Optimist, Pessimist or Something Else? (Post a Week – Topic #32)

I usually describe myself as a “glass half empty” person trying to become a “glass half full” person.  That is until a friend of mine said something that changed my outlook on the optimist vs. pessimist perspective.  He said “An optimist may see the glass as half full, and a pessimist may see the glass as half empty, but a realist sees the glass as much too big for his needs.”

He went on to say that, although I may consider myself a pessimist, I recognize that being a pessimist keeps me from enjoying life to the fullest.  The fact that I not only recognize this, but I continue to try to change my thought patterns by consciously being aware of my thoughts, means that I’m more of a realist.

Being a realist means seeing things as they really are, not how we want or expect them to be.  I think in most cases, a pessimist expects too often.  They expect your news to be bad, they expect that in any given situation, they will be burdened in some way or taken advantage of.  Whereas an optimist is more likely to see things the way they want them to be.  This is a generalization, of course.  By no means am I saying that all pessimists and optimists are the same.

I consider myself a realist, now.  By rejecting the label of “pessimist”, I am doing myself a favor, as well.  Thinking myself a pessimist, only makes me more pessimistic.  After all it’s a negative label, and implies there is something wrong with me.

I am who I am.  I may not always see the glass as half full, but I try to look at the good and the bad in every situation.  Seeing things the way they are helps me keep things in perspective.  That may not work for everyone, but it works for me.  What else can I ask for?

Are you an optimist, a pessimist or a realist?