Wednesday, 19 September 2018
The Restless Native The Restless Native

In Defence of Negativity

By  Jan 26, 2017

My wife and I will never see eye to eye when it comes to certain things, mainly regarding our individual stances on life and other people. She is one of the “think pink” crowd and has a limitless supply of optimism. I do not.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a pessimist with no hope for anything playing out in my favour. I simply don't stray from the notion that all outcomes are possible in life. The absolute worst, as well as the best. You could say I'm a sceptic and a self-proclaimed realist. Having a positive outlook when trying to accomplish something is (scientifically proven) a good thing and I'm not questioning that, but that doesn't mean you should simply deny possible alternatives to everything playing out as you've imagined it. The fact I'm a good person doesn't mean I'm not going to get hit by lightening.

This outlook works for me. I like it. Thinking about both the good and the bad possible outcomes to my actions keeps me on my toes. It keeps me cautious and prepared for potential problems (although the worst problems in one's life are usually impossible to anticipate). Also, I don't let negative thoughts control my everyday life or affect my work. So, what is the problem? The problem is, optimists are always trying to fix me. My whole life I've had to listen to people lecturing me on how I need to always be optimistic about life and have faith in people. On the other hand, I am optimistic only when I believe I have solid factual reasons to be, and less said about my faith in people the better.

Now when I'm 35 I still get lectured. Even by those younger than me. Well, there's one thing they are not taking into account. My life is great! There are so many things I have accomplished that make me proud to be me. There were probably just as many embarrassing fails along the way as well, but I don't experience them tragically or with too much emotion. Failure is always an option. However, if you tally up all my losses and wins and compare them to those of a similarly competent person with a sunnier disposition, they probably won't differ at all.

So, don't be mad if I stick to my guns and remain sceptical about thinking pink...or peachy. Moderate negativity is my way to go and this won't change in the foreseeable future. It's not the life philosophy for everyone, but it works for some of us. Besides, if we were all convinced everything will always turn out for the best, who would plan our emergency services? Who would create our insurance policies, or defence strategies? The world needs a certain amount of pessimism, it's healthy.

If there are any younger people with a similar disposition reading this, remember: it's ok to consider the bad along with the good, it's ok to sometimes feel pessimistic, and if you need to feel down every once in a while, feel down for a day and then work through it. Just make sure not to impose your feelings on others.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

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