When I'm feeling low and in need of a pick me up, I certainly don't call up the friend with the perky voice who says, "You should save a little extra every month. I always do! Don't worry! Just be happy!" Because I know full well she lived with her parents until she was 30 and never had the reality of bills, rent or groceries to slap her upside the face. I can't deal with that level of shiny, naive optimism when I am trying to pull myself out of the depths of despair. It's called denial and it's how I ended up here in the first place people.
While I realize that Naysayers and Negative Nelly's are not welcomed forces at the dinner table or the board room table, (hey, I don't invite myself when I'm in that state either) optimists have their own level of inappropriateness as well. I know I'm not alone in this thinking because Barbara Ehrenreich talks about the dark reality of optimism in her talk, Smile or Die. (Check out this version of her talk animated by Cognitive Media for the RSA.)