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Pessimism is a belief that most things in the world suck. This is a really realistic view of the world to take, because some things are clearly more shit than others. Pessimism is often described using the crappy metaphor that a glass of water is half empty rather than half full, which is completely stupid because the glass isn't full in any case so it sucks no matter what. The water in the glass sucks too, just in case you were wondering.
One of the world's most famous pessimists was named Arthur Schopenhauer, who will be referred to as Schopenhater for the rest of this article. Schopenhater attempted to prove that this world is the worst of all possible worlds. See the quote below:
|But against the palpably sophistical proofs of Leibniz that this is the best of all possible worlds, we may even oppose seriously and honestly the proof that it is the worst of all possible worlds. For possible means not what we may picture in our imagination, but what can actually exist and last. Now this world is arranged as it had to be if it were to be capable of continuing with great difficulty to exist; if it were a little worse, it would be no longer capable of continuing to exist. Consequently, since a worse world could not continue to exist, it is absolutely impossible; and so this world itself is the worst of all possible worlds.
This was Leibniz's proof that this is the best of all possible worlds.
Romantic relationships are often a source of pessimism. Suppose your lover flirts too much, but you're too afraid to confront him/her because you really want to keep your relationship alive. So, based on her openly flirtatious nature, you assume that she wouldn't mind it if you had sex with your ex-lover. Big mistake.
Your ex-lover wants you again, and s/he calls you post-sex and your current lover finds out and s/he breaks up with you. On top of your newly broken heart, you knocked up your ex-lover and are now sucked into being with him/her. Either that, or paying child support out the ass.
Or, you really like someone and want to make him/her your lover, but a friend beats you to the punch and asks them out. On top of that, they like to do their little physical things in public right in front of you.
A magazine in my dentist's office asserts that pessimism can cause other health problems, which usually causes more pessimism and then you die. That sucks, not that the magazine asserted this.
The recommended remedy for pessimism is a placebo, which the dictionary defines as "a false sense of healing or treatment created by optimism and/or faith." A placebo is, essentially, optimism. You can create Fantasy Land with optimism. Pretend that a pill can cure you of cancer, and that you have a six-figure income, and that your wife isn't dead anymore. Then you can start riding a unicorn to work, and have tea parties with both a stuffed rabbit and a stuffed ferret. Everybody will be so happy for you, that they'll probably fire you so you can spend more time getting help in a mental ward. It all works out.
Compare that to being pessimistic. You will start to look and smell better because your standards of hygiene and beauty will have been decreased, as will your contact with friends, family, and that guy you see at the grocery store who you hate for a reason unknown to you, but then again, you never really communicated with him much, unless you consider the occasional stink-eye as friendship, in which case, you two have been through it all together.
As you can clearly see, optimism sucks. Or maybe it doesn't. You see, the world is a terrible place and since it's bound only to get worse, you may as well see the bright side of everything, because what the hell is it gonna do to you? You might as well be ignorantly happy rather than be informed and depressed.
If you are looking for help to rid yourself of your pessimist ways; stop. No one cares about you. Why would science want to research your stupid condition? They'd never find a way to help either. It is as hopeless as my marriage to even attempt to rid the world of pessimism, so don't cash out 4 grand a month for a therapist. Use the money to buy a expensive car or something. That will make you feel good about yourself, although it will not stop the world from continuing to suck.