35+ Pessimistic Quotes & Sayings

This collection of quotes is all about pessimism. Quotes about being a pessimist, the justification for being a pessimist and some funny words and sayings about having a pessimistic mindset. 

What is pessimism?

Pessimism is a mindset. A sour outlook on life.

The dictionary defines pessimism as seeing the worst aspects of things (or people), and believing that the worst will happen.

What is a pessimistic person like?

A pessimistic person will usually have a negative attitude towards everything. They will expect and plan for the worst outcome to happen – and they tend to keep perpetuating the same outcome. Further proving their initial thought to themselves.


It’s not to say that being a pessimistic person is all bad, in fact there are sometimes advantages in erring on the side of caution in life. However, it’s not really a successful nor productive mindset to have if you want to create a happy life.


Pessimistic Quotes


“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.” George Bernard Shaw


“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill


“I think in life, you have a choice. You can either be optimistic or pessimistic, and I go for the optimism.” Jon Anderson


“When I look at the world, I’m pessimistic, but when I look at people, I am optimistic.” Carl Rogers


“A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.” Aldous Huxley


“I will be the first to admit that I am a pessimist by nature. It is, after all, the wisest way to be. We pessimists have everything to gain, whereas optimists have a fifty-fifty chance of being disappointed.” Tamar Myers


“If you look at life one way, there is always cause for alarm.” Elizabeth Bowen

Quotes About Pessimists

“I’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.” Elon Musk


“If you have negativity in the mind, don’t expect positivity in the life.” Amit Kalantri


“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward


“A pessimist is a man who looks both ways when he crosses the street.” Laurence J. Peter


“The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh.” Tom Bodett


“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr


“If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.” Sarah Dessen


“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” Charlie Chaplin


“There are some harsh realities about this business, and they’ve been beaten into my psyche. But I’m more of an optimist than a pessimist.” Matt Lauer


“The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.” J. Robert Oppenheimer


“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.” Mark Twain


“A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself and hates them for it.” George Bernard Shaw


“I try not to be too optimistic or pessimistic. If you’re a pessimist then that’s depressing all the time; if you’re an optimist and things don’t work out then that’s depressing, too.” Nicholas Hoult


“Some people usually make lemons, when life gives them lemonade.” Mokokoma Mokhonoana


“I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist.” William Golding


“Better to assume the worst and be wrong than assume the best and be wrong. Pessimism will keep you alive, optimism won’t.” Laurell K. Hamilton


Funny Quotes About Pessimists


“If you think only of evil, then you become pessimistic and hopeless like Freud. But if you think there is no evil, then you’re just one more deluded Pollyanna.” Abraham Maslow


“No one wants to follow a pessimist… You can be skeptical, you can be realistic, but you can’t be cynical. If your boss is Eeyore, do you want to work with someone like that? Oh, bother.” Bob Iger


“Yes, I’m a pessimistic, cynical, grumpy old git. You only get that way through great trial and error.” George Banister


“The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.” Mark Twain


“The good thing about being a pessimist is that I’m either always right, or pleasantly surprised.” Robin Ayers


“A pessimist? That’s a person who has been intimately acquainted with an optimist.” Elbert Hubbard


“The optimist sees the glass half full. The pessimist sees the glass half empty. The chemist sees the glass completely full, half in liquid state and half in gaseous, both of which is probably poisonous.” Weike Wang


“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. Bill Vaughan


“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is color-blind.” Albert Schweitzer


“I’m a pessimist by nature, so I don’t believe something until someone has kind of punched me over the head with it.” Theo James


“I like pessimists. They’re always the ones who bring life jackets for the boat.” Lisa Kleypas


Many people don’t realize just how much their mindset affects their mood, but it is a huge factor. Instead, if you’re looking for some motivating and inspiring words and positive quotes, then be sure to check the following posts out:

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