Optimist or Pessimist?

Are you a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of person?

Whether you’re considered an optimist or a pessimist depends on if you expect more good things or bad things to happen.

“There are plenty of people who are right smack dab in the middle, where they’re optimistic about some things, pessimistic about other things,” said William Chopik, assistant professor of social and personality psychology and director of the Close Relationships Lab at Michigan State University. (Washington Post, August 17, 2020.)

I was intrigued by Chopik’s studies about how genetics, environment and age can influence which way people lean. This got me to thinking. What role does optimism or pessimism play in how we communicate with audiences?

When there are different ways to share information, I find myself focused more on the positive. People may feel more inclined to listen to your message when you avoid using negative terms like “don’t,” “must” and “can’t.” Last month’s mask-wearing campaign, “Montanans Wear Face Coverings All the Time,” is a perfect example of an optimistic approach. The governor used humor in a statewide advertising campaign “to nudge all-American men to wear masks.”

Next time you talk about your brand, look at that glass. Ask yourself if you want to give off a positive or negative vibe.

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