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GloPro's avatar

Are WE a part of the problem?

Asked by GloPro (8248 points ) April 30th, 2014 from iPhone

According to this question I asked yesterday, almost all jellies responded as pessimists.

Does that bother you? Do you think it influences the tide pool? Are you OK with accepting the worst?

Are you quick to judge others because of your pessimism? How else might it be bringing us down?

Serious question. Please think before answering.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

30 Answers

longgone's avatar

Yes. But we’re part of the solution, too, because we are everything Fluther is.

I don’t believe being optimistic is necessarily better than being a pessimist. It’s just different.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Heh! Why do you have worry so much? It may just be a coincidence that many jellies who answered that question are pessimistic.

I’m pretty OK with pessimistic people, as long as they don’t plague my mind with their complaint or lecture me on how bad life is and the solution for this (in an escapist way).

I had a classmate who was utterly pessimistic. He thought the living was “some kind of a living hell”, “the dirtiest place”, blah blah blah. He never looked at life in a more positive angel, no matter how hard I tried. To make the matter worse, some time later he became a theist, and began to lecture me on what to do according to the “god” to live happily on <err… somewhere so far away and so surreal that I can’t remember now> after death. I was just sick of it! I’m glad I don’t have to see him anymore, he’s a true poison!

Bonus: I’ll answer your linked question: I’m generally optimistic. There was time that I was pessimistic (it was the same time that classmate became a theist), but generally, I believe in a bright future.

ucme's avatar

I know it’s a serious question because it’s in general & I didn’t have to think about it.
Doesn’t surprise me in the least that a lot of users are pessimists, it kind of shows.
Me, i’m an optimist, that’s just the way it is, entirely natural for me.

jca's avatar

For the record, I didn’t answer that question because it didn’t really excite me, but I am an optimist. I am realistic, though, so some things in life I’m not seeing through rose colored glasses. I’m not delusionally optimistic.

Cruiser's avatar

Not knowing what exactly this “problem” is….my answer would be all problems can be solved if you put your mind to it. Optimists know this as gospel, pessimists by choice ignore this option and said realists rationalize their choice to not be in either camp and thusly be part of the problem.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@GloPro We’re humans, aren’t we always the problem and the solution? If we want to be the latter.

johnpowell's avatar

This question will never get a Great Question.

GloPro's avatar

Huh, look at that. A GQ.

picante's avatar

I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness; but I don’t have time to convert others to the warm glow of my mindset ;-)

I was struck by how many pessimists or recovering pessimists responding to your question yesterday, @GloPro. I don’t see this demographic as a “problem” per se; but, if a perpetually pessimistic vibe becomes the status quo, it certainly could become a problem in attracting and retaining folks.

I’m one of the few optimists who chimed in, but I felt funny doing it. I felt as if I were exposing myself to ridicule. I participate in Fluther for enjoyment, distraction, entertainment, information, social interaction . . . and on and on. I have no interest in debate, persuasion, pushing a political agenda . . . .and on and on. Could I be the problem ;-) ????

Mimishu1995's avatar

@picante I felt as if I were exposing myself to ridicule

<——This mafioso is just no better, especially in real life ~

Cruiser's avatar

@picante I am no stranger to ridicule here at Fluther for my against the grain opinions and will again go out on a limb with my opinion in that the reason so many Jellies are no longer here is because their opinions did not align with the majority here at Fluther. We lost at least 2 Jellies who joined just yesterday because of the less than warm welcome they received on their questions.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The problem lies not with pessimist, or pessimism, they maybe byproducts of the rot problem, but they are not the problem. It is true that any problem eventually will have a pulse, heartbeat, and sentient brain. Yeah, same can be the solution, but usually it is never done because the problem is never defined.

GloPro's avatar

So, @Hypocrisy_Central, what’s the problem?

thorninmud's avatar

I’ve found that people tend to respond to your expectations of them. If you treat them in a way that shows you have confidence that they’ll behave honorably, they will usually be reluctant to betray that confidence. If they sense that you are dubious about whether they’ll do the right thing, then they will feel less concern about their image in your eyes.

There was an interesting study about the effects of publicity in influencing public behaviors. It found that PSAs shown on TV back in the ‘70s that showed littered landscapes bringing a tear to an Indian’s eye (I remember those) actually had the perverse effect of making people more inclined to litter, not less. This was because it sent the subliminal message that lots of people litter, so that it’s a more or less expected behavior. It’s more effective to send the message that good behavior is the norm, so don’t be that guy .

In my interactions with people on Fluther, I try to respond to things people say in a way that shows that I haven’t written them off as decent, well-meaning citizens of the tide pool. That may mean just letting some sharp remark slide on by, counting it as a miscommunication rather than a personal affront. It always means abstaining from ridicule and insult; as good as it may feel to deliver a good burn, it clearly signals to your target that you have no esteem for them, and they will feel no compunctions at all about behaving like an asshole toward you. It may mean taking a deep breath and reaching out a hand of friendship—adding them to your fluther or sending a positive PM, for instance—to someone you’ve had some conflict with. I’ve seen that completely transform the way someone interacts with me.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@GloPro So, @Hypocrisy_Central, what’s the problem?
Seeing it is a problem I see, and may not be the only one, there is the danger no one will actually stop to think if there is something to it but maybe take an opportunity to see them in the problem, feel attacked, then the thread will go to the gutter from there. So…….for now, it will remain as much mystery as it is now. ;-)

Mimishu1995's avatar

@thorninmud In my interactions with people on Fluther, I try to respond to things people say in a way that shows that I haven’t written them off as decent, well-meaning citizens of the tide pool. That may mean just letting some sharp remark slide on by, counting it as a miscommunication rather than a personal affront. It always means abstaining from ridicule and insult; as good as it may feel to deliver a good burn, it clearly signals to your target that you have no esteem for them, and they will feel no compunctions at all about behaving like an asshole toward you. It may mean taking a deep breath and reaching out a hand of friendship—adding them to your fluther or sending a positive PM, for instance—to someone you’ve had some conflict with. I’ve seen that completely transform the way someone interacts with me.

Definitely a life lesson for me today!

Symbeline's avatar

I always joke about being a pessimist, but in reality I am not. I do think there is more bad than good, but I certainly believe the good that there is is worth striving for. While I apply this to my life all the time, I admit that my disposition as seen by others might be perceived as cynical and whatnot. So I probably don’t help at all. I like to think of myself as a realist instead, I don’t know if I really am or not. I can’t change my personality or how I see things though.

For sure, I probably judge people through my outlook, but I’d like to know who doesn’t. Thing is I don’t want to change this, and I would hope I could be accepted as I am. I’m as nice to newbies as I can be and try to make them feel welcome, but I admit that I do this after seeing that a newbie will stick around for a bit. You can sort of tell when someone comes here to ask one or two things and then will leave, as opposed to one who tries to integrate themselves into the Fluther pond. I try to act natural around them so they fell that they fit in, instead of making them feel that they need to pass some initiation test before being accepted. Frankly the close knit thing we have going on here at Fluther I think we could do without, because it intimidates new folks and makes them go away. Hell sometimes we have problems accepting and respecting some of our regulars.
Does my outlook on life affect this? Probably. But yes we’re a part of the problem, we’re a part of everything, good and bad. That’s what a community is.

Blondesjon's avatar

I don’t see Fluther as having a problem.

I love the whole hot mess just the way it is, good and bad.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m an optimist. I’m the first to make up an excuse for other people doing bad things. “Well, maybe they didn’t know…” “Perhaps they thought…” I don’t like to think poorly of others until they give me no other choice. I’m not relentlessly optimistic, but given given the chance, I’ll take the chance to be positive.

If Fluther has a problem, I believe it to be a lack of development and promotion. We need to have a link on Match.com, or some other place lonely people hang out. I just don’t see potentially valuable members appearing and being driven off. I can guarantee that the tidepool is many time over more friendly than it was last September when my participation began in earnest. If I’d known of another option other than Facebook, I would have gone there in a heartbeat.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes & think so. The constant infighting gets tiresome. @ucme & a few others know how to laugh, that’s why I come back.

ucme's avatar

Hahahaha, hehehehe, hohohoho, titter, chuckle, chortle, guffaw…<<< yep, guess you’re right :)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Ucme Yeah, spread the love & laughter. Seems to me many could remove sticks from buttocks & lighten up!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL Only you could tell someone to pull something out of their ass and make it sound classy.:)

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL True, I myself have one or two splinters stuck in my arse, but that’s only because i’m a fence sitting agnostic.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Ucme and you don’t have to defend that to me, I like you as you are. I don’t feel accepted for myself, kinda sucks.

Symbeline's avatar

@KNOWITALL I totally accept you as you are, broski. :) And you know dat shite! :D

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Syby Yeah & I love that! @adirondack You rock! Anyone here is more than a religion, race or any single facet.

Symbeline's avatar

Yeah. We’re all people, we should all just get the fuck along. I may not be religious, but my dad was a hippy in the 60’s haha, so I’m all for that whole holding hands and singing kombaya and alla O’ dat.

And lol, Syby.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SYMBY ditto, raised by hippies here, too. Bob Marley, we are one, hurt others, you hurt yourself. We need a love-in!

Paradox25's avatar

I wouldn’t call myself a pessimist in a true sense, and I think my open mindedness prevents me from being too pessimistic, but yet sometimes I feel pessimism is necessary.

I know many optimists who are either rude or indifferent to others to for no valid reason, and don’t care about the pain of others around them. I know of many pessimists who are the way they are because they’re so easily bothered by the negativity around them, and tend to be the first person to stick up for somebody or help another out in need. Sometimes it’s the other way around.

Personally I don’t see either optimism or pessimism being the problem, but the fact that many people simply can’t show a decent amount of respect for others who don’t live or think like them, or those who simply don’t have the ability to feel empathy for others. This is where our problems truly are, whether on or offline.

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