Negative vibes are infectious and can be truly energy-sapping. Use these tactics to remain optimistic about your own life and not be affected by someone else’s pessimism.

1. Identify a pessimist

Pessimists will or might:

â?¢ Be constantly convinced that things aren’t going to work out

â?¢ Are disappointed when things don’t turn out the way they’d hoped

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â?¢ See the negative in everything

â?¢ Have several reasons for why things won’t work out

â?¢ Blame you (subtly or not) for things not turning out the way they’d hoped.

2. Examine your own reaction toward a pessimist

Are you enabling the pessimist? Are you using your own positive mental energy trying to turn around the pessimist’s point of view?

If your natural reaction is to try to make up for the perceived shortfall in the pessimist’s outlook, you risk confirming their behaviour with a reward, be it morale-boosting, attention-giving, or trading items or situations.

3. Resist the innate desire to make the pessimist’s day sunnier

A pessimist tends to want you to be pessimistic too. All this does, however, is to reinforce their negative attitude and behaviour.

â?¢ Don’t offer alternatives to the imperfections that the pessimist lists.

â?¢ Don’t seek to persuade the pessimist that everything will work out fine.

â?¢ Don’t find solutions or make plans to work around the pessimist’s complaints.

â?¢ Don’t feel guilty for the pessimist’s perceived bad outcome.

4. Expect the pessimist to shoulder responsibility for his or her pessimism

Someone who insists that everything is wrong and unlikely to succeed lacks one of the key foundations of emotional intelligence, namely optimism. Accept that this person has chosen to see the world as a bleak, unrelentingly negative place and live their life accordingly. Itâ??s important to retain your own high levels of optimistic energy.

5. Be nurturing

Focus on their pessimism directly and express sympathy for their worry, pain, unhappiness, etc. This acknowledges their feelings and lets them know that you care about them as a person. You can show sympathy without having to try to convince the pessimist of a brighter side. It allows you to say you’re sorry they see things that way, but you refuse to share their dark interpretation.

6. Stay positive

â?¢ You can choose to remain non-responsive to the pessimistâ??s negative talk whilst you try to think of something positive.

â?¢ Regularly spend time away from this person’s influence, in order to maintain your own positivity.

7. Look for the pessimist’s good qualities

Focus on the positive aspects of a person and seek to balance out the negatives, all the while insisting through your firm behaviour that they learn their own way out of being pessimistic.


A reason for pessimism may be chronic depression. If this is the case, the pessimist needs medical and therapeutic help.

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