What is the person called who always thinks negative? E.g.

  • Mr. X always thinks negative.
  • Mr. X has negative attitude.

What we can use either? Is there any particular word for this?

6 Answers 6


The word is pessimist, a person who expects the worst.

Mr X is a pessimist.

Contrast with optimist.

It is often said that while optimists are happier, pessimists are more often correct.


Optimists are said to live longer than pessimists, though a pessimist might say those extra few years are bound to be miserable.

  • 4
    Difference between a pessimist and an optimist. In difficult situation, the pessimist will say "It can hardly be any worse than that". The optimist will answer "Of course it can !". Mar 10, 2011 at 14:23

There are a lot of colloquialisms and other terms that mean the same thing:

"Mr. X is a ..."

  • Negative Nancy
  • Downer
  • Drag
  • Debbie Downer
  • Naysayer
  • Prophet of doom
  • Doomsayer
  • Futilitarian
  • 2
    +1 for Negative Nancy, which I have heard to describe both men and women.
    – Zoot
    Mar 10, 2011 at 16:51
  • 3
    I like futilitarian. Hadn't heard that before. Mar 10, 2011 at 20:10

Alternatives for consideration:

  1. Cynic
  2. Defeatist

'Mr X Thinks negatively' is correct.

However, 'Mr X is a pessimist' is more grammatically sound.


I've always enjoyed slang expressions like "Mr Unhappy is a real stick in the mud" (i.e. won't participate) and similar expressions like curmudgeon or party pooper. They have slightly different connotations than always thinking negatively, but I think the mindset would have the be similar to support them.


A lackadaisical person is someone who is listless and lacking vigor or determination, in short someone with a negative attitude.

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