Optimist or Pessimist, Which Route Are You On? 7 Benefits of Both

OPTIMISTS ARE MORE RESILIENT 

Not only do optimists look on the bright side, they’re also likely to bounce back more quickly than pessimists. It’s not because they’re delusional, researchers say. Rather, they have a “growth mind-set”—instead of believing that a negative event (say, dropping the ball at a job interview) is a reflection of themselves, they believe that their abilities can be developed.

PESSIMISTS CAN BE MORE PERSUASIVE

Working on a job application? Ask your most pessimistic friend to help you with your cover letter. Researchers have found that they may be better at delivering a persuasive message than optimists, thanks to a different informative processing style.

OPTIMISTS HAVE BETTER IMMUNE SYSTEMS

A positive attitude may strengthen the immune system, according to a study of 124 law students as they experience classes, tests, and internships. As optimism experienced a boost, immunity did too. And as optimism dropped, the immune system weakened.

PESSIMISTS MAKE MORE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS

Optimism may lead to making riskier decisions, according to The Atlantic. Blame it on optimism bias, “the flawed reasoning that one has lower-than-average odds of experiencing negative events,” writer Lindsay Abrams explains. “Not wearing a bike helmet increases the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident, but it’s human for helmet-eschewers to believe that their personal risk is less than that of other, helmet-less riders.”

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