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View Full Version : Study suggests pessimism makes you live longer.



Clinton P
03-01-2013, 04:18 PM
Probably not really worth it, anyway. But here goes.... :(

"Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association."

Click here (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227101929.htm) to read more about this story.

Clinton P

basque
03-01-2013, 07:21 PM
I have always been an optimist, when things have been a bit desperate I just think oh well it wont last things will get better soon, and they always do.

I would not want my mind full of doom and gloom. I have high expectations for the furture. I`M DOOMED

basque :rolleyes:

utR!
03-01-2013, 08:09 PM
I have a coworker who is, who knows most pessimistic person I have ever met. If you say something positive she can turn it into negative. Also it affects to others. If you give normal orders there comes a lot of explanations but in the end she has to obey.

utR!

geebee
03-02-2013, 04:21 AM
I didn't see any numbers in the report -- so we don't necessarily know how great the difference between the "pessimists" and the "optimists". But the truth is, if I'm 30 and I predict I'll be dead in 30 years, most would say I'm pessimistic. But if I made the same prediction at 65, I'm not pessimistic, but realistic.

The study doesn't tell us that the "pessimistic" group would really be like "the most pessimistic person I have ever met". All we know is that in the study, they're less optimistic than the most optimistic ones. But maybe if we knew the actual numbers, we'd simply say the top two groups were just "dreamers". Of course, I personally would have expected the middle group to live the longest, which does not seem to be the case -- although they apparently did live longer than the most optimistic.

But again, if you're 65 and you say "my health will go downhill in the next 10 years" -- sadly, you have a better chance of being right than if you're 20. And if it doesn't ... well, I know I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. But I don't really see myself as a pessimist, but more as a realist "Doo doo" happens. That's why there are wipes.

utR!
03-02-2013, 06:37 AM
This topic just made me think about a pessimistic person I'm working with every day. It also gives me something to think what kind of person I'm in my "age group". I think it is little to do with your character too. Not all old people are pessimistic rather realistic. But one thing is quite normal that when you do get older you won't get any younger or healthier than you were in your 20-30.

Although I do know certain thingsare getting worser, still I have a hope. You can not trust on dreams either, some come true most of them not which are unrealistic perhaps. Pessimism is not all so bad it can lead to good changes.

utR!


I didn't see any numbers in the report -- so we don't necessarily know how great the difference between the "pessimists" and the "optimists". But the truth is, if I'm 30 and I predict I'll be dead in 30 years, most would say I'm pessimistic. But if I made the same prediction at 65, I'm not pessimistic, but realistic.

The study doesn't tell us that the "pessimistic" group would really be like "the most pessimistic person I have ever met". All we know is that in the study, they're less optimistic than the most optimistic ones. But maybe if we knew the actual numbers, we'd simply say the top two groups were just "dreamers". Of course, I personally would have expected the middle group to live the longest, which does not seem to be the case -- although they apparently did live longer than the most optimistic.

But again, if you're 65 and you say "my health will go downhill in the next 10 years" -- sadly, you have a better chance of being right than if you're 20. And if it doesn't ... well, I know I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. But I don't really see myself as a pessimistic, but more as a realistic. "Doo doo" happens. That's why there are wipes.

geebee
03-02-2013, 09:10 AM
Yes, the bad thing about being a pessimist is you can make yourself unhappy before you have any real reason to be. On the other hand, if you expect the worst -- you can either be happy because you're proven wrong, or you can tell everybody "I told you so" if you're proven right. :):(

Clinton P
03-02-2013, 10:44 AM
This talk about optimism and pessimism reminds me of the engineers joke....

A pessimist says that the glass is half empty.
An optimist says that the glass is half full.
An engineer says that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Although this is a joke, it is very true about the way that engineers think (myself included).

Clinton P

Kenjones
03-12-2013, 06:42 AM
Yes I completly agree with u, if a person expects anything and If that particular thing went wrong, then a person becomes unhappy.

SC11
03-12-2013, 05:19 PM
I can see how this can make some sense. If someone is a pessimist, they might be more open to change, such as eating habits, lifestyle changes etc while an optimist might just keep on going with their daily routine because they feel like everthing they're doing is fine the way it is

GTC
06-02-2016, 11:23 AM
A pessimist is an optimist with experience. :)

GTC
06-02-2016, 11:26 AM
I have a coworker who is, who knows most pessimistic person I have ever met. If you say something positive she can turn it into negative.

I have a neighbor like that. He complains about everything in life. He's a real downer. I try to avoid getting into conversation with him because I know exactly where it will head.

DMXX
06-02-2016, 12:58 PM
Interesting (and somewhat surprise this paper wasn't discussed in more depth many moons ago!).

I suspect differences in risk-taking and/or provision-securing behaviour are the main vectors for this difference. Specifically, pessimistic people tend to be less risk-taking and more provision-securing than optimists, which would statistically bump up their chances of living longer.

This doesn't take loneliness into account, which is a separate psychosocial phenomenon, and one that has plenty of biological evidence supporting reduced lifespan and decreased quality of life (and health).

AJL
06-03-2016, 02:11 PM
I also wonder if pessimists are more likely to think that symptoms are signs of actual medical problems, and therefore seek medical treatment for symptoms earlier and more often, which would make survivability of various diseases greater.

Emir
06-03-2016, 02:51 PM
Perhaps, pessimists are actually more content and get disappointed less since they were not expecting overly positive outcomes.

Emir
06-03-2016, 02:53 PM
I didn't see any numbers in the report -- so we don't necessarily know how great the difference between the "pessimists" and the "optimists". But the truth is, if I'm 30 and I predict I'll be dead in 30 years, most would say I'm pessimistic. But if I made the same prediction at 65, I'm not pessimistic, but realistic.

The study doesn't tell us that the "pessimistic" group would really be like "the most pessimistic person I have ever met". All we know is that in the study, they're less optimistic than the most optimistic ones. But maybe if we knew the actual numbers, we'd simply say the top two groups were just "dreamers". Of course, I personally would have expected the middle group to live the longest, which does not seem to be the case -- although they apparently did live longer than the most optimistic.

But again, if you're 65 and you say "my health will go downhill in the next 10 years" -- sadly, you have a better chance of being right than if you're 20. And if it doesn't ... well, I know I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. But I don't really see myself as a pessimist, but more as a realist "Doo doo" happens. That's why there are wipes.

What if everyone in your family has always died on their 50th birthday, then in that case you are actually an optimist.

FredBats
11-20-2016, 12:15 PM
My family is "plagued" by pessimists one would say. I am one myself. Have to say the existence is far less stressful than optimists who, if my friends are anything to go by, get upset, angry and even depressed when their "bubbles" happen to be popped by life.

However, my family alone, all pessimists mind you:

My paternal grandfather is 98, mother 101; maternal grandmother 95, grandfather 91.
My paternal great-grandfather was 104, mother 89 / paternal 88, maternal 92
My maternal great-grandmother 102, and great-grandfather would like be well into his 90s [his sisters are 92, 87, and 98] had he not been killed in the war // paternal 85, maternal 94


I think, reading some of the comments, that some of the so-called "pessimists" neighbors are likely fatalists. There's something of a difference between the two.

In fact:
http://glowballwebnetwork.com/difference-between-optimists-pessimists-and-realists/

GoldenHind
11-20-2016, 07:26 PM
A quote from a Rabbi in Paris:

"In Nazi Germany, Jewish optimists ended up in Auschwitz. Pessimists ended up in New York."

leonardo
11-20-2016, 08:03 PM
Probably not really worth it, anyway. But here goes.... :(

"Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association."

Click here (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227101929.htm) to read more about this story.

Clinton P

I guess the old saying, "only the good die young," is true.:) Seriously, based upon the opening sentence of the study, you could term one who is considered a "pessimist" as also a realist. Having realistic expectations sure seems like a characteristic that will reduce disappointment, and therefore stress, in life.

jdean
11-20-2016, 08:46 PM
Probably not really worth it, anyway. But here goes.... :(

"Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association."

Click here (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227101929.htm) to read more about this story.

Clinton P

Could be down to people getting more pessimistic as they get older : )

Agamemnon
12-06-2016, 09:44 PM
A quote from a Rabbi in Paris:

"In Nazi Germany, Jewish optimists ended up in Auschwitz. Pessimists ended up in New York."

That's something many French Jews say, if I got a dollar every time I heard my father say this I'd be a very rich man!

Mixed
12-07-2016, 12:46 PM
I remember when I was young my grandfather having talks with me about life being tough and to prepare accordingly for difficult times. My father always told me not to put faith in people because at some point you will be disappointed. When I have taken their advice I have suffered less disappointment. When I start thinking the sky is always blue things seemingly head south.

Saetro
12-07-2016, 08:06 PM
To survive as humans we need a variety of attitudes to life.
We need optimists who are willing to try something.
We need pessimists who are risk averse.
Some pessimists will doubt that anything will ever work.
Realists will analyse the situation, point out the difficulties and hazards so that they may be allowed for and overcome.
We need a mixture.

This means that as the genes are shared around*, there will be some people who get an extra dose: optimists to the point of folly and pessimists who fear everything is doomed. They are the cost to society of having most people with reasonable levels.
Like many other characteristics.
Just allow for their biases when making group decisions.
Ensure that any decision-making group has a reasonable balance.
I have seen any number of groups fail largely because of the excessive dominance of one view.

*Or behaviours if you follow Oliver James and see many traits inherited non-genetically from parents' upbringing of children.