Can Too Much Optimism Ruin A Relationship?
In an age where depression is still not openly talked about nor yet addressed as a many leveled problem, according to dozens of positive thinking gurus, optimism is the answer to everything. Over the last decade or so, we have been ever increasingly conditioned for optimism.
We have been bombarded with the philosophies of positive thinking gurus and our media outlets show us entertainment so that we stay positive and pacified. Trying to stay positive in many ways is a good thing and a goal to aim for, if it is authentic.
But if you are wandering through your life with rose colored glasses of future hopefulness, it may be damaging your ability to maintain good relationships.
Wholehearted optimism is a slippery slope that can sometimes leads to nonchalance or unrealistic outcomes. When one thinks that everything is going to work itself out and that everything will always be fine, you will tend to ignore small, everyday issues of realistic challenges that can and will compound themselves into bigger problems.
When people with overly optimistic attitudes treat their relationships as such, there is bound to be failure ahead. If you do not have the ability to tackle life’s problems with your partner, you will go your separate ways.
If you’re attitude about your relationship view is everything is always copacetic, you might end up neglecting your partner’s needs. And if someone isn’t getting what they want and need out of a relationship, no amount of wishful thinking is going to keep that relationship alive.
Eventually, the unfulfilled person will leave. To say that optimism may be harmful to how you manage your relationships does not mean that you should turn into a pessimist. Rather, you should at least have a healthy amount of pragmatism regarding what is going on with the people you are involved with and be aware of them. Enough so that you can identify issues, prepare for them, and attempt to solve them.
Doctor Clifford Lazarus, psychologist and Director of the Lazarus Institute defines the difference between healthy and unhealthy optimism.
“We’ve got a real mess on our hands, things don’t look too good, but if we tackle it step by step, we can probably do something about it.”
“There’s nothing to be concerned about, everything will be just work itself out.”
If we want a new relationship to begin or our current relationships to stay strong and last, we can’t get lazy and take that optimistic attitude that everything will just work out ok. Relationships take a lot of work and effort, but the reward is well worth the work we put in. If our outlook is always on the sunny side of things, we will become complacent in keeping that spark alive.
This rule also goes for all the red flags that you see in the beginning of a relationship, know you don’t like them and overlook them because you believe they will change for you, for love of you! Staying the eternal optimist often brings sensitive, vulnerable and believing women into bad relationships and then keeps them in those unhappy and abusive relationships far longer than they should stay.
Susan Z’s Verdict
Realism with a healthy dose of optimism is a balance beam that we all must find. There is absolutely nothing wrong with believing everything will work out ok, because they do, if you believe it will. But then, there is also an old saying of “God helps those who helps themselves.” Being realistic in the moment, regardless if it is not how you would like it to be, will save you a lot of disappointment in yourself, the person you picked to spend time with or marry and how your life has turned out. Asking the Universe in your prayers to allow you to SEE all that is authentic helps a lot too. Just remember, prayers work and once you see, you can’t unsee.
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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.