The experiences we go through shape our character, and while we might have a lot to be happy about, our brains can be hard-wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. If we’re constantly exposed to negative events, it’s only natural to develop some coping mechanisms in order to avoid getting hurt again –- cynicism is one of these.
Before thinking that every cynical person is a grump beyond saving, those with positive attitudes should take some time to look back at some moments when they were cynical. Yes, it happens to everyone and you don’t have to feel bad about it. In a small dosage, cynicism is actually good.
Many cynics value honesty and integrity, and have more realistic expectations from a less-than-perfect world. These are obviously good traits, but what happens when we slip into cynicism’s extreme side?
Being constantly cynical leads to pervasive pessimism.
When you believe that everything you do is pointless, why do it in the first place? You distance yourself from people (maybe keep close some of your own kind), avoid going out if not necessary, start hating Christmas and poof — you’re the Grinch!
Jokes aside, pervasive pessimism can lead to depression and is considered a risk factor for cardio vascular diseases. Hating from the bottom of your broken heart doesn’t glue the pieces back together, on the contrary.
If you find yourself being cynical about everything, then it’s time to take a closer look at how you’re interacting with the world.
How can you live more positively without losing the valuable parts of cynicism?
You haven’t always been cynical– we’re not born that way. Maybe some bad events made you distrust anyone’s honesty and question their real intentions. It can feel hard to become hopeful and positive again when you see people making the same mistakes over and over again, but it’s not impossible.
Just as it goes for every healing process, first, you need to be aware of your cynicism and how it’s affecting your life. Then start making little changes so that you won’t feel uncomfortable.
To easily dive into becoming more positive, you can start with your social media presence. Whenever you find something that ticks you off and you feel the urge to leave a negative comment, just keep scrolling. If you have something constructive to say, say it. If not, keep it to yourself. By not dwelling on it, you’ll forget about it in no time.
When have you last allowed yourself to day-dream without thinking that it’s stupid?
Dream! It’s free, easy and that’s where creativeness comes from. Thinking of something nice will put a smile on your face — and everyone loves a happy face.
Say no to things you can’t tolerate, but seek out whatever delights you and hold on to it. A hobby or some kind of activity you love might do the trick. Then talk passionately about it. This will generate positive feelings within yourself and around you.
Surround yourself with positive people
The cynic within tells you to surround yourself with other cynical individuals and criticize all the optimistic fools together. You want to be with those who share your beliefs, but why should you look down on good people that have done nothing to you? Be more selective about who you spend time with. You’ll begin to attract the right kind of friends.
Look at positive people for inspiration and focus on their qualities. Cultivate your spirit, appreciate kindness when it’s presented to you, and respond with kindness in turn. Compliment and encourage your friends (fake it if it doesn’t come naturally, someday it will). Say “yes” to attending a party, even if you assume it’ll be lame.
There’s always something positive to appreciate in everything, even if your initial impulse is to criticize.
Of course, your car broke down again on your way to work, but at least it’s not raining (see my point?) You can still be a cynic at times– just be a more selective and rational one.