Michelle Monet

Like so many things, this business of optimism/pessimism eventually gets back to what degree of interpersonal etiquette one believes in applying.

Think of it this way:

I have a dad too, at least outwardly an optimist for the most part, or maybe it’s just his preferred persona, which bespeaks his priority of being pleasant company over being the center of sympathetic attention. He is always the first to point out that, if you could get inside anyone’s mind or be a fly on their wall, you’d probably be surprised how much trouble, trauma, baggage and bewilderment anyone is carrying.

It’s a rural thing or a local trait or something, but the example from folks around me of all ages that I try and follow aside from Dad’s, is to treat my own troubles as my own troubles, no more or less demanding of attention than anyone else’s; and to remember that dwelling in them privately overmuch just brings them to the surface publicly overmuch, which is just not good manners. So better to look on the bright side, not even just because it might make me feel better, but even if I don’t, whose business is that anyway, besides just mine?

In this sense, pessimism can easily become something much like virtue-signalling or compliment-fishing: just a way to get attention, and of the made-to-order sort, the kind which puts others the most ill at ease. Does that somehow mitigate whatever it is one is worried about? Or does it play as a means of trying to spread it around?

In the final analysis, pessimism amounts to one thing:

bad manners.

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