The Pros and Cons of Pessimism

Pessimism is a common coping mechanism for many people. It involves assuming the worst or ignoring the possibility of a better outcome. With many disasters, shootings, and losses in the world, it can be easy to feel the need to be pessimistic and assume that nothing will change. However, is that really beneficial for you?

Here are the top pros and cons of using pessimism in your life.

Pros of Pessimism as a Coping Strategy

Here are some of the top reasons that people may use pessimism and why it might be beneficial. If you want to learn more about how pessimism works, you can also check out BetterHelp’s advice column.

Lessening Disappointment

One reason someone might use a pessimistic thought pattern or belief is to lessen the possibility of disappointment if something doesn’t go right. When someone is pessimistic, they automatically believe that nothing is going to go right or that there is no hope in a situation.

If they turn out to be correct, they won’t feel disappointed or hurt. In fact, their suspicions will be confirmed. However, this can be a negative in the long run, as they may develop incorrect assumptions about the world and the probability of things going in their favor.

Avoiding Potential Hurt

Pessimism can also avoid potential hurt in relationships. For example, someone who is pessimistic may believe that their partner is unable to offer them the type of care they need. If this ends up being true, the person will not have to suffer more hurt by having tried for a long time to get something they needed from someone who couldn’t get it. They could instead move on and find something new.

An Ability to Stop When Needed

Science shows that pessimists are better able to move on when something doesn’t go their way. This study has been shown in gambling and addiction. Pessimists have the ability to stop when something isn’t yielding results. For example, if they don’t win big at the casino, they’re likely to put their money back in their wallet and walk away. On the other hand, someone who is more optimistic may struggle with accepting reality and may continue playing until they go broke.

Cons of Pessimism as a Coping Strategy

Now, let’s look at some of the cons of using pessimism as a coping strategy.

Missing Out

People who are pessimistic often miss out on exciting and unique events in life because they believe that they are not a possibility. They may believe that opting for something new or exciting is too much of a risk, and therefore they do not reap the benefits.

This decision can be harmful in the business world, especially if the pessimist decides not to go on a business venture that would actually benefit their company. It’s important for pessimists not to be too rigid in their thinking and try to increase flexibility in their lives.

A Potential for Less Happiness

Being pessimistic can make you sadder. Optimistic and positive thoughts are known to bring happiness. There have even been studies that show that visualization and manifestation do work, which shows that being optimistic can help you achieve your goals (but only if you believe in it).

Alienating Others

Finally, people who are pessimistic will often alienate other people, especially those who identify as optimists. If you are going around telling people that nothing will go right, that their dreams are useless, and that there’s no hope, people will likely stay far away from you. Humans like positivity, and positivity is good for us. If you wish to connect on a deeper level with others, consider the way you speak and the influence it may have on them.


Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, there are pros and cons to both sides. We hope these pros and cons of pessimism have helped you learn a little more about your own beliefs and how you can change them to better suit yourself and others in the future.

Note:- The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

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