Is Negative More Honest?

I suspect that TOF must have been in the midst of something very significant when he suggested this topic. It is so subtle that I have had to wrack my brains, what little there is that is, to come up with something to fill a few paragraphs that will make sense. To start with I hope that I have understood what he meant by the topic as I intend going about it looking at pessimists as being the negative who can however come across as honest as they are unlikely to take risks that an optimist is likely to take.

I have known a lot of pessimists in my corporate life who did very well with their responsibilities; they were able to do so well because of their pessimism. And I am serious! They inevitably transformed negative thinking into anxiety and that anxiety into action that produced some amazing results. By imagining the worst, pessimists were able to motivate themselves to prepare more and they also tried harder so that they did not fail.

We need pessimists to anticipate the worst and prepare us all for it as some information that keeps humming away in the background but someone like me, who is an eternal optimist with supreme confidence in his own intuition, such pessimists can often come across as damp squibs. And my reaction?
stop being negative Birdtown Comics

But dig as I deep as I do into my experience, I am unable to come up with an assessment as to whether being negative means being honest unless TOF had in mind someone who can say things like, “I don’t know”, I don’t think that it will work”, “We have always done it this way before here” and so on. Somehow although these statements do sound as though they are honest, I think that these reflect insecurities and pessimism rather than honesty.

There is however the ability to say “No” that seems to come more easily to the negativist than to the positivist. But being the latter, I would rather.
just say no

Had I still been in the corporate life, I would have carried out more research on this subject, but now, I cannot afford to have any kind of negativity in my life. I hope that TOF understands and forgives me my inability to come up with some profound thoughts on this subject.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my take on this subject which was chosen by Conrad the The Old Fossil who is on a sabbatical from blogging, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok gaelikaaMaxiShackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too! Ashok too is having prohlems with his blog being down and may or not participate this week.


This post is primarily to see if it will link to my twitter account. My friend Joe suggested that I do so, so that good posts can be tweeted by him to his followers. I have linked to my twitter account and let me see what happens when I post.

My regular readers will recollect my post on pessimism and optimism and the very interesting discussions in the comments on it.

One of my regular readers, who would rather direct his comments to me by hitting the reply button on his email program when he gets my posts by email, even suggested that I should call myself a pissimist for using the cartoon! Some people have an odd sense of humour. Anyway, to satisfy him, I have included another cartoon here.

For some strange reason, optimism seems to be a favourite topic of the season. There is another review in the NYT today which makes for interesting reading, though I do not intend buying that book. I have enough backlog pending to be read.


“An optimist stays up to see the New Year . A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves.”
~ Bill Vaughn.

In that case, I am constrained to invent a new word – Pessoptimism to describe my present condition.

Because, I stay up for both nowadays. I just have to replace the word Year with Situation. The pessimist in me has to win as a precondition for the optimist in me to come alive.