Generally speaking, into which category do YOU fall: optimist or pessimist? Maybe, the best answer should be both — depending on the situation.
“It remains an optimist’s world. The prevailing view in positive psychology — the scientific study of how to make people happier — is that optimism results in better health outcomes, physical and mental. This association has helped spawn a cottage industry in optimism books, seminars, and conferences. [Yet, many] experts say pessimism can at times be beneficial to a person’s physical and mental well-being. Some studies have found that having a more negative outlook of the future may result in a longer and healthier life. Pessimism and optimism are opposite ends of a spectrum of personality traits, and people generally fall somewhere in between.
“‘All too often in the literature and in the public conversation, we want people to be more than 90% optimistic,’ said Dilip Jeste, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of California San Diego. ‘That’s not good. It is much better to have a balanced perspective and have some pessimistic streak in your personality in order to succeed.'”
Click the image for an interesting Wall Street Journal look at optimists versus pessimists across several factors. Where do YOU fit in this graphic?