The Not Interesting Reasoning Behind Pessimism

Recently I have been asked a rather interesting and thought-provoking question: why aren’t you more positive?

There are several possible answers to this question, but most of them are depressing, so I won’t explain them. You’re welcome.

Wish you weren’t here,

Charlotte L. Dodgson

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Okay, now that everyone thinks I’m done with this post, I can explain the reasoning behind pessimism to my magic internet therapists. First we must start with the three outlooks on life: optimism,  pessimism, and realism (the only other option is to have no outlook on life. This approach is rather boring as you don’t do anything, don’t think anything, and basically have no life (not that I have one anyway). While this is not suggested, it can be very helpful for those wanting a worry-free experience). We will point out the  few pros and multiple cons of each view-point, fall over from a blast of pessimism, and probably die. That’s fine though, as there are so many other far more horrible things that could have happened and you really should be glad that you have somehow avoided these (wow, such optimism).

Realism – This outlook is amazing (if you never want to have a plan for your life). While the pessimist and optimist may sit on a bench and attempt to predict the weather, the realist cannot make a single prediction because they can only focus on what is happening in the present moment. While this view is nice for anxiety filled occasions, it is not in the same category as the remaining two, because it is not an outlook on the future. Let us picture for a moment a Pessimist, Optimist, and Realist leaving for work. As they all approach the door they get a perfect view of the endless doom and destruction of unmeasurable lives or, from another viewpoint, a common street which they will soon be driving, and may hit a cat or their neighbor’s dog, Splat, an unfortunate and ironic name for a small dog. As they approach the door, all three of them must answer the question of weather or not to bring an umbrella with them. The Pessimist thinks, “Well, it may not rain, but it may also rain and getting wet would be unfortunate and it probably might possibly rain, so I’d better bring the umbrella.” The Pessimist then picks up their umbrella and walks out the door, where a not so small dog named Splat runs them over in an unfortunate and ironic turn of events. The Optimist, unaware of their friend’s dismal fate, thinks, “Well, it looks like a nice day.” And they leave the umbrella alone and friendless. It will later hang on the hallway peg. The Realist comes to the umbrellas and thinks, “Wow, there are two umbrellas here.” When asked to consider whether or not to bring an umbrella to work, they simply  remark that it’s not raining. When asked how they think tomorrow will be, all they can tell you is that tomorrow is May 1st, 2016. I do not think that it is an outlook on life, but simply a measure of how active and aware a person may be in a situation. A person cannot simply be a realist. They must be an optimistic realist, or a pessimistic one, or a nonexistent one, which I think is the much happier option anyway.

Optimism – Picture a beautiful, clean, flowery street. A group of children play in the grass and respond punctually to their mothers; they never become dirty or break anything. Everyone has a nice house, finds love, and is happy. If anything bad shows up, it is gone so quickly, we don’t even need to notice it and may continue on with our typical happiness. We conveniently avoid the deaths of our elderly, and sometimes not so elderly,  neighbors, constantly “live life to the fullest.” (for original source view every single motivational, inspirational, or unrealistic quote ever), and live those lives in a little bubble of joy and happiness, not thinking about war, or starvation, or death, or judgment, or all the kids who never even go to enjoy a birthday, or the kids whose parents didn’t care about birthdays or Christmas, or those that couldn’t do all these things because they barely had enough money to eat, or all the people who never got to see Christmas lights or the stars or watch cat videos because they were blind, or people who never got to listen to Beethoven’s 5th or the birds singing, or those that spend months away from their families to try to make sure silly little kids like me can say whatever they want on the internet and you can read it without wondering if you’re going to get blown up tomorrow (I do that anyway, but that’s besides the point), or those that wake up each morning hating their lives, those that can’t change the situation they’re in, people who are struggling with mental illnesses, health problems, economic problems, relationship problems, problems in general. Sometimes motivational quotes help (not much), but there is also a time for being sad and breaking down in tears and misery and pain. And there are some of us who can’t always be happy or think that everything is going to get better. I am truly jealous if anyone out there can.

So what about people who don’t have a reality-proof bubble around them? Well, that brings us to the final group: pessimists. What’s my reasoning behind it? Quite simply, I cannot figure out how to get my own little bubble of happiness and joy. I am quite aware of all the reasons people should think positive, why they shouldn’t second-guess themselves, or think that they’re awful. The simple fact is that I do not understand how people actually do this. It is not popular in society to be pessimistic, it’s a bad attitude to have on life, but that doesn’t stop me from automatically thinking this way. I have plenty of people in my life trying to help me figure out how to be positive, and really, I just need a place to think the way my brain naturally does, pessimistically. I cannot do this in the real world as mush as I need to, so while I understand there are some that would like to give me advice on how to improve my thinking, I reiterate that I simply cannot switch how I work and magically see sunrises and butterflies. If you don’t want to read my pessimistic thoughts, there isn’t a test at the end of this post (if there was, I’d fail) so you are free, unlike a lot of other people in this dismal world, to continue on with wasting your life on the internet. Bye.

Really, really wish you weren’t here,

Charlotte L. Dodgson

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