How to Tell If You Are A Pessimist

Know Thyself



 Little Billy wanted a pony for Christmas.  It was all he talked about for months.  When Christmas morning arrived, he ran outside and saw…a big pile of poop.  Little Billy clapped his hands for joy. 

“Why are you so happy?” his mom asked, perplexed. 

“Because,” Little Billy laughed “With all that poop, there’s sure to be a pony around here somewhere!”  

Little Billy is a dewy-eyed optimist.  How about you? 

Here’s a simple test to determine where you stand on the optimism/pessimism continuum. 

You see a glass that is partially filled with liquid.  You think:
1)      The glass is half full.
2)      The glass is half empty.
3)      Who left that damn glass there, and why is it always MY job to clean up around here? 

The tensions in the Middle East are troubling.  You:
1)      Just know that real reforms and a peaceful solution will be forthcoming.
2)      Cancel travel plans to Canada, just in case.
3)      Hope the neighbors don’t notice you sneaking into your Super Deluxe Long-term Bomb Shelter (solo model) when the time comes.

You come upon a car accident.  You: 
1)      Rush to see if you can help, hoping nobody was hurt.
2)      Think “Two minutes later, and that would have been me.”
3)      Say “Get that stretcher off the road – some of us have lives!”

Your friend needs a transplant.  You:
1)      Immediately get tested to be a donor, praying that you will be a match.
2)      Share the statistics you’ve found, that even if the operation is successful there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll die anyway due to organ rejection, infection or sponges left in during surgery.
3)      Start a business to exploit the untapped need for black-market body parts.

Spring has sprung.  Soon:
1)      Colorful flowers will burst into bloom after their long winter’s nap.
2)      Your car will need daily washing because of all the mud.
3)      You won’t be able to get into a grocery store on a Saturday without shoving aside little-leaguers, cheerleaders, and blind kids trying to shake you down with overpriced candy.

Add up each answer’s allotted points and check your score against this handy classification guide:

  • 5- 7 points: Pollyanna:  You are a classic optimist.  Your “every cloud has a silver lining” attitude makes people want to vomit.  Take off those rose-colored glasses before you run into something.
  • 8-11 points: Eeyore: You are a classic pessimist.  In other words, a realist.  Your “it’ll never work” attitude will save you from a lifetime of disappointment
  • 12-15 point: Grinch:  You are a self-absorbed, anti-social, uber-pessimist.  Your “what’s in it for me” attitude makes you a natural for public office. 

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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33 Responses to How to Tell If You Are A Pessimist

  1. Jane says:

    Good Post!


  2. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Oh, Billy. I’ve been there. It was my 16th birthday and there was a big carton with airholes in it. I was sure it was a puppy, never mind that I’m allergic and that my mother’s standard line on furry pets was “not in my house.” Alas, it was a tank filled with 16 suicidal goldfish.

    Now, who the hell left the damn glass on the table and a pile of wet towels on the bedroom floor – sheesh!


  3. Hilarious. I guess how I test depends entirely on the category and my mood at the moment But it all averages out to Eeyore.


  4. theveryhungrybookworm says:

    This quiz doesn’t work for me because I conflict between what I am and what I want to be. I am a hopeless optimist that desperately wishes to be a realist. It’ll be okay though!


  5. Ted says:

    I still use that “Billy” story when listening to some government official spout off about how the latest budget-busting good idea they’ve had will actually – if us poor boobs could just understand – SAVE money. “I know there’s a pony in this meeting room somewhere.

    Just remember: If a thing is worth doing, it would have been done already..


  6. xeriouslywtf says:

    Thanks for helping me confirm what I’ve believed all this time.. that I’m a confirmed pessimistic and essentially just a realist – hooray! (or you know, whatever). I look forward to a sadist vs masochist test.. maybe?… An excellent quiz.


    • pegoleg says:

      I always got those two confused. The following joke helped me remember the difference:
      “Beat me, beat me, please!” said the masochist.
      “No” said the sadist.


  7. How can there be only one point difference between a classic optimist and a classic pessimist?!
    I think it was the “Who left that glass there?” part that bumped me up to an 8. The quiz is rigged against moms! I am just an optimist who doesn’t like dirty dishes.


  8. Those stupid glasses are always somewhere. I find one on the table, take it to the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher. I go into the bathroom, I pick up a glass, take it to the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher. I go upstairs to collect the laundry, I pick up a glass, take it to the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher. Again and again and again… It’s unending! It’s impossible to win the battle of the glass…. Okay, So I’m a pessimist.


    • pegoleg says:

      Sounds like you just have too many glasses. Ever consider Dixie cups?


      • I tried that once with the same results. Dixie cups everywhere. It seems that there is a tiny, Irish elf living in my house named Isure Didntdoit. This notorious little monster is forever leaving the bathtub a mess, forgetting his glasses all over the house, and eating the last donut or cookie and not throwing the package away. He even makes a habit of borrowing my car and leaving his pop cans and McDonalds bags behind the seat. I’ve been hunting for this elusive, little leprechaun for years now and haven’t even caught a glimpse of him. When I do catch him, he had better be prepared to hand over his pot of gold, because either I’m evicting him or hiring a maid.


        • pegoleg says:

          On behalf of people of Irish descent everywhere, may I just say that this comment smacks of “greenism” (the illogical and politically incorrect attribution of all ills to those of the elven persuasion). By the way, I believe they prefer to be called “Au-ral facilitators”.


  9. peasantlola says:

    “Take off those rose-colored glasses before you run into something” just made my day slightly less Eeyore.

    There’s still totally a random blizzard between me and my dance party, though. And empty glasses are just everywhere.


  10. egills says:

    I’m a mix between Pollyanna and Eeyore.. although if no 2 had a 4th option of booking a holiday to Canada to take advantage of cheep rates then I’d definitely be Pollyanna. But’s it’s ok.. I’m happy to be annoyingly optimistic 🙂


  11. Libertarian says:

    Good one, Peg! 🙂 Trying to be Pollyana these days, but my tendency is toward Eeyore…


  12. smilesndreams says:

    Hahaha…Great post! Absolutely Loved it, and love your writing style. I am a Eeyore in most cases, although I am working towards being Pollyana these days…
    I am looking around me to find half empty glasses/(or is it half full?) as I type this, and ready to yell, “Why is it my job to pick these up always”?!!


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  15. Go Jules Go says:

    I was going to leave a fantastically witty comment, but I realized it’ll never be as funny as I want it to be, so, never mind.


    • pegoleg says:

      Hi there! Commenting on a 2-year-old post is like time travel. Boy, you really look different back here in 2011. Maybe it’s the Flock of Seagulls hairdo???


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