Many people believe you are either born an optimist or a pessimist; however, it’s ultimately your actions that make the determination. Don’t buy into the idea that you are destined to remain a negative thinker if you have the tendency to err on the side of pessimism. According to the Mayo Clinic, optimistic attitudes directly correlate to physical and emotional health – especially when it comes to relationships. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it seems to turn pessimism into optimism. Follow these tips compiled by our Los Angeles matchmakers to become more optimistic in your relationships and life.
Benefits of Developing Relationship Optimism
A healthy dose of optimism in your relationship allows you to notice the good things about your partner and see a positive outcome for the future. According to the American Psychological Association, optimistic couples experience greater satisfaction in their relationship when compared to their less-positive peers. The reason for this is likely because optimistic people take a more hopeful approach to relationships and generally view their partner as supportive and encouraging of personal goals. If you maintain a healthy level of optimism in your relationship, you’ll notice that you are both more willing to work through conflicts together, and that you have more confidence in your partner and trust them not to overreact. If you and your partner have reached this point, great job! You are one step closer to creating a more optimistic relationship.
Replace Negative Thoughts with Realistic Ones
Increase your optimism by learning how to recognize overly negative thoughts. Often, thoughts that include words like “never” or “always” are exaggerations. Look for exceptions to the rule and replace overly pessimistic ideas with more balanced thoughts. For example, when a wife has the thought, “My husband never does anything nice for me,” in that moment can remind herself of a specific loving act she has received from him in the recent past. She then frees herself up to replace the negative thought with a more balanced one, such as, “My husband behaves lovingly toward me much of the time. I should ask him specifically for [fill in the blank with want/need].”
Consider Alternative Explanations
Pessimistic people assume the worst and often assume their partner has ill intentions. For example, a wife may think, “My husband works late because he doesn’t want to spend time with me.” A more optimistic thought might be, “Does my husband feel burdened to work late because he wants to earn extra money for us? I’m going to tell him how much I appreciate what he does for us and dive deeper into the subject with him. Maybe there’s something I can do to help.” When you notice yourself thinking the worst, look for alternative explanations that may also be true and that give you power to make a positive change.
Pay Attention to the Positive
Pessimists tend to ignore positive interactions with their partner and dwell on negative ones. If optimism doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ll need to look purposefully for the good in your relationship. Focus on and visualize moments when you have had positive experiences with your partner. Try being less critical of your relationship and of your partner’s behavior; instead, focus on the good stuff. It takes effort and practice to think on the bright side. However, with practice, it becomes more natural and is a happier, healthier state of being.
When looking to make changes in your life, the first place to start is within. If you don’t focus on making yourself happy and healthy, you will continue repeating the same patterns and self-sabotage any relationships you find yourself in.
If you are truly ready to take the next step in your life, contact our Los Angeles matchmakers today. We will help find the partner who truly gets you and fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. You’ll wonder why you didn’t contact us sooner! We look forward to hearing from you.