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Holiday Pessimism - How Do We Cope and Help?



Is the glass half full or half empty? The pessimist answers, “I don’t even have a glass.” The pessimist always expects the worst. The problem is that he/she brings down everyone else’s mood. That leads to no one really wanting to be around them, which leads to social isolation – the “Whoa is me!” mentality.

If you know me and my work, you know I believe in helping others BUT protecting yourself first. Pessimism is the opposite of my philosophy of Abbondanza – living life with abundance. Sometimes pessimists don’t want to be helped. They want to wallow in their “self-pity” view of the world and are not hesitant about trying to recruit others to go along with them. Your coping strategy is to walk away from them.

But the majority can be reasonably talked to IF that’s someone you care about. Their negative views of the world have been developed over time, so don’t expect you’re going to turn everything around all at once. Ask them what they’re grateful for. Often, they’ll give you a “YaBut”- that’s a Yes, but… Call them on it but not directly. Let them hear your interpretation of a situation and/or what you found that was positive. I can’t tell you the number of times I explain to others why I do gratitude every morning, and they begin to try it. For those that actually do it, they ALWAYS get back to me about what an incredible difference it makes. I do this personally and professionally. IT WORKS!

At the end of the day a person’s philosophy is honed by years of experience. Each of us is different. Pessimists usually come from a long line of pessimists. Help them break out of that mold.

It’s always more fun to hang out with optimists even if sometimes they go overboard and are obnoxiously positive. Just as with pessimism, optimism is contagious.

Carborundum non illigitimi- Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.

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