What Happens When a Pessimist Dates an Optimist that I, the disgusting zebra mussel of our relationship, can feed on in order to survive. I can't help thinking, though, that you are not a hardcore optimist if In my relationship, I am the optimist and Mr. Vitabellosi is the pessimist. In our optimism about a new relationship, we often find ourselves For this reason, it may help to bring a little pessimism into the picture.
The important thing in this case was that he was reachable, that you two talked about it, and that ultimately he mentioned it to others and took care of it on his own. Everyone got what they needed, in the short term at least. Kinda not kidding, really. Like he doesn't have to assume bad stuff won't happen. Go ahead and assume bad stuff will happen. But instead of going, "bad stuff will probably happen, woe is me, everything is terrible," start with "okay, so if bad stuff happens how will I deal with that.
In a way, your anecdote was an example of that process your not being able to go with him was bad stuff, and it happened.
Optimist in love with a pessimist. Any tips? - relationships optimism pessimism | Ask MetaFilter
But you worked around it, by being like, "well, that sucks, how do we deal with it," and coming up with an alternative plan. Pessimism is fine if you combine with stoicism. It's pessimism and meloncholy that are deadly. His problem isn't that he's a pessimist. His problem is that he doesn't have a lot of coping skills. It can be hard work at times, for sure. Sounds like you've got some strategies launched, though.
Also, I love these people who think they're all Mr. Spock when they are just madly catastrophizing like whoa. I can't help thinking, though, that you are not a hardcore optimist if you experience distress in the face of a pessimist.
So, it seems your optimism is contingent on him somehow also being more optimistic. I'm teasing a little bit. It may be an issue of problem-solving. He may not look for solutions long enough or with enough tenacity. In my relationship, I am the optimist and Mr. Vitabellosi is the pessimist. It actually makes him work harder as a problem solver. I have faith in people and am constantly disappointed and left hanging. Vitabellosi, on the otherhand, doesn't expect people to come through, so he's always working out solutions and putting them into place on his own.
Don't train him to throw up his hands so you can come in and give him hugs and rescue him. Do reward when he expresses a positive outlook about something. Smile, say that you appreciate it when his attitude is flexible, kiss him, etc.
Sometimes pessimists just use their attitude as a passive aggressive way of getting soothed without being open and honest about what they want. Don't feed that behavior. Kind of a bad idea to assume you will eventually balance each other out. You may simply be incompatible, and better served by someone with a naturally brighter temperament.
Because I could be labelled a "pessimist," but it's not something I'm proud of or like about myself. It's a product of anxiety, and I have gone to therapy to try to change it. Not saying he needs to, but there's a big difference between someone who wants to change and someone who says, "That's just how I am! This works for me because it's not denying reality: But they don't always.
So if he would like to change, it can be done. What comes to mind here is that this isn't exactly "pessimism. The part about not being able to do it without support sounds like it could be any combination of anxiety, learned helplessness, and as several people said upthread, low or inadequate coping skills.
And you know better than we do, but the part about "I'll just cancel my commitment, I won't go, and whatever issues this creates will just be mine to deal with" sounds a lot like subtle passive aggressiveness and guilt tripping. Is it possible that the way he has learned to cope with difficult or challenging situations in the past, is to kind of just express strong negative feelings and emotions to someone, until that person spends a lot of time comforting him and comes to his rescue?
Again, you know better than we do, but if that seems like it might be the case, I think this isn't just run of the mill pessimism. It sounds like something that could be really helped by can you guess what my next word will be?
Why would he think everything is going to turn up shiny rosy without any evidence of such? Also just wanted to say that at least in the example you gave, your position sounds unquestionably grounded, realistic, and logical.
Sometimes people see themselves as being eminently logical people, describe themselves that way, and in their speech use keywords associated with dispassionate, analytical, and logical thinking "proof," "likelihood," "percentage," etc. But often those people are the least logical of all, and are in fact just the most blind and defensive to it when they are being illogical, because so much of their identity is wrapped up in being an "analytical" person.
Can an optimist date a pessimist?
And sometimes we don't realize this about them just because it's natural to think of people the way they think of themselves and have presented themselves to us. So I just want to say, one of my tips is don't fall into the trap of both of you automatically considering him to be the grounded and realistic one, while you are the pollyanna.
Be aware of it when you are being the grounded and realistic one because my bets are that it's actually more frequent. That seems like immaturity. It can be very exhausting sometimes. I do agree with previous responses that noted you two seemed to work things out pretty well in this case though. A few notes from my experience: It can be really frustrating at times, but it's just the way he is. You're not going to be able to change his knee-jerk pessimism anyvmore than he will be able to change your optimism.
So, sometimes my husband will say something is terrible and won't work out, and I just say, "Ok - maybe you're right". That will calm him down so that he doesn't think I'm dismissing his concerns. And I'll also listen to all the reasons he has for being pessimistic - because usually there are legitimate issues behind his opinions.
But then I'll come up with another option, and casually bring it up And then sometimes I'm right and things are actually okay. She put herself down and admitted that she couldn't totally let Justin into her heart because she didn't believe that he could really love her. Justin came to see me. He said he had tried to be understanding about Laura's work situation, but if he gave her suggestions on how to present herself more positively, she said he was judging her.
Justin told me that if Laura kept telling him how worthless she was, she would finally convince him and the relationship would be over.
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He also felt his love was never fully received or acknowledged. While Justin was optimistic, he was also stressed about being unemployed. Laura said she was already stressed about her own situation and wanted to know what he expected from her.
Justin said he needed her to reassure him that he would always have her in his life regardless of what happened. With your optimism you'll find something, as opposed to me, who no-one wants. I explained to her that what she was trying to protect herself from was impossible. I wondered if she thought that by withholding love, or not allowing Justin's love in, she could save herself from the devastation she would feel if he left her.
I explained that it was too late. She was already in too far. If Justin left her now, she would be just as devastated as if she surrendered and let him in. That was how she ran her life: I explained to her that rejection was going to hurt just as much if she thrust her face into the wind and said, "Okay, I'm going for it!