Note to future self…

Today I met a pessimist and this person reminded me why I don’t like pessimists. Pessimists tend to be skeptical about things and in many (even most) cases they’re right. The problem is that they default to being skeptical so they don’t allow themselves the possibility of considering that maybe this time things might be different.

Why are pessimists the way they’re?

I wonder what makes someone a pessimist? Is it their previous experiences? Is it a mechanism to keep internal cognitive consistency? Is it just good old’ pattern-matching? Whatever it might be, what’s clear is that pessimists don’t help the people around them (at least not directly). Only by firing up optimists that want to prove them wrong do pessimists get anything done.

Pessimists don’t think they are pessimist

I’ve also realized that pessimists don’t think of themselves as such. This makes sense given the negative connotations of the qualifier. People prefer to refer to themselves as “pragmatic” or “realistic”. I think that we all probably come across as pessimistic to some people even though we would disagree with them. My point is that pessimism is subjective even though it might not feel like it is to the observer.

That’s it. Now back to work…