Can Pessimism Make You More Money-Smart?

| April 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

pessimismWe live in a world that tends to look favorably upon the more optimistic among us. Those who believe that positive things will happen are held in a higher regard than those who believe that the worst could be lurking around the corner.

A lot of this makes sense. It is definitely easier to be around a person who tends to look at the bright side of a situation, rather than someone who won’t.

However, I think we can all agree that there is such a thing as over-positivity, and that being with someone who refuses to be realistic about problems can be just as insufferable, if not more so, than someone who only seems to focus on problems.

This is because, like with everything in life, balance is important. Just as there are benefits to finding a silver lining, so too are there benefits to being a pessimist…

There’s a difference between pessimism and over-negativity

First of all, it’s important to point out that there is a very clear and lingering difference between having a pessimistic mode of thought and being downright negatively bleak about every little thing that comes your way.

Nobody likes a person who complains too much, and a person who does this displays little of the benefits that pessimism can have.

As a matter of fact, this manner of thinking can actually get in the way of pessimism’s greatest strength: the realist attitude to make meaningful change.

Overly negative thinking can eliminate the drive for these pursuits, and lend itself to a defeatist attitude.

Pessimists tend to live longer

First of all, if one of your goals is to prolong the inevitable end to life that awaits all of us like a basket at the end of an assembly line, you’ll be happy to know that pessimists actually have it better.

Pessimism | Psychology Today

All About Pessimism. The glass is half-empty and storm-clouds loom overhead ( never with a silver lining). Pessimists get a lot of flak for negativity, and their …


You read that correctly. Self-described pessimists have a tendency to live longer than their optimistic counterparts, at least according to a study conducted at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

Their findings showed that there was a correlation between optimism and risks of an earlier death, and that people who didn’t describe themselves as optimists tended to live longer, on average.

Self-described pessimists have longer relationships

Another way that pessimists have it better is in their relationships, which tend to be longer lasting than those of optimists. Aside from the logical assertion that a person who constantly sees futility in the very act of existing is probably an artist in the sack, there is actually research that backs this one up as well.

In 2013, a study that was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that optimists were at a noticeably higher risk of what marriage counselors and psychologists call marital deterioration, which is where relationships fall apart after any sort of duress.

The study found that relationships between optimists involved couples that had harder times problem solving when inevitable hard times started to show up, while pessimists had already prepared for these possibilities, and were more active problem solvers.

Pessimists are more likely to prepare for the future

To the pessimistic eye, danger is lurking around every corner, and the worst possibilities are always at risk of showing up. When this is balanced with a measured mind, this means that pessimists have the capability to prepare for outcomes that an optimist might not be ready to face.

For example, on the stock market, optimists are more likely to see themselves winning lots of money, and they put themselves in that situation. Pessimists, on the other hand, always picture themselves in a losing situation.

This doesn’t mean that a pessimist plays to win, but it does mean that they take precautionary measures to prevent being blindsided by losing money, or anything, really.

On top of this, another study released in a 2011 edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that optimists had a harder time handling stress, as opposed to pessimists.


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