Optimists aren’t naive to negative events — they just have a different way of looking at them. In other words, some people see rain, optimists see rainbows.
“There are certainly plenty of challenges we all experience,” Melissa Blakeman, the regional medical director at Johns Hopkins University, previously told HuffPost. “Positive people approach them head on, with a ‘this too shall pass’ mentality. There’s that idea that they’ve been through challenges before and they’ve made it through.”
2. They have high expectations.
Bright-side thinkers hope for the best but don’t necessarily prepare for the worst. This method, also known as strategic optimism, is applied when they’re preparing for a big presentation or a situation where there’s a lot of pressure. If they play possible outcomes in their minds, their anxiety actually increases and their performance suffers, according to Wellesley College research.
3. They daydream. A lot.
Optimists fantasize about good things happening to them, whether it be success at work, progress in their romantic relationships or even just winning the lottery. But don’t pity them for being lost in the corners of their own minds. Research suggests daydreaming has a host of brain perks, including boosted creativity.
4. They tend to be late.
Optimists are what you would call “time averse.” They unrealistically think the traffic won’t be terrible or believe they can get just a few more things done before they leave, which affects their perception of time,Never Be Late Again author Diana DeLonzor told the New York Times.
5. Bad attitudes really drain them.
Step aside, Negative Nancy. Optimists, more importantly strategic optimists, feel drained when they’re around catastrophic thinkers because it plays into that “worst possible outcome” mentality they avoid.
6. They’re resourceful.
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs adopted the same can-do attitude optimists have. Take Steve Jobs, for example, who called himself an optimist. He failed multiple times before his vision for Apple took flight. Why? Because he put in the work and found the resources to make it happen.
7. They know they’re not always realistic.
Of course not every situation is going to turn out positively or like they planned. That’s life. Sure, it’d be nice if everything happened perfectly,unicorns existed and Brad Pitt was single and waiting outside with flowers — but it’s fun to think about, right?
8. They’re champions of second chances.
Optimists look for the best in everything — that includes the people they let into their life. This means mistakes are usually forgiven because they want to believe people when they say they will change or only have good intentions.
But don’t take that to mean they’ll settle for toxic relationships or negativity. According to Blakeman,optimists usually surround themselves with people that only perpetuate positivity.
9. They tend to be risk takers.
Glass-half-full thinkers jump into things easily because they hope for the best — but that may not always be the best thing. Research suggests that extreme optimists make risky investments and save less money than others. Perhaps everything is best in moderation.
10. They might be healthier.
Research shows that practicing optimism may lead to better longevity, healthier hearts and improved cholesterol. Enough said?
11. They don’t mind failure.
Optimists are resilient. Thus, they see failure as an opportunity to try again (or, at the very least, try something new). This attitude also pays off in spades: Studies suggest there’s a significant relationship between psychological resilience and positive emotions.
As the proverb goes, “fall seven times, stand up eight.” Life’s not so bad on the bright side.