Optimism is linked to better health, happiness and fulfillment.  It’s highly beneficial to be an optimist.   Today, however,  many people are pessimistic.  This is often because of the way they’ve been raised or because of the social conditioning they have absorbed from society.  So are you an optimist or pessimist? Check out the guide below to evaluate where you lie on the scale. 

If you happen to score on the pessimistic side, try not to worry!  At the end of the article are some ideas on how to gain a more positive outlook so you can enjoy the benefits of being an optimist. 

Are You an Optimist or Pessimist Guide

Point 1: Beliefs About the Future

An Optimist:  Usually believes in possibilities.  You will often hear an optimist talking about goals that may seem unrealistic.  Since they have positive expectations, they believe in the possibility that their dreams may come true.

A Pessimist:   Usually believes in limitations.  Since pessimists often have negative expectations, you will often hear them explaining all of the reasons why their dreams can’t come true (because they don’t have enough money, they don’t have a college degree, etc.).

Point 2: Observations of the World

An Optimist:  Remarks on the good things that are happening.  Optimists are much more likely to notice the good weather, the excellent service and the good deeds of others.

A Pessimist: Complains about the problems of the world.  Pessimists are much more likely to talk about the job they hate, the rude actions of others or even conspiracy theories about the government.

Point 3: Taking Chances

An Optimist: Often takes chances.  When you see the good in life, it is easier to believe that you will be successful when you take the leap!

A Pessimist:  Often settles in life.  When you are more prone to see negative outcomes, it is easier to believe that you will fail if you try.

Point 4: Gratitude and Thanks

An Optimist: Often shows gratitude, and says “thank you” many times a day.  As they are keen to notice the good things that are going on around them, they are aware of when gratitude is in order.

A Pessimist: Often appears entitled.  Even if they don’t actually feel entitled, pessimists are often blind to the kindness that they have been offered, and therefore they frequently don’t acknowledge their blessings in an appreciative way.

Point 5: Interactions with others

An Optimist: Often laughs, smiles and expresses affection and acceptance of others. When you see the glass as half-full, there are many reasons to be happy, and expect the best out of people.

A Pessimist: Is often emotionally guarded, and frequently judgmental of others.  When you see the glass as half-empty, there are many reasons to be suspicious of other people.

So are you an optimist or pessimist? It’s likely that you fall somewhere between these two polar opposites, and that’s completely normal.  However, if you can identify areas that you act more pessimistically in, you can begin to become more optimistic.  

As in all areas of behavior, it is possible to “fake it ‘till you make it.”  So, by trying to laugh more, dream more, complain less or say “thank you” more often, you will actually transform into a more optimistic person.

Because optimists get sick less often, have more enjoyable relationships and feel more fulfilled, it’s wise for all of us to stretch to become more optimistic.  Sure, there are problems in the world, but being pessimistic doesn’t solve any of them-if anything, it only makes them worse.  

By acting optimistically (by judging less, smiling more, etc.), we brighten up the world.  We create more happiness in our own lives and in the lives of others.  We do our part to help make things better.  

While many pessimists often believe that optimists have their heads in the sand, in actuality, it is the optimists that are doing the work to make this planet a better place to live.  Choose optimism, not just to better your life, but to better the lives of everyone around you.

Did you like this article about optimists and pessimists? Find more information on human behavior on my blog or Facebook page!  You can also find me on Twitter (@Vibration1111) or Instagram (@andrea.11.11).


Image by OC Always. Some Rights Reserved.  This image has been cropped and resized.



  • Louis B
    Posted March 9, 2015 7:09 pm 0Likes

    Well-stated, Andrea. I agree that optimists tend to make this world a better place. It’s easy to point out faults around you, but to consciously look for and to recognize the good deeds of unsung heroes in this world–THAT is a worthy effort.

  • Belinda Alvelo
    Posted March 10, 2015 12:33 pm 0Likes

    I have always been an Optimist. However, boyfriend of 8yrs, is a hard core Pessimist! That has really rubbed off on me! I just want to die! Im trying, im really trying…….

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted March 11, 2015 10:00 am 0Likes

    Keep trying Belinda! 🙂

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted March 11, 2015 10:02 am 0Likes

    Thanks Louis! I appreciate your feedback. Stay positive! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Posted May 13, 2016 11:32 pm 0Likes

    Optimists are lying morons.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted May 15, 2016 9:42 am 0Likes

    Hi Anonymous- You are entitled to your opinion and your voice. I could choose to look at this as a sign of disrespect, but through my perspective I see this comment as an indication that you have suffered in life and don’t see much to be happy and grateful for at the moment. I used to feel the same way about optimists, so on some level I do understand your frustration. Perhaps you see me as a liar or a moron, but I see things differently today and I’m glad I do. -Andrea

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