Blame the Pessimism Gene for Your Crappy Outlook on Life!
There’s a saying that you should always borrow money from a pessimist – he doesn’t expect to be paid back. And now that’s even easier to do because scientists have discovered “exciting” news about pessimists. There’s an actual gene responsible for amplifying negative experiences and emotional events. So who should you blame for your unsunny disposition? Blame your parents!
“We’ve discovered that the pessimism gene tends to run in families, which is so true in mine,” explained one of the researchers. “Both my dad and his dad were pessimists, so it naturally brought me to a career of questioning things, and to become the asshole I was meant to be.”
This simple yet effective study involved 200 individuals who were shown flashcards in rapid succession of positive, negative, and neutral words. Afterwards, the participants were asked to describe the sequence of words. Turns out, those who focused on the negative words all possessed the pessimist gene.
“I was happy to participate, though I doubt I have that gene,” said female #72. “Sure it was a bullshit study, but $20 bucks is $20 bucks and I needed refills on my nails, even though the whack-job lady will just screw em up again.”
For those who have this gene, referred to as ADA2b deletion variant, it’s not all doom and gloom. Natural skeptics are quick to spot potential dangers and hazards, more so than the optimist. The key is knowing when to accept the negative information or discard it.
“I went camping last week with a pessimist,” said another researcher. “It was amazing. He was quick to spot the poison ivy, packed every insect repellent known to man, and pointed out where the snakes would be. Too bad he never noticed how awesome the jungle was.”
So is there hope for the eternal pessimist? Yes! Studies have shown that if you wake up each day and say three new things you are grateful for, the brain can transform a pessimist into a low-level optimist. And while that diagnosis and subsequent cure is the very definition of pessimism, this exercise can even be successful with octogenarians.
“It’s true,” confirmed an old fart. “I tried this and it made a difference after one-month. Of course at 87, and my friends dropping dead all the time, I eventually ran out of things to be grateful for.”
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