The eternal optimist, we all know one. They are the people who walk around with a smile on their faces despite world hunger, diseases, wars, and dogs in the Sarah McLachlan commercials. They are the people who are fervent believers in the good of people, no matter how many times they’ve been robbed or disgraced. They are also the ones who are certain in their hope that people can change for the better.
They are an amazing race of humans. I happen to be married to one, my two best friends are these type of people, and my boss, Teri. The questionable thing that’s happening here is that I am a total realist. Why they keep wanting to be friends with me is probably for comical reasons. It’s not that I don’t see cause for hope or that people deserve a few hundred chances, I just see the reality of things because I have to help people see the reality of their situations. Dreams are one thing, they need to come from you and your passions. I am not the creator of fantasy worlds or wishful thinking. Sometimes, this makes me a pessimist and the person with the cold, dark heart.
Here are some ways to deal with the eternal optimist. These people really know how to forge through every setback and are able to brush things off their shoulders like dandruff.
ETERNAL OPTIMISTS DON’T USE THE WORD: FAIL
The eternal optimists never say they’re going to fail at something before they even try it. They never talk poorly about themselves at all. If anything, they keep trying and pursuing their goals one step at a time each day. If they experience a setback, they acknowledge it and move on quickly. They don’t keep dwelling on it whatsoever because they know it’s not going to move them forward.
ETERNAL OPTIMISTS AREN’T PETTY
When they are hopeful about everything, they are hopeful for everyone. They are fully happy for your success. They don’t get jealous. They simply want you to do what makes you happy and are there to cheer you on. They don’t need anything in return even if they did play a role in your success. This makes sense because their happiness isn’t tied to you. It’s created in their own visions and minds, thus they have no reason to be jealous of you or expect anything from you. They basically want to happily skip through life and want the same for you.
THIS ONE IS EASY, GIVE UP AND JUST BE LIKE THEM
Then, just be like them. It’s literally exhausting and slightly miserable caring too much, being so emotional, and just over thinking about so many things. Ruminating is the worst type of behavior anyone can engage in because no actions are taken and you lose sight of all your goals.
Seriously, look how happy and unaffected they are by mostly everything. It honestly amazes me how they can conjure up their own happiness despite any given situation. It used to really annoy me how happy they could be even when it’s been raining for 60 days straight, when they’re hungry or tired, and when people treat them really badly. But, they are a gift to me and an example of how one really should be living.
Examples: When the kids are being supremely annoying, my husband is still able to parent like a patient, blissful saint. My best friend is about to give up coffee while helping guide people spiritually in her church group and she volunteers to help the homeless. She’s content and rarely ever complains anything. My other best friend has 2 little kids like me, he works 900 hours a week, basically hasn’t slept since 2005, yet he’s always calm like a clam. Lastly, don’t get me started on Teri. No matter what’s going on, no matter how tired we are, if I’m having a crazy day, she always helps me end the day with a dozen hearty laughs.
BUT, KNOW THE LIMITS
When the eternal optimist finally learns their lesson, it’s a relief to me. I never say that I told you so, but it’s more like, welcome to the dark side. It’s one thing to positive and hopeful, but you have to know your limits because people know how to use and abuse hope. I hate seeing optimists get hurt or used time and time again. But, they are adamant that their hope will make other people better. I use my psychology on them, which never works on anyone by the way, and they never learn until it’s almost too late.
Behavior: Pick some excuse you keep seeing/hearing that keeps working all the time.
Eternal Optimist: Ok, I’ll give you the thing that you need because I am so hopeful you’ll never do it again after I help you this time! *Super hug and happy face*
Behavior: Happens again a few months later, then 5 more times after that.
Eternal Optimist: Oh, life happens, it’s totally ok because we all deserve 92 chances! Let’s try this again one more time. *Real happy face*
Kate: What even is this?
The thing to remember is that the world isn’t just full of rainbows, puppies, and ice cream for eternal optimists either. They do see the reality of things, but the way they choose to process the reality is different from most of us. They choose not to wallow in pitiful situations. They don’t choose to find bad news or be a part of things that just make them unhappy. They know they can mentally, emotionally, and physically remove themselves from such situations to ones that are happier, calmer, and more fulfilling. Sometimes, we think we are trees rooted in our consequences, fears, and we have to stay where we plant ourselves. But, we have to know that we can walk away, drive, or have the eternal optimist help push us away from what doesn’t bring us happiness or prevents us from living our lives.