Content of the material
- RT Features
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- 3. Your Experiences
- II. Examples of Cynicism
- Example 1
- Example 2
- How to Start Having Sex Again
- 8. They think of others
- 6. Your Perspective
- 4. They are polite
- Quotes on Cynics and Cynicism
- V. Examples of Cynicism in Pop Culture
- Example 1
- Example 2
- Frequently Asked Questions: Cynical Personality
- What do cynical people look for?
- What is a cynical person like?
- Is it bad to be a cynical person?
- Is being cynical good?
- What is the difference between cynical and skeptical?
- What is an example of cynical?
- How can I be less cynical?
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- You resemble those political economists who, if they see a paragraph in the paper one day rejoicing over the country’s prosperity, examine its columns to see what new tax is to be suggested.
- I once said cynically of a politician, “He’ll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.”
- Oscar Levant, in The Memoirs of an Amnesiac (1965), p. 13
3. Your Experiences
A person’s past and future experiences have, without a doubt, the greatest influence on shaping who they are as a unique individual.
Every experience helps us determine how we will end up interacting with the world and other people in it.
People with negative experiences may find themselves feeling anxious and defensive when faced with situations similar to those in which they got hurt or when trying to avoid future harm.
And people seek out positive experiences to help improve their understanding of the world, the people in it, and how to best pursue a happy and content life.
That doesn’t mean that you are condemned to be held hostage by your experiences.
Certain negative experiences often contain shreds of wisdom that you can use to find a better path, make better decisions, and pursue a more positive future.
II. Examples of Cynicism
“I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.”
This is a fairly common T-Shirt quote that neatly sums up the cynic’s attitude. A person wearing this shirt is clearly suspicious of the world, and not particularly interested in making friends with everyone. In addition, they take a dim view of others (in this case it’s viewing them as dumb.)
“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.”
“Yeah! That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.”
This joke is a cynical response to a common moral sentiment. The first line is somewhat sentimental and encourages compassion and empathy. The second line rejects those sentiments and responds with a biting one-liner. (Note: if the person actually did steal someone else’s shoes and run off with them, it would start too look more like nihilism than cynicism – see section 6.)
How to Start Having Sex Again
It’s easy to get stuck in a position of not having much sex. Often we stop trying because of something that goes a bit wrong, perhaps there were some nasty arguments…
8. They think of others
It’s easy to be selfish and do what’s best for yourself. Yet, truly good people consider others in their decisions. They understand that what’s good for them may not always be the best for others. They don’t have to cater exclusively to others; rather, they understand and take into consideration how their actions will affect others and are comfortable with the decision to move forward.
6. Your Perspective
Can anyone else in the world see the world exactly as you do?
No one else has lived your twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.
No one else has experienced life in the same way that you have.
No one else has the exact same body of knowledge that you have.
A person’s perspective is uniquely their own.
That’s why it’s so important to be open to other people’s opinions and ideas…
…not necessarily to accept them as right or wrong, but to help fill in the blanks and continue to develop your unique perception of the world.
An exchange of ideas with the right person on your perceptions of the world can unlock realization and wisdom, so don’t shy away from listening to or sharing your own perspectives and opinions.
4. They are polite
Good people are polite. They show respect and mind their manners. It’s not to be a showoff or to seem better; they just truly respect individuals and want to treat them how they want to be treated. You don’t have to be formal or walk on eggshells to be polite. It’s more a function of ensuring you act in a way that is fitting for your present location.
Quotes on Cynics and Cynicism
“Cynicism is intellectual treason.”
“Cynicism, to me, is trying to make people as unhappy as you are.”
“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
“A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.”
Henry Ward Beecher
“Cynicism: The intellectual cripple’s substitute for intelligence”
“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”
“It is only the cynicism that is born of success that is penetrating and valid.”
“There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”
“The cynic finds love with the idealist. The rebel with the conformist. The social butterfly with the bookworm. They help each other balance their lives.”
“Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they’ve been hurt, they’re sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that’s protecting this tiny, dear part in them that’s still alive.”
“Progress is more of a challenge for the cynic but also more important and urgent, since for the optimist things aren’t that bad and are bound to get better anyway.”
“Every person has the power to make others happy. Some do it simply by entering a room — others by leaving the room. Some individuals leave trails of gloom; others, trails of joy. Some leave trails of hate and bitterness; others, trails of love and harmony. Some leave trails of cynicism and pessimism; others trails of faith and optimism. Some leave trails of criticism and resignation; others trails of gratitude and hope. What kind of trails do you leave?”
Henry Ward Beecher
“Life is not an easy matter… You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.”
“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say ‘no.’ But saying ‘yes’ begins things. Saying ‘yes’ is how things grow.”
V. Examples of Cynicism in Pop Culture
“Well now I’m standing. Happy? We’re all standing now. Bunch of jackasses, standing in a circle.” (Rocket Raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Rocket is a great example of a cynical anti-hero. He constantly makes biting remarks about others, and rarely has anything nice to say about anyone. In this particular line, he’s making fun of the other Guardians even as he decides to join them. In addition to his cynical one-liners, Rocket also has a painful backstory, a few moments of genuine emotion (e.g. his tearful insistence that “I didn’t ask to get made”), and a single close friend, Groot, whom he trusts completely.
“Do I get bonus points if I act like I care?” (Dr. Gregory House, House)
House is another classic example of a cynic. He experiences intense physical pain from his leg as well as emotional pain stemming from his divorce and loneliness. These experiences have made him bitter and difficult to get along with, but he’s still a brilliant doctor and dedicates his life to helping others (albeit sometimes grudgingly). In some moments, House comes close to nihilism, but he never completely loses touch with his moral beliefs. He is also a talented musician, and the show often humanizes him by showing him alone at the piano.
Frequently Asked Questions: Cynical Personality
What do cynical people look for? Cynical people, regardless of the situation, always see the negative side of things. They are known for finding flaws in everybody and everything besides themselves. You may be cynical if you catch yourself accusing others and the circumstances for your failures. What is a cynical person like? When you call someone cynical, you’re implying that they think people are always selfish. When you’re cynical about something, you don’t think it will succeed and also that the people involved are not trustworthy. Is it bad to be a cynical person? When this kind of attitude occurs on an individual level, it’s awful enough, but it really is toxic on a social level. Cynicism has a crippling effect in a time when action needs to be taken. Is being cynical good? Cynicism, would be neither entirely good or entirely bad. It’s possible to be too pessimistic, but it’s also possible to be underly pessimistic. The most common criticism of cynicism is that it induces defeatist pessimism, the assumption that nothing can ever be positively impacted. What is the difference between cynical and skeptical? Cynicism is characterised by a pessimistic attitude toward life and a lack of trust in others. Someone who is sceptical is more inclined to do their homework before accepting what they have been told. Cynical people generally believe that everyone is out to get them. What is an example of cynical? What is a cynical example? Others’ honesty, sincerity, or motivations are questioned. Cynicism is grounded in the notion that people only act in order to meet their own needs. An example of cynical might be somebody who thinks that someone donated to charity only to get a date with the person who asked for the contribution. How can I be less cynical? Here are a few tips on how to be less cynical: Recognize and accept your cynicism. It will be easier to work on changing your attitude once you recognise this You should make a conscious effort to adopt positive thinking Make an effort to be grateful Take a deep breath Practice mindfulness Play every day, even if it’s only for five minutes. Limit the amount of news you consume Make your authentic self known
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- The greater part of the truth is always hidden, in regions out of the reach of cynicism.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter to his son, Michael Tolkien, 1st November 1963, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Edited by Humphrey Carpenter, Allan and Unwin (1981), p. 336