Christian Living

5 Signs You Might be a Pessimist and How to Fix It

January 10, 2014

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Here’s a pretty straight-forward question: are you a pessimist?  Are you a half-empty, things-are-not-so-great kind of person?  Pessimists are pretty easy to detect, just listen to them talk for a few minutes and their speech betrays them.  Oh, they may try to sugar coat things for awhile, but their words are like chocolate-covered pickles: you eventually get down to the vinegary taste.

Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  The major difference between a negative and positive person is attitude.  The way you view something ultimately determines how you feel about that particular thing. How are you viewing life these days?  Do you see things through the cloudy fog of doom, or do you look for the small flicker of light that can brighten your hazy path?

Before I start sounding too judgmental, I will admit, optimism is not my strongest feature.  As a realist, I often see the glass either way.  I confess: I have to make a conscientious effort to be positive.  But what I have learned is that the more intentional I am in my attitude, the more optimistic I am in my outlook.

Here are a few ways to determine if you are negative.

 

1. Lack of Appreciation

Those who are negative rarely express gratitude or give thanks.  They rarely acknowledge the goodness of God.

Fix it: Start giving thanks for the smallest things.  Imagine life without power, vehicles, beds, toiletries, and then begin to thank God for all gifts.  In everything give thanks every day!

 

2. Constant Drama

Negative people typically feel like they have been wronged in some capacity.  Their lives are filled with endless issues and constant frustration.

Fix it: Avoid circumstances that set you off.  Realize the world does not revolve around you, and that everyone is not out to get you.

 

3. Critical Spirit

The negative person finds fault in everything and in every situation.  To them, no one is ever right, and nothing is ever good enough.

Fix it: Instead of pointing out the obvious flaws of others, start accentuating and concentrating on the good.  Realize there is a God in glory who has the final say about others, and you are NOT HIM.  Your preference is not the ultimate verdict of life.

 

4. Selfishness

Negativity is the breeding ground for selfishness.  The negative person rarely thinks of others or makes decisions with the interests of others in mind.

Fix it: Invest in others.  Start right where you are with your family.  Do something kind and lavish for someone today.  Spend time with your child; get your spouse a gift; call someone out of the blue and let them know you are praying for them.  Live as Christ lived: selflessly.

 

5. Unforgiving Heart

Negativity and bitterness go hand in hand.  The pessimist usually holds grudges and keeps records. In the dark recesses of his heart he is bothered by unresolved issues.  He cannot let things go.

Fix it: Get things right with others.  Consider the forgivenss that Christ extended to you in His death.  Hear his agonizing words from Calvary, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”  If God forgave us, who with incalculable sins, stood before Him in need of grace, shouldn’t we also offer the olive branch of forgiveness to others?

 

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