Emotional Intelligence Health Social

What is better to see the glass half full or half empty? Realistic optimism

We tend to think that to us never will happen us at all. Until raisin. We live under an illusion of invulnerabilidad that can define like that belief of the people that his risk to contract some illness or that him suceda a negative fact is low and lower that the one of the average of the population. This optimism keeps us despreocupados in front of events no controllable and allows like this can keep a life far of the irrational fear.

Illusion of invulnerabilidad.

The illusion of invulnerabilidad gives  in multiple facets of the life: an illness, an accident of traffic, a dismissal, a loving abandonment, etc. However, if one of these events give  in people gathered to us or observe them of some form (for example, in campaigns of traffic to avoid the consumption of alcohol to the steering wheel) incorporate them to our experience and open way to the realistic optimism, that yes is a more adaptative and key condition precursor of the success in the life.

That it is better to see the full half glass or half empty?

Of the no realistic optimism to the realistic.

Lo and behold the problem. The no realistic optimism does reference to those people that believe to have fewer probabilities to suffer negative events in a wide rank of commands, compared with his group of reference. They would be people that believe to have a species of invulnerabilidad and that to them never will happen them at all. There are people that seem to live in a state of naïve optimism and seem to be always happy.

According to the famous psychologist Martin Seligman, known by his studies on the indefensión learnt, this style of afrontamiento is not the most adaptative since they run some risks as not to involve in behaviours of prevention of the health (for example, no vacunarse); do case omiso to the recommendations of traffic (for example: drink alcohol, not respecting the speed, etc.) or not using contraceptive methods (warn the transmission of illnesses of sexual transmission).

Why we feel us invulnerables?

Therefore, they exist biases in the process cognitive by which the individual values the risk that can run. These cognitive biases cause a perception distorted of himself same like invulnerable or less vulnerable of what really is . This has to  mainly to cognitive and motivational processes:

  • Cognitive: biases in the processing of the information. For example, racionalizar and analyse only the beneficial of the behaviour (if I go faster with the car arrive before, if I do not use condom enjoy more than the sex, etc. ) or make comparisons with other groups. We tend to think that never will happen at all bad keep us  inside a same group joined.
  • Motivational: the bias in positive produces  to keep our high self-esteem and by consequence avoid negative emotions that produce  when we admit a risk. For example, the anxiety that can produce go too fast with the car.

> Article related: Reality and perception: cognitive biases and the emprendedor

Realistic optimism.

What himself is true is that it has showed  that keep these positive illusions and live with optimism benefits to ours psychological welfare beside others of the two big pillars of our personal strengthening: the autoensalzamiento (positive sense of the self or high self-esteem) and the perception of personal control (locus of internal control). As long as racionalicemos of ours realistic form perception of the world and are conscious of the adversities that can find us, that besides, will boost our capacity of resiliencia.

>> Article related: Resiliencia: factors of improvement.

Of this form, the realistic optimism seems to have psychological effects of protection and favour the confront us to situations of back stress. In fact, according to an investigation of the National University of Taiwan directed by the psychologist of the organisations, Sophia Chou (2013), showed that the people with a realistic optimistic mentality were more successful and happy.

Therefore, to the question of see the full half glass or half empty?, the best answer is a combination in which they joint  an optimistic perspective but of realistic form, that is used to to form part of the pessimistic minds. It seems logical, treats  to live with positive illusion but with the feet in the earth. It treats  to see the glass with water but knowing that if we do not take care it can finish  spilling.

>> Article related: Strategies of afrontamiento in front of the stress


Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicopico.com. Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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