Do people think you are negative and/or pessimistic?

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Rocket123
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30 Jan 2014, 2:36 am

I was talking to a co-worker earlier today, discussing his plans for an upcoming software release. The plan assumed that everything would go smoothly (including testing which hadn’t yet begun). So, I asked him, “what happens if we find a defect?”. Honestly, I would be surprised if we did not. Initially, he disregarded my question, assuming the best case scenario. Eventually, I convinced him that this was a possibility and he modified his plans.

The above is probably not the best example I could think of. In any event, I always saw myself as being a realist. I simply had the ability to wade through a whole bunch of details and identify all the things that could go wrong. These are the things that most people simply miss.

Now, my wife insists that I am negative, critical and pessimistic. That I always focus on negatives. This opinion is shared by a friend of 45 years (we grew up as neighbors, he is one of the few people I consider a friend).

Ok - Enough rambling. Any other people out there who are considered negative/pessimistic? Is this a common trait on the spectrum? Thanks.



Quintex
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30 Jan 2014, 2:42 am

Not sure if it is an autistic trait, but I live in a world of worst case scenarios. This is actually helpful at work since I am rarely surprised by a failure as I have probably already run that scenario and have an idea of a solution already in the works.

Yes, family members sometimes consider me to be negative and pessimistic, I refer to it as "realistic."


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Norny
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30 Jan 2014, 3:45 am

Quintex wrote:
Not sure if it is an autistic trait, but I live in a world of worst case scenarios. This is actually helpful at work since I am rarely surprised by a failure as I have probably already run that scenario and have an idea of a solution already in the works.

Yes, family members sometimes consider me to be negative and pessimistic, I refer to it as "realistic."


I think a good way to describe yourself would be a realist with a pessimistic trajectory, in that while you tend to view things as they really are, the negative side affects you more, or at least you consider it more.

Being a realist doesn't mean that you have to amplify and focus on the negatives, it simply means you are aware of them and can't/won't just ignore them. For example, if a realist was going to a party they could be thinking, just as an example 'I'll get to meet friends, but I'll also have to see and talk to people I don't like'. If they had a more pessimistic view they would have a hard time deciding whether or not they wanted to go to the party because they'd let the more negative side of that example (having to talk to people they don't like) affect them more so than the positive side (meeting their friends), and if they had a more optimistic view it would be the opposite. A self proclaimed optimist wouldn't even care that they'd have to talk to people they didn't like or perhaps wouldn't even think about/consider it, while a self proclaimed pessimist would think and complain about only the negative side and have the generalized point of view that 'what can go wrong, will go wrong'.

That's the way I see it, and obviously that's a very limited generalization but I hope it makes sense. I don't think it's possible to be a complete realist, as it's practically impossible to avoid subjectivity if you're a human.

As for me, I tend to be a realist with optimistic trajectory. Using the party example above, I'd be aware and think about both sides of it, but I'd try and focus more on meeting my friends as I wouldn't want to feel bad about it. Yes, I can and do envisage worst case scenarios, but there's no point in me thinking too much about it if I want to feel happy. Being a realist is good, because then you are less prone to constant disappointment, but it is also bad because you are exhilarated less by the pleasant side of things.


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Last edited by Norny on 30 Jan 2014, 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

headhunter228
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30 Jan 2014, 3:50 am

I tend to go back and forth depending on the mood I'm in. Every time some jackass tells me to go kill myself in LoL, I'm ready to jump to the conclusion that everyone is evil to some extent. And then I hear some inspirational story/act of kindness that restores a little of my faith in humanity.

Frankly, I prefer to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't happen, than to expect the best and be disappointed.


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bumble
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30 Jan 2014, 3:57 am

Quintex wrote:
Not sure if it is an autistic trait, but I live in a world of worst case scenarios. This is actually helpful at work since I am rarely surprised by a failure as I have probably already run that scenario and have an idea of a solution already in the works.

Yes, family members sometimes consider me to be negative and pessimistic, I refer to it as "realistic."


I like to look at all possible case senarios...be they regarded as positive or negative or neither.

Ie all possible outcomes to a sequence of events. It's not always about negative or positive either...it just about all possible outcomes to a particular course of actions or sequence of events etc.



yellowtamarin
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30 Jan 2014, 4:28 am

No!

I mean yes. I definitely get told I'm being too negative about things. When I have problem-solving or planning discussions with people, I bring up a lot of negatives/what-ifs/buts etc., and sometimes people complain about this. But my argument is that why would I bring up the positive things? They are already positive, they don't need to be solved, fixed, or considered. The point of the conversation is to bring up the bad stuff and do something about them if necessary.

I also love playing devils advocate, and when it's taken the wrong way, I am again seen as being negative.

I would call myself a "realist". Apparently pessimists see the world more realistically than optimists, so perhaps I'm a pessimist, but I prefer realist.

The up-side? I'm awesome at picking up errors in other people's work. It makes me a great proofreader, and occasionally I'm seen as an asset in work meetings when my "nit-picking" is appreciated (i.e. when quality counts).



Norny
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30 Jan 2014, 4:52 am

This link is a tad extreme, but it provides an alternative point of view: Link


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30 Jan 2014, 6:28 am

Norny wrote:
This link is a tad extreme, but it provides an alternative point of view: Link


From Link "Pessimism leads to depression, contributes to heart attacks and cancer, kills joy, ruins marriages, and impairs one's ability to accomplish" . When I was reading that I thought I had mistakenly clicked on a Autism Speaks webpage :lol:

Back on topic people tell me I am too negative all the time. As I mentioned on another thread my pessimism is a result of overcompensating for the fact that I am vulnerable to people who want to take advantage of me. Now I know why I am vulnerable/naive. Also be it from uncanny valley or whatever I will see people when they are at their worst more often then when they are their best. I have learned to go mute most of the time when these pessimistic or even realistic thoughts occur. When I am stressed out or tired I am more likely to express my pessimistic thoughts.

Speaking of extreme examples when 9/11 happened I was not surprised because I had always thought that the USA would be hit by a large terrorist attack of some sort. Everybody else was being hit by terrorism and the US as a big open target and not liked in certain quarters (I won't go further then this, as this is not a political thread) . With those factors a large attack seemed inevitable to my mind. After the attack I expressed those thoughts. Even with my face reading deficits it became quickly apparent that pretty much everybody else was shocked by those thoughts and it would be very bad for me to continue to express them.


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30 Jan 2014, 7:09 am

Yes. People say that I'm too negative a lot. I assume the worst about relationships and how people see me, they say I'm too negative but then continue to not want me around. Since it appears to me that I'm being realistic, I think the key is that most people who are happy may be able to tune out realistic but negative expectations. I might be wrong, though about this.



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30 Jan 2014, 8:14 am

Norny wrote:
This link is a tad extreme, but it provides an alternative point of view: Link


sure fine, but tell me how my attitude is what affect what people have done to me that I have never met? When my car gets broken into and I was not there to influence the persons actions, when my home is the one chosen to be broken into, why It's MY fault I have been raped 3 times in my life? It is my fault my bicycle is the one constantly having stuff broken off of it and stolen (even though I am not there for people to see my negative personality to cause them to take my stuff!)

no, I am a realist not a pessimist, my life experiences have shown me things happen - when people treat me well I am nice to them - when they treat me like crap I either leave, from real life or block them on the internet.


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30 Jan 2014, 8:22 am

No, surprisingly. I don't think your work example is pessimistic, either, since profits are probably at stake.



KingdomOfRats
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30 Jan 2014, 8:53 am

have been called pessamistic [in different words] by people because of being extremely honest and those who speak to self being extreme optimists;ie those who think anyone can do anything if they just try harder,without a thought to unremoveable non physical barriers in the way a person may have.
am guessing a lot of WPers will probably have experienced this type/extreme optimist before.



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30 Jan 2014, 9:02 am

When I was young and naive I was called an optimist. Now after having life experiences, I'm told I'm a pessimist. I consider myself a realist though.



b_edward
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30 Jan 2014, 11:13 am

To me, there are a few facets to this:

1.) I will make small-talk and go off on some tangent that I had been thinking about. This is the same in my head as when others talk about last night's football game. But I come off as if I'm complaining about something. So they see me as slightly pessimistic for it, and they feel the need to re-assure me.

2.) I am a bit pessimistic when it comes to a a few things. Like when people are praised for being effective (and given promotions, etc.) I'm convinced they did it by taking advantage of other people and they didn't care who they hurt along the way.

When you really are pessimistic, then it shows and people notice.

3.) I'm always concerned about how something is going to affect others. Or I'm trying to point out a particular detail about something that is being overlooked. To me this is a positive thing, until I see the reaction from others -- it seems they think I'm bent on complaining all the time. So it helps provide another reason for them to see me as pessimistic. When others treat me as if I'm an obstacle and a stumbling block, it helps me become more negative and pessimistic.



RedStar98
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30 Jan 2014, 11:28 am

A lot of people say I'm too serious or pessimistic and need to 'lighten up a bit'. I'm no good at trivial, not-serious conversation either. I think I'm just realistic.


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