Not sure this term “pathological optimism” is so well-defined or accepted. At least the search engines didn’t pop up w many results!!
That said, I heard it for the 1st time yesterday from my therapist, & it really struck me. To her credit she said – it’s just what I see generally, as ppl go on their own journeys of healing, & think abt others in their lives – friends, fam, coworkers, etc.
Let’s be brutally honest – many (not all) of us began our paths bc other things weren’t working. We either didn’t like how we were feeling. Or if you were in a case like mine, you didn’t even know what mental/spiritual health were, until you crashed bc you’d neglected it.
So you begin the process. You start to learn abt yourself. You learn why your thought patterns are the way they are…abt the trauma & difficult life experiences you went thru that caused you to get to “this place.” But you also learn that as an adult (at whatever age it happens) you get to WORK on things from the past.
No one has a childhood that they just skate thru. There are losses to & sicknesses of loved ones, bullying (& now cyber bullying), feeling left out or isolated, divorces, job losses of parents, verbal & other forms of abuses. That’s just a partial list of the “stuff” we carry into adulthood!
But then as you work on urself, you realize what those things have done to your view of the world, your openness to the opinions of others, your ability to share & appreciate perspectives.
And as the world becomes clearer TO YOU, as a human, you have this belief that anyone in your life must be going on some similar journey that you are. This pathological optimism comes in the form of thinking – well “they” don’t see it my way…but I don’t see it their way either – & I still accept & appreciate them & their take. They’ll eventually come arnd to do the same abt me.
But sadly – look at what’s going on in our world: politically, socially, ALL on display bc of SM & the idea we’re fed “if you dont stand for something, you stand for nothing.” Ppl’s “takes” are noticed.
We have to accept that some will never do the work we’re doing to be more open & accepting.