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Glass half empty? Wednesday June 11, 2014

I'm someone who often fails to appreciate what I have. Or so I rather harshly tell myself. So I thought I'd put down exactly what I do have in order to make me feel more grateful. That was a few days ago and apart from it feeling like another chore to do, nagging away in the back of my mind; it didn't work.

It's not really that I don't appreciate what I have. It's just that I don't necessarily consider that other people would think of my attributes, skills or relationships as anything special. I devalue myself at every turn and undermine my own self confidence with the negative outlook I have.

But why do this? Why see the glass as half empty all the time? What do I gain from taking the pessimists view of life? I often strive to find an answer but this is as close as I can come to it.

It's about getting it wrong and feeling foolish or embarrassing myself or not looking good enough. It's about taking risks and living with the outcomes. I'm pretty risk adverse as you might suspect and struggle to change this outlook in most areas of my life.

However, just by putting this out there to those of you who read the blog I've taken a big risk (for me). I've faced rejection (it might never make the Moodscope blog,) and done it anyway. I've confronted some difficult thoughts (that I am a glass half empty person) and it's made me more determined (to keep on trying to see the glass as half full,) another thing I sometimes struggle to be.

So for today I'll be grateful even if there's only a drop of water in the glass.

A Moodscope member.

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Mary Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 7:40am

Great post Eleanor! A lot of us devalue ourselves and feel worthless when everyone around us thinks we're pretty special. How great is it, for instance, that you can express yourself so well in written words! For many people, that's just not possible and they greatly admire anyone who can write. (Most writers at this point, shuffle their feet, turn red and mutter something about it being "just words, you know?". This is a great post and I hope you write many more.

Mary Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 7:41am

For future commentators, by the way, make sure you copy your comment before publishing: the site swallowed mine first time round (yet again!)

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 8:42am

ditto! Thank you Eleanor for making me feel less pessimistic about my pessimism. And good morning Mary-doll, always lovely to see you. (Many, many apologies if that is just an awful thing to a Scot and a Rab C Neseitt fan, I really struggle to say Mary without adding 'doll'. I hope it's not insulting, not meant that way, merely my childish attempt at injecting some humour in any possible way.) Love from the room above the garage.

Exidia Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 8:55am

Oh do I know about that - "Did she misinterpret what I just said?" "will she/he think I'm an awful person?" As I put out the washing yesterday I was mulling over the embarrassment of being mis-interpreted I made what I thought was a friendly, jokey comment, a colleague tore me to shreds in front of a room full of people. The sad thing about that is that it took place 30 years ago!!!
If it helps, I'm English, don't watch Mr Nesbitt, but interpreted the Mary-doll remark as a friendly comment, indicating affection!

Vanessa Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 9:23am

Thank you for taking this risk, Eleanor, I'm so glad its not just me who struggles to value myself! Have a good day. x

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 9:28am

Self doubt and fear of humiliation is tough and it holds us back - and it is hard to get to the bottom of why we find it hard to be positive - why pessimism often wins the day. It's as if we are waiting for a something, a response or an outcome, as a result of the negative experiences we were exposed to. I often shy away from behaviourist advice, but I do think there is never going to be much of an answer to those difficult experiences. We could wait a long time! So I guess we can only try to outweigh the negative by having positive experiences, which gradually may "re-teach" and re-direct our pessimism towards a more hopeful and positive optimism? Eleanor - you have done that by giving us this really honest, helpful and insightful blog. Thank you.

Rosalyn Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 9:50am

Hi Eleanor

Well done on posting - that must have been a huge step!

And well done on doing that list. I think you are on the right track but gratitude like everything else is like a muscle which needs building up.

One thing I often do is to think of 3 things I'm grateful for that day. Often little things like a lovely cup of coffee, or a friendly shop assistant. Good to take a moment and reflect on being thankful for those things. You might not feel anything, that's OK, you are choosing to be grateful. Some people write them down each day to build up a gratitude diary, something to look back on.

Be gentle and nurturing to yourself in all this. I sometimes beat myself up and really that makes it all worse!

Go gently

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 9:50am

thankyou eleanor for your honest writings. I asked my teenagedaughter one day that question is your glass half full or half empty??? she smiled and said "it depends what's in the glass!" not sure why I'm sharing this but eleanor, your post today reminded ne of it. my glass if full of yucky dark sticky gung of depression.
julie x

Christine Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 9:54am

Your excellent contribution today prompted me to look up something I've pondered many times and I stumbled upon a site with a very comprehensive list. This jumped out at me:
'The personal coach knows that the glass goes from full to empty depending on the circumstances, and reminds the drinker that he can always fill the glass when he wishes.'
(I also related to the one that says Google will provide the answer in 0.48 seconds). I'm now googling the link between procrastination and internet surfing!

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 10:00am

Thankyou ELeanor for your honest writings. DEFO do more ! !! I asked my daughter once that question "Is your glass half full or half empty?" She replied that it depended what was in the glass? Sometimes when depressed the glass is full of dark black yucky gunk. Wether half empty or half full it is not ok for people around me to drink. Not sure why I'm posting this cos its risky for me too.

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 11:16am

sorry x posted same twice !!!!!

Mary Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 11:36am

Hello you lovely room above the garage, I adore "Mary-doll" it makes me feel all warm and gooey (like a marshmallow roasted to perfection on a driftwood beach bonfire) and I don't feel patronised at all. And Exidia - oh yes. I am still cringing about a comment a teacher made about me some forty years ago that I was "inappropriately flippant in a lesson". How many of the lovely comments about us do we remember in quite such stark technicolour (gory) detail? Hugs to all, Mary

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 1:55pm

I so agree with you. I remembet almost evety negative comment toward me in childhood. Many years ago. They contributed mightly to me being very hatd on myself.
I was once told the glass is always full. Part favorite beverage and the rest is air.

Silvia A Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 8:38pm

To avoid this I use Ditto. There are other similar freewares. You have to select crtl +A and copy CRTL + C ( or use the option right side of the mouse); This freeeware sotres whatever appears in the clipboard.

Silvia A Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 8:42pm

OPS!!! It stores whatever appear on the clipboard

Ditto is an extension to the standard windows clipboard. It saves each item placed on the clipboard allowing you access to any of those items at a later

Anonymous Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 11:06pm

Congratulations !
I admire risk conscious individuals. A little pessimism, as you call it, is the path to becoming objective. Your concern, as is my own, is to be fair with yourself.

Anonymous Thu, Jun 12th 2014 @ 2:35am

Also, remember to put the Glass Down...

Anonymous Sat, Jun 14th 2014 @ 11:07pm

I hope this might make you giggle a little or maybe help you feel a little better?

Anonymous Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 @ 1:53pm

I too am a pessimist by nature. It is how I have always been and have ended up the worse for it. Training the positive muscle is now in my routine. In fact I am very open to new ideas and to wanting to believe in the best in people.
BUT (and I know we are not supposed to start sentences with but :-)) some of the uber-optimists have landed us all in trouble - speculators, bankers, those who just plough ahead without looking at long term consequences - short-termism. I am not perfect and recognise that I am too detail focused at times. The wanting to get it right stems partly from the education system I was processed through (Newtonian, learn it by heart and by rote etc) Thank God that kids nowadays feel it is ok to fail and then to learn from that and move on.

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