism that is rampant in some cases is Afro Pessimism. Some have seen this as a form of black optimism, but it’s an interesting take on the way many might look...

7 Ways To Stop Feeling Hopeless

Feeling hopeless immobilizes you. A simple task like driving to the store to get milk is so overwhelming when you feel hopeless. If you say things like “why bother?”, “nothing...

What Is Defensive Pessimism, And Is It Healthy?

Who knew pessimism could serve a purpose? For many people, it’s a powerful tool in their fight against anxiety and disappointment. What is defensive pessimism, though? And,...

Pessimism Definition - 4 Ways A Bad Attitude Can Hurt You

If you knew that there was something that would cause you to have bad relationships, poor health, low self-esteem, and a job that you hate, would you do it? It seems like...

Feeling Worthless And What To Do About It

Positive self-worth is necessary for overall happiness in life. While people with high self-esteem feel good about themselves, those with low self-esteem often struggle with...

Pessimism Pessimism is an outlook where an individual anticipates the worst out of a situation. A pessimist is someone who focuses on an undesirable outcome and often catastrophizes. They’re convinced that something terrible is going to happen, and they must prepare for the worst case scenario. It’s not that they're intentionally negative, but they inherently believe that the worst will happen. Sometimes pessimism comes out of a place of fear. The person doesn’t want to be disappointed, so they’d instead think the worst rather than assume the best and get let down. They view the glass as half empty rather than half full. A pessimist is the opposite of an optimist, who tends to seek out the positive in things. Skeptics may be somewhat pessimistic, and that’s one thing. Being excessively pessimistic, however, can take a real toll on your mental health. A pessimist's defeatist way of thinking perpetuates a cycle of negative thought patterns, which is not good for a person’s overall psychological or physical wellbeing. The term pessimism is derived from the Latin word “pessimus” that means “the worst.” This word was first used in a novel by Voltaire and “Candide, ou optimisme.” Voltaire was a philosopher who talked about the issue of pessimism. Philosophical pessimism is not a mental outlook, but rather, a world view where you’re inherently skeptical of things, whereas pessimism regarding mental health is about negative thinking. Pessimism and negative thinking When you’re a pessimist, you’re stuck in a feedback loop where you continuously believe in the worst case scenario. It’s difficult to break out of a pattern of perpetual negative thinking because you’re accustomed to this way of viewing the world. If you’re thinking about this from a cognitive behavioral point of view, someone who’s pessimistic would often engage in distorted thinking. For example, if they take a chance by putting themselves out in the dating world and ask someone out that they have a crush on, they anticipate that they’ll get rejected. That is a pessimistic viewpoint. If somebody is pessimistic, they're less likely to take risks or aim for goals that they want to achieve because they’re always anticipating the worst case scenario. So, maybe they won’t shoot for that senior management position because they assume rejection if they applied. It's unfortunate because they may very well have gotten the job if they did ask for it. Is it a good thing to be a pessimist? It depends on what kind of pessimism we’re talking about and how it's used. Philosophical pessimism isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing, but if you’re talking about pessimism concerning mental health, it could affect you negatively, and it’s important to keep on eye on your tendency to assume the worst out of situations. There’s something to be said for preparing for a variety of outcomes. You don’t want to be oblivious to what’s going on around you. But, assuming that everything is going to be awful isn’t healthy or correct. It’s best to assess the situation from a realistic standpoint. Try to be as objective as you can, and take emotions out of your perspective. If you can do that, you’re going to operate from a logical standpoint rather than an emotional one. That being said, the healthiest thing to be is a realist, which is someone who looks at things in a realistic way rather than an optimistic or pessimistic way, but there are ways to gain a balanced perspective even if you are a pessimist or an optimist. Are you curious about which one of these things you are? Are you a skeptic, a pessimist, an optimist, or a realist? How do you find out? Online therapy Learn about how you view the world by talking to an online therapist. Maybe you need to think about these things because you’re stuck in life and trying to figure out which direction to go in to get out of that rut. It could be that pessimism is what’s holding you back. If that sounds like you, you can work through negative thinking by bringing it up with an online therapist who can support you. Search the network of experienced mental health professionals at BetterHelp and find someone that can help you combat pessimistic thinking.
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