When I meet someone new, I tend to group them in one of two categories: those who are generally optimistic about life, and those who aren’t.
It’s a strange way to categorize people, I suppose, since there are so many other less-subjective ways to classify. But the reason I judge people this way is probably because it’s what matters to me.
I’ll potentially like you whether or not you’re into Texas politics, eat healthy or speak a foreign language. But I often don’t really want to spend time with people who aren’t excited about life.
Sometimes I wonder, though: is it fair for me not to bother with people who don’t have positive attitudes? We talk about positivity like it’s something we control, like we choose whether to look at the glass half-full. But do we really have control over whether we can take life’s challenges in stride?
While I’m a big believer in looking at the bright side, it seems like living optimistically comes easier to some people than others. Even some folks who have been dealt relatively bad hands in life manage to wade through those obstacles with a smile on their face — while others who have it good constantly emphasize what’s going wrong, even if nearly everything is going right.
What I’m getting at is this: Are some people intrinsically optimistic? Is this a born-with or a learned quality? Is being happy a habit you can teach yourself?
What do you think? Why do some people find it easier than others to be optimistic?