I realize that some people might read this and find it unrelatable, I also realize that some people might read this and find it helpful, I hope that the latter is the case.
There’s a line in a film titled There Will Be Blood, where a character played by Daniel Day Lewis says “There are times when I look at people and see nothing worth liking.”
For a long time, this quote was my mantra.
I am far too cynical, to a point where it is extremely unhealthy. I immediately assume the worst when it comes to the intentions of people, organizations, or institutions. This cynicism festers in me, it occupies my thoughts, my feelings, and tries to destroy me. Cynicism has prevented me from building relationships with people, and ultimately it has robbed me of joy, plain and simple.
I don’t say all of this to say “here are three ways to stop being cynical!” I highly doubt that I have the answer that anyone is looking for, and cynicism is something I still struggle with everyday. Although I don’t have any concrete answers, I can tell you what I know for certain, I feel healthier when:
- I choose to support people in their endeavors instead of criticizing them
- I give people the benefit of the doubt instead of expecting the worst
- I open myself up and bring people in instead of icing them out
- I steward my disposition towards skepticism instead of disregarding it entirely
I added that last point because I wanted to ward off the impression that I think being cynical or skeptical is always wrong. In a world marred by sin and selfishness, we need to be cautious and wise.
What I am proposing is that we prevent our inclinations from dominating our thoughts, and instead, use them as tools for moving forward. If you have any advice for how you deal with cynicism, contact me and let's have a conversation.