It might be hard to admit… but a lot of what goes into cynicism is fueled by fear. And what do we do when we’re afraid? We hide.
We hide behind absolutes. We build protective walls out of blanket statements.
If you want to stop being so darn cynical all the time, delete the following phrases from your daily vocabulary:
“It never fails…”
“Of course they…”
Try to dismantle the walls you’ve built. You may have built them so that you couldn’t see others, but they’ve gotten so high that no one can see you. Even you have kind of forgotten what you look like outside the walls’ gloom.
Reveal yourself. Why are you afraid? Don’t worry that you are afraid of things. It’s ok to be afraid. But know why you are. Untangling that knot often dissipates the fear outright.
The fewer bricks in your wall, the more light reaches you.
Even the cynic in me takes center stage from time to time, making me long for isolation, a house deep in a pleasant wood, and maybe a spaceship with coordinates to my own private planet.
So here’s what I did to waylay such inclinations: I made a screensaver for my ‘puter.
Not just any screensaver. I made the Screensaver O’ Awesome. It’s chock full of pictures of people who make me so happy I could squee. We all use photos of loved ones as screensavers, but how often do we curate those photos for maximum impact?
Pick photos of friends and those who smile upon you across vast internet distances. Use only those family members who uplift something very specific in you. Add photos of places and events that trigger profoundly happy memories.
The very act of curating such an album banishes cynicism to another room, but I find it utterly impossible to rage against the dregs of humanity when the actual pics pop up during a lull in my computer-day and rotate like the greatest inspirational gallery in the world.
Step Away From The News Mill
I get that you want to consider yourself well-informed. That’s highly commendable. How informed are you, though, by a bunch of blabbing heads in designer suits and dresses reading scripts that, quite literally, were written by the corporate office?
Newsflash: that ain’t news.
You’re consuming anger and fear and speculation. You’re consuming marketing in anchorperson’s clothing. You, my friend, are awash in hogwash.
Step away from it; that, or seek out reasoned, less shouty sources of actual information.
That’s a hard diamond to find these days, yes, but the alternative is feeling as if humanity’s gene pool needs serious chlorination, and that’s a horrible feeling to rent brainspace to.
Mind The Balance Beam
This one needs constant reinforcement.
If you say people suck, you must also acknowledge the wonderful people in your life.
If you think nothing is ever going to change, recall the good that’s happened either to you or to someone you know.
Minding the balance beam is a lot like eschewing absolutes. Life is so rarely an either or; it’s usually everything simultaneously in a confusing, roiling pot that will sometimes smell divine and other times turn you green with nausea.
It’s ok to complain about life. Donald Trump somehow became president of the US. That demands serious “WTF, humanity?!” It’s ok to bemoan stupidity when it’s worn as a badge of honor.
What’s not ok is diminishing yourself by holding onto a worldview that is quite easily refuted. Cynicism only serves to make the taste of bitterness tolerable to you.