The Hidden Benefits of Cursing, Negativity, and Gossip
What you think of as your worst qualities can have some surprising upsides.
By Melinda Wenner
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the April 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
The old thinking: Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Debbie Downers aren't just annoying; they're also less likely to prosper.
The new wisdom: All that worst-case-scenario brooding can make pessimists more likely to foresee—and overcome—potential future problems. "Defensive pessimism—thinking specifically about what might go wrong—can turn anxiety into action," says Julie K. Norem, PhD, professor of psychology at Wellesley College and author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking.