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Blackberry's avatar

How do you know if you're either: jaded, cynical, pessimistic, or have a more realistic outlook of life?

Asked by Blackberry (31878points) January 30th, 2012

Does anyone else have a hard time trying figure out where you are with these terms?

I think I have a pretty optimistic outlook on life, but sometimes I’m either one or a combination of these terms and I’m not sure which one(s).

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15 Answers

GoldieAV16's avatar

I grappled with this a bit, but decided I’m a ‘positive cynic.’ I know, it seems oxymoronic. All the better.

rebbel's avatar

By comparing your outlook with those of others around you, plus comparing your current one with outlooks you had in the past (if they were different, that is).

wundayatta's avatar

You submit your proposal to me and I decide.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I’m still going through this period of my life. I’m torn between whether I’m pessimistic and negative or just very realistic. Other times I’m pretty hopeful and accepting of this life, and treat it more like a joke (for lack of a better word) than anything.

I suppose you never really know, your perception changes all the time. What you think of realism now you may look back in 10 years and think of as pessimism. The way you define your personality is always just a perception. We evolve and change all the time.

marinelife's avatar

Pessimistic means that you are always looking for a bad outcome.

Cynical means that you believe that everyone is out for themselves only.

Jaded means that you are weary from having seen it all before.

Coloma's avatar

Having knowledge and experience with certain situations, people, does not have to make one P,C, or J, it simply means that with experience and discernment you learn to avoid the holes in the sidewalk that you used to fall into easily.
I don’t consider myself pessimistic, cynical or jaded if I observe & recognize red flag behaviors with people that I know, from experience, are not going to be conducive to a healthy and progressive relationship. This could be work, friendships, romantic interests, business transactions, etc.

Yes, life and people are ever evolving, but one must make decisions based on the present moment realities of all situations. Whenever my mind wants to go into a negative place I go universal, meaning, I realize and remember how really insignificant this illusionary world of form really is. ;-)

I can have understanding and empathy but I can also choose to not involve myself.
It’s taken me a lot of years to realize that discernment is a good thing and having a realistic view is healthy.

deni's avatar

I know I personally can be a combination of a few….I’m generally pretty optimistic, but when I get down on myself or I get in a slump I just recycle the same negative thoughts through my brain and it’s hard for me to get out of the rut.

thorninmud's avatar

I don’t think self-assessment is very reliable in this regard. People filter reality through their expectations, seeing the world mostly as they think it to be. The world seems, then, to constantly affirm our conception of it. We see discrepancies between our expectations and reality as mere flukes, not grounds for changing our overall worldview. That keeps people from saying, “You know, I usually don’t give people enough credit”, or “Man, I always seem to think things are going to turn out better than they do”.

And if you can’t really self-assess, then who are you going to turn to as the gold-standard for reality measurement? Who usually gets it “right”? Well, clearly, you can’t ask them, for the same reasons that you can’t ask yourself. So it turns out that the terms you list are really just ways that we have of measuring your worldview against mine, taking mine as the “real” standard.

All of which really just amounts to @wundayatta ‘s answer.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@thorninmud You describe it very well, it pretty much is all confirmation bias isn’t it? Our ‘inner psychology’ if you will.

flutherother's avatar

You can compare yourself now with how you used to be.

ninjacolin's avatar

Just ask me, I’ll tell you. :P

ratboy's avatar

One has a realistic outlook if he is pessimistic, cynical, and jaded.

Blondesjon's avatar

Take the number of drinks you average per day and multiply it by the number of time you sigh/ yell “bullshit” when you are watching a “legitimate” news channel. Take this number and divide it by the number of times you thought that this little formula was ridiculous while you were reading this post.

If you scored more than 1000 then I want to drink with you.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If have several friends who are familiar with my core personality, my bests and worsts and they will call me out if they notice anything off kilter.

raven860's avatar

When you are not pissed at particularly someone or a group of people in life. Also if you can still find the heart to help a stranger or people or people you think are wrong.

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