"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties."
– Harry S Truman
Is there a pessimistic person who's causing trouble in your life? Some people look for the silver lining in their life and various situations, while others look for the negative things. It's the latter type who tend to cause trouble. But there are ways to deal with pessimism and maintain a positive perspective.
Don't Feed Their Negativity
When a pessimistic person approaches you and begins to complain, try to refrain from fueling his or her negativity. In other words, don't agree with what the individual is saying. Doing so will only make the problem worse by encouraging their pessimistic outlook. If a coworker complains to you about his or her schedule, for instance, don't agree with their pessimistic views. Some people instinctively agree with others just to avoid conflict, but this is one case in which it's best to disagree.
Offer a Positive Perspective
Instead of agreeing with a pessimistic person, a better approach is to play the role of devil's advocate, explaining the positive side of things. If a coworker believes he or she is being scheduled for too many hours, for instance, tell them that they should be thankful for the opportunity to work. Or maybe you can suggest the coworker makes a schedule change request. There's always a silver lining, and some people just need a little help finding it.
Of course, you can also deal with a pessimistic person simply by distancing yourself from him or her. This isn't always an option, especially if the individual is a coworker or family member. But if you can, try distancing yourself from the pessimistic person and his or her negative perspective.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
There's usually a root cause of pessimistic. Sometimes it's obvious, while other times it's not so obvious. If you're faced with a pessimistic person, try to place yourself in their shoes to determine what exactly is causing their negative perspective. Maybe they are going through financial hardship, or perhaps they've recently lost a friend or family member to illness. Regardless, you should try to view the world from their eyes so you'll have a better understanding of what's causing their pessimism.
These are just a few tips on how to deal with a pessimistic person. Not everyone is going to have a 100% optimistic view on life -- and that's okay. But when you encounter pessimism on a regular basis, it can bring down your mood and emotions. Following the tips listed here, however, will allow you to better deal with pessimistic people.
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