Optimist and Pessimist: Do They Make a Good Pair?


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Tright here’s a cause why TV comedy couple Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation took the web by storm within the 2010s. Andy, performed by Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt, was a goofy idealist who beloved to look on the intense facet. In the meantime April—who’s performed by White LotusAubrey Plaza—was a sarcastic, brooding cynic who beloved to play satan’s advocate.

The couple’s ‘golden retriever boyfriend and black cat girlfriend’ relationship trope performed out hilariously on digital camera, and regardless of their opposing outlooks on life, they balanced one another out. April, ever the pessimist, helped preserve Andy grounded in actuality. Optimist Andy, however, helped April see the silver linings in instances of stress (keep in mind when she by accident deleted each file on the parks and recreation server?).

How properly does this relationship dynamic play out IRL, although? Can optimists and pessimists get alongside romantically off-script?

Why an optimist and a pessimist can work in a relationship

In accordance with intercourse therapist, {couples} counselor, and relationship coach Lyndsey Murray, LPC, they completely can.

The Relationship Issues Remedy founder says that optimists and pessimists can supply new, worthwhile views to their companions and assist one another make well-informed choices.

“They’ll carry out the perfect in one another in a novel manner,” says Murray. “Typically optimists might be overly optimistic, and perhaps aren’t noticing the pitfalls of their plan. That is the place a pessimist can carry them again right down to actuality a bit.”

Alternatively, Murray says, optimists can reassure pessimists {that a} sticky state of affairs isn’t precisely the top of the world.

The stability optimists and pessimists must strike in relationships

The optimist-and-pessimist relationship dynamic is a fragile balancing act. Bother, Murray says, can come up when one accomplice persistently challenges the opposite’s issues or sources of happiness.

“Each time somebody’s pessimism or optimism seems like a dismissal of the opposite individual, that is the place it might really feel poisonous or draining,” says Murray.

Optimists must keep away from poisonous positivity

Optimists choose to at all times see the great in dangerous conditions and supply silver linings to family members going via a tough time. Whereas that is commendable, telling your accomplice to look on the intense facet of a crappy state of affairs can reduce their emotions in the event you lack empathy and consciousness.

Poisonous positivity could make you’re feeling ashamed of feeling dangerous about one thing,” says Murray. “The message is that you simply should not really feel dangerous, that you could recover from it. If that is at all times the dynamic, the one who’s extra pessimistic is ultimately going to cease coming to you.”

Being conscious of what your accomplice is asking for in a second of want—recommendation or simply an ear to hear—may help you guarantee they really feel seen after they flip to your for assist or consolation.

Pessimists must avoid defeatism

Frankly, no one likes a celebration pooper. Pessimists are likely to dwell on the destructive “what ifs” of a future occasion. This sense of foreboding can carry an optimist down, particularly after they’re enthusiastic about an upcoming occasion, says Murray. So pessimists must conscious that they aren’t treading into persistent defeatism territory—perception that issues will take a flip for the more serious—which might really feel like a dismissal of the optimistic accomplice’s pleasure.

“For example an optimist is actually excited for one thing, and a pessimist would not share that pleasure, like in any respect,” says Murray. “They arrive to the desk with all of the the explanation why it’s a foul concept, why it is not gonna work. That may really feel very dismissive.”

Except your optimistic accomplice asks to your recommendation, particularly asks you to assist them see any potential downsides of what they’re doing, or is one way or the other in hurt’s manner—it’s finest to maintain your reservations to your self and allow them to have their enjoyable.

What optimists and pessimists want in Order to thrive in a relationship

In accordance with Murray, fostering a cheerful, wholesome relationship between an optimist and a pessimist might be made simpler by establishing the next two habits.

1. Get curious in regards to the different individual’s perspective

You could by no means share your accomplice’s opinion on whether or not the glass is half full or half empty, and that’s okay. Murray says you may nonetheless attain a spot of mutual respect and understanding.

To do that, Murray advises optimists and pessimists to placed on their detective hats and “get curious” about their accomplice’s POV.

“To be able to construct a wholesome relationship shaped round mutual understanding, each events have to be interested in why their accomplice thinks a sure manner,” says Murray. “Ask them why. Ask them what makes them excited. Ask them about what has them feeling negatively. You do not essentially should agree, and that’s advantageous. However in the event you’re curious, it tells your accomplice that you simply’re at the very least in what they should say. And that curiosity is a key to an enduring relationship for anybody.”

2. Construct emotional belief

Establishing mutual understanding of one another’s worldview can strengthen the belief between an optimist and pessimist. Displaying that you simply’re within the “why” behind their views exhibits your accomplice that their ideas and emotions will likely be listened to and validated. This sort of emotional belief, Murray says, is essential for an extended relationship between an optimist and a pessimist.

This belief, says Murray, may help and optimist and a pessimist really feel united—even after they butt heads.

“It seems like this individual is on my facet,” says Murray, “they usually’ve acquired my again.”


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