Why it's not cool to be a cynic

Monday, October 01, 2018

Dress - Rusty (The Iconic)
Jacket - Milk and Honey
Boots - Betts

I recently overheard an acquaintance, “You have really blossomed into a cynical person.”
I was surprised, and the reason is two-fold: The recipient didn't strike me as a cynic but secondly and more importantly, it was meant to be a compliment.
The second aspect really shouldn’t have been a shock. Somewhere along the way cynicism became quite cool. I’d say Sherlock Homes, the cynical genius had something to do with the image makeover. And then whatever little convincing we needed, was done by the charming Mr Darcy – your voice of cynicism wrapped up in rugged good looks ready to show the feisty positive girl the wonders of being distrusting of this bad awful world.
The trope is one that has been repeated in countless films and novels over time and is now firmly ingrained in our brain: cynicism = sophisticated intellectual who is all too intelligent to see the world with positivity.
Cynicism might be sexy but it’s also incredibly easy. I’m not saying that people don’t have valid reasons to be distrusting of the world, but the romanticisation of hating the world ignores the merits of positivity.
It’s easy to see the worst in people, situations and the world at large. It’s certainly easy to see the worst in people who’ve done you wrong. But it’s a lot harder to look at the person who you have conflict with and see things from their point of view.  
The issue at the crux of it is that people often mistake cynicism for critical thinking. Critical thinking requires objectivity and the ability to assess a situation fairly for its pros and cons. But cynicism is ignoring the existence of the pros and focusing, or rather assuming all the cons.
It’s good to look at an awful situation and accept it for what it is. But you can also believe that there is some lesson to be learn there, some greater good which will unfold at the right time.
Positivity is exhausting, and no one seems to talk about it. But it’s more reason to stick at it. Wearing rose tinted glasses to see the world is a foolish idea but putting on dull grey ones is just as illogical.
As George Carlin once put it, “Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.”
My suggestion? Take the glasses off entirely if you can and trust life will show you what you need to see.

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  1. While I’m a reasonably cynical person myself, I do agree that it takes some seriously resilience in this world to keep those rose coloured glasses on and always look on the bright side, because it’s not something I’m always able to do. You make a good point though – it’s better to not wear the glasses at all and try and see things as they really are and not how you’ve already decided they are!


  2. You raised some really great points here dear, and I couldn't agree more. This is such an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com