How Optimism Impacts Your Relationships
There are several benefits to leading a life of optimism. Research shows those with more optimism bounce back more quickly when getting sick, are more resilient in life in general, sleep better and even live longer.
While this is wonderful news for us as individuals, how does optimism impact our relationships?
How Does Your Optimism Affect Those Around You?
While there are tons of benefits to being optimistic for ourselves such as being resilient, having optimum health, a balanced mindset, and an overall sense of well-being, there are plenty of benefits for our relationships too.
Work, Family, and Friendships
Optimism impacts relationships. When we are optimistic, we spread good cheer and are more approachable.
We have the power and potential to set and influence the tone of our day at work, school, home, as well as in social settings.
Have you ever been excited to go on an outing and someone else in your group is acting like “sour grapes?”
Tell the truth, this has the immediate impact of taking everyone else in the group down a negative spiral. Or maybe you have been greeted by an employee in a store who is downright nasty.
How do we meet that attitude?
If we match upset with upset, now we have two upset individuals.
If we meet upset with calm and patience, we not only impact our inner being but theirs as well. This is a true win-win situation.
The adage “Happiness is contagious” does stem from optimism.
We can dictate the tone of everyone’s day or evening; not just our own.
Positive Expectations in Romantic Relationships
In addition to setting the tone in family, friendship, and even work relationships, optimism gives us the power of positive expectations. Worry about a relationship ending and it is as if this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Take on being secure and confident, and just watch your romantic relationships thrive.
Being optimistic in your ability to resolve conflict and problem solve together will make for a happier, healthier relationship.
Is there such a thing as overdoing optimism? Getting stuck in traffic when you are already running late or spilling your latte on your shirt on the way out the door are all bumps in the road of a busy life.
Pretending it does not matter or isn’t frustrating is not the best course of action.
Being around someone who is “too nice” or “pleasant all the time” can have an impact on our relationships. If you’ve ever been around someone who is too nice or always happy all the time, you might find it to be a bit irritating.
Having a personality that is optimistic yet real is a wonderful invitation for other people to be real and be optimistic as well.
It is perfectly normal to get upset and frustrated, but a true optimist will feel those negative feelings of frustration, take action, and move on with their day.
Staying too high on positivity gives the idea that negative feelings are fine to stuff down and suppress and staying angry all day because of one negative incident that morning doesn’t work either.
A true optimist knows it is perfectly acceptable to get frustrated and move on just as quickly.
How does this have a positive impact on your relationships? When an optimist is a role model of gracefully navigating all of life’s ups and downs, other people are positively impacted, as well.
When you are optimistic, you shine your light and invite other people to do the same.
Characteristics of an Optimist vs. a Pessimist
The pessimist might say, “How dreary, it’s raining,” while the optimist might say, “Thank goodness for this rain; the plants and flowers need it.”
Here are a few of the differences between an optimist and a pessimist:
- Sees a problem as a challenge
- Has a “can-do” attitude
- Laughs and smiles frequently
- Has a positive upbeat disposition
- Expects all to work out for the best
- Is determined to succeed
- Sees a problem as a catastrophe
- Questions their own abilities
- Does not laugh and smile much
- Has a negative, bitter disposition
- Expects things to go wrong
- Gives up easily
How to Spot A Pessimist
You will know a pessimist right from the start; however, in some cases, the pessimist’s negativity might be a bit more subtle.
Sometimes it may take time to wonder exactly what it is about a person that makes you uneasy.
Sometimes a pessimist will come out blatantly and drop their negativity like a bomb. Other times, you walk away feeling worse than when you first encountered the pessimist, but not quite sure why.
A pessimist sometimes also uses sarcasm and wit to disguise their cynicism. It may be a need for bolstering their own self-esteem to make sarcastic comments under the guise of wit.
It is also possible they are pessimistic about everything in life – theirs, yours, and everyone else’s.
Video – Are You An Optimist or Pessimist?
How to Spot an Optimist
An optimist is different than a Pollyanna-type personality. A Pollyanna-type personality sees everything with rose-colored glasses; everything is wonderful – even the not-so-wonderful aspects of life.
An optimist tends to have more positive energy and aura. Whenever you are around an optimist, you walk away feeling better than when you first encountered the optimist.
They are always finding the lighter side of things, are more jovial, laugh, and smile more.
Even in the face of adversity, an optimist can say, “Look at this challenge in front of me; I can’t wait to find a creative solution.”
A pessimist will waste time and energy complaining, whining, and feeling sorry for themselves rather than look for that creative solution.
Optimism as A Way of Being
An optimist by nature is born with a positive, upbeat temperament. It could stem from a lovely upbringing, a genetic predisposition, great childhood, or all the above.
Optimism as A Strategy
An optimist may also be an ordinary individual who chooses to be optimistic. It is a conscious effort moment by moment in their everyday lives.
He/she may be in tune with spirituality, consciousness, or is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom.
Being optimistic is a possibility he/she has created for themselves by making a conscious choice to do and be so.
A pessimist might be aware of the power of choice to change his/her attitude to a more positive demeanor. However, they choose to remain the same.
The sound of their own voice complaining, feeling sorry for themselves, or getting attention for their woeful tales is enough to keep them satisfied.
Thankfully, optimism is a learned habit. A pessimistic type of personality can learn how to be optimistic and put the practices of positive thinking to work in their lives.
With a bit of effort and consciously choosing the lighter side of situations and circumstances, a pessimist can learn the skills, habits, and traits of being more optimistic.
They simply must choose to.
Improve Your Life with Hope, Optimism, and Positive Thinking
Sustaining a healthy, happy lifestyle can seem like a juggling act at times. Maintaining the work, life balance is an art in and of itself.
With the power of hope, optimism, and positive thinking, you can keep your balance and do so with ease.
Hope, optimism, and positive thinking all sound the same, but there are some differences; however, each of these mindset characteristics has their own built-in benefits.
Let’s look at the differences and the wonderful benefits of each.
The Power of Hope & Why it Matters
Let’s look at the meaning of hope. For some, it’s simply “wishful thinking.” For others, there is more power behind being hopeful.
We may go through life with an expectation of how it “should” look, yet life delivers us something different.
We make plans and then something gets in the way of those plans: the actions of others, circumstances beyond our control like a job loss or divorce. One of the hardest things to accept is that we are not always in control.
However, the beauty of hope lies within what we can control – our reaction.
When we take on being hopeful, we take back our power. The art of being hopeful allows us to understand that, while we cannot control the circumstance in this moment, we can take on a hopeful attitude for something better in the future.
When we are hopeful, our actions emanate from that positive belief.
Being hopeful puts us in the driver’s seat and we can head in a different direction.
The Power of Optimism & Why It Matters
While being hopeful is essential in maintaining our equilibrium when life throws us a curve, being optimistic is different.
The power of optimism is key to sustaining a healthy balance in all areas of life such as relationships, careers, and health.
What is optimism?
The best way to describe optimism is by having a positive expectation, a certainty, that all things will work out in your life with the most optimal result.
The more optimistic you are, the more you expect to get positive results. When you maintain an optimistic outlook, your brain attempts to produce results that are in alignment with your mindset.
Your actions stem from your beliefs; if you believe things will work out for the best, your thoughts, feelings, and, actions reflect that belief.
The Power of Positive Thinking & Why it Matters
While hope is an intentional mindset for future goals, wishes, and desires and optimism is a way of living life from a habit of being certain of positive outcomes, positive thinking is more of a conscious lifestyle.
Some would say positive thinking is a pre-cursor to living with an automatic way of being optimistic in life.
Positive thinking is a way of looking at a situation and finding the silver lining. For example, if someone loses their job, they can view it as an ending of something or a beginning of something.
The possibility exists of finding an even better job or starting their own company.
Reframing something negative with the power of positive thinking and seeing the potential gives you the power to see the possibilities inside of that experience.
While we may not always control our circumstances, we can control our mindset with the possibilities inside of the power of hope, optimism, and positive thinking.
That is one choice which is always ours.