Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Optimist meets pessimist

You think the glass is half full. He thinks the glass is half empty. Will the relationship work?

The Huffington Post has an interesting article about what happens "when optimists end up with pessimists." An excerpt:

It's particularly common for one person in the relationship to have what psychologists call a promotion focus, meaning that they tend to see their world and their goals in terms of what they can gain, while the other person has more of a prevention focus, seeing their world and goals in terms of what they stand to lose.

In other words, one half of the couple sees success as being about achievement, aspirations, reaching for the stars and being your best, while the other defines success as fulfilling your obligations, avoiding danger and mistakes and being the kind of person others can really count on.

Intimidating? Kind of.

But on a more positive note, the article concludes your relationship isn't doomed if you have different life outlooks. Assuming you can compromise, of course.

That's easier said than done. Despite mantras like "opposites attract," it can be draining to date someone whose life outlook is dramatically different than your own.

Have you broken up with someone for being a Debbie Downer...or, um, a Happy Harold?