Apart from the odd blip of black despair, mostly I regard myself as an optimist.
As optimists do, I tend most of the time to wander round in some chirpy denial of the sort of dreadful things that might possibly be just about to happen, whether they be my young son accidentally savaging himself with the potato peeler or a sudden major volcanic eruption of the type we have not seen for countless milliennia.
But when it comes to people I like to spend time with, there's nothing like a good doom and gloom pessimist. In spite of my natural tendency toward optimism, I can think of nothing worse than spending time with others of the relentlessly perky, positive-thinking persuasion.
No, what I crave for my private and personal entertainment is a bleak conspiracy theorist, or someone who excels in a rant of dark foreboding of the type my husband is particularly expert in.
My appreciation of the finer points of the pessimist has been increased still further by the news this week that pessimists are more likely to live longer. A study into 40,000 people found that those with low expectations for a "satisfying future" led healthier lives, and that those who were "overly optimistic" tended to experience a greater risk of disability and death.
Oliver Burkeman writes in The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking: "In recent years, some psychologists have reached the conclusion that pessimism may be as healthy and productive as optimism."
I, being a dyed in the wool optimist, can't resist the bright side in this latest news story. It means my husband may well outlive me and will be burbling on about floods and pandemics long after I've passed away.
No need to worry about him, then. Not that I would. Worrying? That's his job, and I intend to leave him to it.
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