Pessimism Also Has These 'Kinds' - Did You Know This About People?

Pessimism is the state of believing that bad things are definitely going to happen and that something would go wrong in the process of its success. It is basically a negative mental attitude or thought process in which an undesirable outcome is forecasted from a given situation. The people residing this kind of thought process are called pessimists, who tend to focus on the negatives of life in general. 

What Behavioral Traits Do We Recognize as ‘Pessimism’?

A common question asked for testing this trait is- ‘Is the glass half empty or half full?’ Now, in this situation, a pessimist is observed to see the glass as half empty, while on the other hand, an optimist would observe it as half full. Throughout history, continuing till now, the pessimistic temperament has had effects on all major areas of human as well as subjective thinking.

Major Kinds of Pessimism

  1. Philosophical Pessimism 

The related idea that views the world in a strictly anti-optimistic fashion is known as philosophical pessimism. This form of pessimism is not an emotional humor as the term commonly implies. Instead, it is a philosophy or altogether worldview that directly challenges the presumption of progress and what might be considered the faith-based contends of optimism. 


Philosophical pessimists are often existentially skeptic who believe that life has no inherent meaning or value. Their responses to this condition, however, are often widely varied and life-proclaiming.

  1. Psychological Pessimism

In the ancient world, psychological pessimism was associated with desolation, and was believed to be caused by an excess of black bile in the body. The study of pessimism generally leads to the parallels with the study of depression. Psychologists unearth pessimistic attitudes to emotional pain or even biology sometimes. 


Aaron Beck asserts that depression is due to the unrealistic or imaginary negative views about the world. Beck starts the treatment by appealing in conversation with clients about their thoughts which are unhelpful in their lives.

However, pessimists are often able to present arguments that would suggest that the understanding of their own reality is justified, as in Depressive realism or pessimistic realism. 


Deflection is a very common method which is used by those who are depressed due to their thought process. They let people assume that whatever they are revealing, actually proves to be an effective way of hiding.

The pessimism item on the Beck Depression Inventory has actually been judged prominently useful in predicting suicides. The Beck Hopelessness Scale has also been described as a measurement of pessimism.


Wender and Klein point out that pessimism could also be proven useful in some of the circumstances. They said- ‘If one is subject to a series of defeats, it pays to adopt a conservative game plan of sitting back and waiting and letting others take the risks. Such waiting would be fostered by a pessimistic outlook. Similarly if one is raking in the chips of life, it pays to adopt an expansive risk-taking approach, and thus maximize access to scarce resources.’


Nature v/s Nurture


Nature - It is often defined in this debate as genetic or hormone-based behaviors, traits, and dispositions. If we talk about a behavioral trait being a nature, then we must understand that there lies numerous factors for it. 

It just doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere in a child, it is a part of growing up and the things inculcated inside a human, not manually but naturally.

  1. At biological level, all the traits are related to one or the other organs of our body. It depends upon the function or dysfunction of those organs. Like for example, if a person cries too much, or is very emotional, then it means that his/her kidney has some problem in functioning.


  1. Traits might also depend upon the zodiac sign of people. Signs affect life a lot more than we could imagine. Pessimism could also germinate through the places of the stars upon the birth chart.


  1. Pessimism could also be observed in adults when they might have seen much losses in the lives of elders during their childhood. Like for example, if a child has seen his/her father having a downfall or loss in some business, then the child will always have a negative perspective about starting a business. He/she might become a complete pessimist later.


  1. Pessimism could also occur through genetic transfusion. If anyone in the family bloodline has a negative approach towards life, then the child’s nature might most probably turn out to be pessimistic. 


  1. The way the family behaves with the child in the learning age group, also defines his/her behavioral trait afterwards. The upbringing of a child is a major aspect in turning out how he/she will actually be as an adult.


Nurture - Nurture refers to all the environmental variables present that impacts who we are, including our early childhood experiences, how we were raised, our social relationships, and our surrounding culture and society background.

  1. Pessimistic behavior somehow occurred because of past experience of an individual  for example, you are 20 years old or and some strange thing happens in your past life span  which is unusual for your mental condition that promotes pessimistic behavior in an individual.


  1. Family dynamic is a major factor of pessimistic behavior or we can say family organisation for example, everyone has a family belief that shouting is only meant to control anyone, the small kids learn this kind of belief from their family.


  1. Socialization also affects pessimistic behavior. Our society governs some kinds of information norms and rules apart from government. We people use to talk on a (miss behave or some kind of unacceptable behavior) he/she is not well socialized. Why, because directly indirectly it is also responsible for our behavior.


  1. People with anxiety and depression usually shift towards pessimistic behavior.


  1. Environment, in which you are ,affects you and your thought process a lot. For example, we   all heard about a story of two parrots separated in a windstorm one is rated in saints house and another is in robbers house after a period of time there is a major difference in both of them. 

It's not just a story it is a reality of our environment.


  1. Peer group is also a major factor regarding your behavior. Have you ever thought about why our parents always tell us to stay away from negative processes, people. Why do our philosophers suggest we read religious books, suggest yoga and meditation just to avoid pessimism and more factors are included  but the point is this, all these factors affect us a lot.


The Bottom Line


It’s not upon us to choose our parents, backgrounds and culture, but it is totally in our hands of how we mould life and ourselves. Our thought process is definitely affected by the atmosphere around, but it isn’t permanent, it could be changed with the right mindset in the right direction. It isn’t really the worst thing to be a pessimist. 


And it is best that we don’t expect too much good from life and be cautious of what might come forward in life. But the cautiousness shouldn’t lead you to becoming a negative person altogether. Limit your fear, and be a little more willing towards the idea of the sense of optimism. Life is much more beautiful, so pull up your socks and start risking your negativity, pessimist!


Written By - Pavas Shrigyan

Post a comment