“Always look on the bright side of life!”
That’s advice that some people prefer not to take!
To be fair, there’s a side of life that’s genuinely depressing and upsetting, and we all experience it now and then.
But the pessimist feels it more than most, tending to focus on the unfairness and sadness of life, love and humanity.
This is often reflected in the words that a pessimist says and the way they look at the world.
Here are some phrases often used by very pessimistic people.
1) “Life’s a b*tch and then you die…”
I remember seeing this tattoo on a mechanic I went to a few years ago.
It was kind of cool, to be honest.
But still: this is a really pessimistic thing to say, even if it sometimes seems like it might be true!
2) “Nothing matters…”
If this is true then why do anything including even basic survival?
It can definitely feel this way sometimes, but when somebody says this in their everyday life (and not just when they’re in a depressive spell), it generally means they’re much more on the pessimistic side.
Nihilism is a hell of a drug…
3) “Love is a lie…”
Many of us have been badly hurt in love and relationships.
But this kind of statement is deeply pessimistic because it makes a blanket statement about romance and love as a whole, claiming it is fake or not actually meaningful.
This is exactly the kind of thing somebody with a more pessimistic outlook on life says at times, in fact I have several pessimistic friends who’ve told me this word for word on occasion.
4) “I’m unworthy of love…”
Feeling like love is fake is one thing…
Pessimists often feel that they themselves are deficient in some way or don’t deserve the kind of love others receive.
This is a very lonely place to feel like you’re in, and reflects a definite pessimistic worldview and view of the self.
5) “Everyone has somebody but me…”
Again, we’ve all been here in this kind of a position…
But people who say things like this a lot are often suffering with a lot of sadness and pessimism about their life.
They have been disappointed so much that they have formed an overall judgment in which they are uniquely excluded and unwanted among the “everyone” else who is included and wanted.
It’s definitely a hard place to feel like you’re in…
6) “Everybody cheats…”
If everybody cheats I’d have to agree with this statement.
But they don’t, and we all know they don’t.
This is just a pessimistic view of relationships that often reflects very sad and disappointing experiences with a romantic partner.
7) “Nobody loves me…”
This is a very sad thing to hear from someone.
There are those in the world who really do have nobody that loves them and it’s heartbreaking to think about.
In times like that when somebody really feels fundamentally alone and unloved, perhaps the only one who can truly give them love is themselves or spiritual powers and nature itself.
8) “Humanity is a virus…”
This is another doozy.
I’ve heard it said to me by various pessimists, especially those concerned with the future of the ecosystem and nature in light of human industry and growth.
Another variation on it is that “life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate.”
I suppose that’s certainly one way to look at it!
9) “I hate people…”
There’s no doubt that some people are worthy of strong dislike, even hate.
But hating “people” as a whole category is more of a pessimistic statement, there’s no doubt about it.
We all feel this way sometimes, but the pessimist who’s a true misanthrope feels this way all the time!
10) “There is no God…”
Denying the existence of a deity or deities doesn’t have to be a pessimistic statement.
For some people this could be a positive and empowering belief.
But I include this phrase in the article because it’s most often spoken as a form of negation or rejection of spirituality and religion and is often underpinned by pessimism and a sense of existential abandonment.
11) “Nothing ever goes right…”
This is the kind of statement pessimists will often make.
It’s very absolute and pessimistic, because it makes a blanket statement about everything.
This sort of black-and-white thinking can definitely feed into a dark and depressing worldview.
12) “Good things only happen for other people…”
Many highly optimistic and pessimistic views take a quite binary view of reality.
Everything either happens for a reason or no reason.
This is one of the exceptions, as it admits that good things do happen but insists they only happen for others.
I’ve certainly said it in my more pessimistic moments.
13) “It feels like I was just born to suffer…”
It’s awful to feel this way.
Seeing life as a harrowing series of trials and punishments makes it even harder than it already is.
The pessimist can’t help but come back to this type of thought or statement over and over…
14) “I feel like I’m cursed…”
Pessimists often feel like life is having a giant joke on their expense…
I think everybody does sometimes!
But when you hear this kind of statement and it’s not a joke, you can be sure that pessimism is underneath it…
15) My life is worse than yours…”
The victim olympics are unwinnable, because even if you win you’re still losing!
This may or may not be true:
How exactly can we judge objectively whose life is worse, anyway?
What’s sure is that nobody wants to be a winner at a losing game.
16) “My childhood ruined me…”
Whether or not this is true, it’s a very disempowering statement.
If somebody’s childhood ruined them, then there’s not much they can do about it.
17) “My parents damaged me for life…”
This is along the same lines as the previous statement.
It may have roots of truth in it, but pessimists say these kinds of things as a sort of mantra.
It can get to the point that it almost seems reassuring to them to know there’s no point in trying anymore since they are so damaged from what already happened.
18) “There is no meaning…”
This is the blackpill of blackpills…
As psychologist Viktor Frankl says, meaning is the heart of what makes us continue and hope in life.
If there really is no meaning then what are we even doing here?
19) “Everything is subjective…”
This is the type of phrase that university undergrads like to say after completing an intro to philosophy course.
They might drop in a name like “Husserl” and smirk as well.
But subjectivity isn’t the broad exciting world it’s made out to be and at heart believing everything is subjective (or a “matrix” or a “simulation”) is generally quite a pessimistic view…
20) “Why do I even try?”
This is a very pessimistic statement that’s imbued with a lot of victim mentality vibes.
Most of us have said it to ourselves or others at some point in our lives…
Pessimistic people say it on a regular basis (and mean it).
21) “I hate those people…”
Pessimists have a habit of focusing on what (and who) they dislike, rather than what (or who) they like.
At least it’s honest and genuine.
The downside is that statements like this tend to go down a fairly dark road…
22) “I just wish I was dead…”
When somebody reaches the depths of despair or badly wants attention this is definitely a phrase that comes up.
Sadly, one day we all will be dead.
Why wish for that day to come any faster than it has to?
Is there any hope?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was one of my favorite books growing up.
I especially loved the BBC series where the characters are voiced, and remember laughing until I was crying at the character of Marvin the depressed robot.
“Pardon me for breathing, which I never do anyway so I don’t know why I bother to say it. Oh God, I’m so depressed,” Marvin says at one point.
Depression is no laughing matter, but too much pessimism – like too much optimism – can become a bit extreme!
Make sure if you hear too many of these pessimistic phrases that you counterbalance them with some sunshine-filled comments of your own.