Last month, one of my dear readers (if it wasn’t you, it was the other one) brought an article to my attention that gave me some hope about my half emptiness.  In fact, I felt a bit vindicated.

The article is succinctly titled, “Is your glass always half full? Optimism could be down to a brain malfunction – and it may have caused the banking crisis.”  That’s quite an assertion!  Should I start to worry about my husband’s brain malfunction???

“According to research published today, blind optimism is related to ‘faulty’ functioning of the brain’s frontal lobes.”

Jumping in the Desert

Mr. HalfFull is quite optimistic despite being in a desert in the United Arab Emirates with temperatures over 100°F!

Whew!  I’m not so worried now because Mr. HalfFull doesn’t exhibit blind optimism.  He looks on the bright side of things and is generally a happy person, but still has a range of emotions.

During the brain imaging study in London,

“…all participants showed increased activity in the frontal lobes of the brain when the information given was better than expected.

However, when the information was worse than estimated, the more optimistic a participant was, according to a personality questionnaire, there was less activity in these frontal regions.”

Upset in Barcelona

After a bird poops on my foot in Barcelona, I'm not going to be optimistic!

I guess my frontal lobes are super active all the time!  Can you really fault me for responding to all the information?  I’m just exhibiting healthy half empty brain function.

I realize that optimists tend to cope better with life’s challenges and may be less stressed, but is that only because they are ignoring the facts?  Isn’t it good to see things as they are?  As a woman firmly entrenched in the half empty camp, I believe it’s important to acknowledge the negative too!  Perhaps you shouldn’t dwell on it, but ignoring it completely doesn’t seem like a good practice either.

  • Do you know a blindly optimistic person?  Is he/she annoying?
  • Are you worried about your frontal lobe brain function?
  • Do you tend to ignore negative information?
  • Do optimists have better coping skills and less stress?

Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!