Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tempered Optimism

I recently read an interesting article by a Dutch Psychologist, Ad Bergsma in the September 2010 Issue of Ode Magazine ( Dr. Bergsma discusses the growing movement within mental health in response to the societal pressure, particularly in America, to be in a constant state of "positivity" and "optimism." There is a developing body of research suggesting an alternative more balanced view called "tempered optimism;" hoping for a positive outcome and balancing it with a healthy dose of pessimism. A tempered optimist will want things to go well but will remember that things can go wrong and will plan accordingly. Various studies seem to suggest that when we enter into challenging situations, including relationships, from an understanding that they may be difficult and probably won't come easily, we are more apt to experience more positive, long term success.