I often tell my online community, “What you see will be, as long as you take correct action.” A resilient, optimistic outlook and action plan unites us into a tribe and fuels our passionate choices and personal triumphs. Now I’ve read about the revenge of the pessimists. Find out why defensive pessimism may be optimism in disguise.
What is defensive pessimism?
“It is a strategy used to manage fear, anxiety and worry,” says Julie K. Norem, Ph.D.
A psychology professor at Wellesley College, Dr. Norem told O Magazine that defensive pessimists prepare for a situation by setting low expectations for themselves, then follow up with a very detailed assessment of everything that may go wrong.
Once they’ve imagined a full range of bad outcomes, they figure out how to handle them. This gives them a sense of control.
This reminds me of the outlook and action plan of business lawyers, who often earn hundreds an hour for anticipating every possible legal hurdle in a client’s business plan and figuring out how to leap over them on a client’s behalf. This is a lucrative and successful way of thinking for your client, so I expected to read a positive report about using defensive pessimism to achieve your personal goals.
Why are defensive pessimists successful?
Dr. Norem conducted research on this phenomenon and used it as the basis for her book, The Positive Power Of Negative Thinking, in 2001.
I’ve summarized the strategy for you. Defensive pessimists tend to be successful people who use negative thinking about possible outcomes as a tool to motivate positive actions that avoid or overcome negative results.
So it’s not the whiny, glass is half full style of pessimism that stops you from taking positive actions and keeps you stuck in negativity and limiting beliefs. I trust that these pessimists could get unstuck if they became defensive pessimists who manage negativity and work effectively toward their goals.
A note of caution: You can’t ask a defensive pessimists to see the bright side, for the same reason you can’t ask a business lawyer to overlook the obstacles in your business plan.
Defensive pessimists focus first on what might go wrong and then think about ways to prevent bad things from happening. Then they take actions that produces positive results. This is why defensive pessimism is another form of optimism.
I hope you’ll use some defensive pessimism or resilient optimism to improve your life and love life. And if you’re single and seeking your great love, I invite you to claim a free, one-month trial membership in the Singles Club of Tribe Of Blondes.
Not a hair color, it’s a resilient optimism that unites us and fuels our passionate choices and personal triumphs. Start meeting savvy singles in video chats, special events and travel vacations. Click SINGLES CLUB in the menu bar. Claim your free, 30-day trial membership now. Enjoy!
Dedicated to your dating and relationship happiness,