Don't Let Cynicism Win

Last night, I was with a group of people discussing a chapter we read on cynicism and it struck me with how similar it is to having a growth mindset.  Some key points we talked about really made me think about what people have to deal with day to day at home, as well as your work life. So, I thought I would share a bit with you all. 

  1. Cynicism begins not because you don't care but because you do care.* 
  2. Most cynics are former optimists- there was a time when they were hopeful, enthusiastic, and even cheerful.*
  3. Cynicism grows when you start to protect yourself from future hurt*

Think about what you do every single day, you help people!   It might be your child, a co-worker, a friend, or a spouse.  You give advice, you cook meals, you listen.  But, sometimes a person that really needs your help just won't listen. It drives you crazy!  This happens a few more times and you don’t want to keep trying, you don’t want to put in the work. You start having a cynical attitude towards the people that are the closest to you.  You stop inviting that friend to lunch, she is just going to say she is busy.  You stop checking in with your hubby to see how his day is going, he is just not going to reply he is too busy at work.  You stop being you.  

But, wait.  Let's go back a bit.  Don't you remember how hopeful you were and how enthusiastic you were when everything was going right in your life?  You loved being in love.  You loved hanging out with your friends.  You loved doing nice for someone else, without expecting a thanks in return.  You're just stuck in a bad mindset.  You need that growth mindset, you can do better, you can learn to overcome disappointment and cancelled plans, you can show up for that person that has been too busy to show up for you.  You can love again, even if you have been hurt.  You can trust again even if 10 people in the past betrayed your trust.  You can’t let past experiences control your future.  You can’t let them rob you from your joy.  But, how?  Well, let's start off by kicking that cynicism to the curb. You keep being you.  Below are some notes I took last night. 

  1. Keep believing the best in people.  You may get disappointed a time or two, but you are going to be living the best version of yourself.  
  2. Keep Hope Alive.*
  3. Cultivate Curiosity- feed your curiosity, keep learning keep growing*
  4. Ask open ended questions, don't jump in when someone is talking and the next time it sounds like someone is finished answering-just wait!  You'll be surprised where this leads.  If you listen longer, you'll hear things other people never hear. *
  5. Cynics never change the world, they just tell you why the world can't change.*

You can see so many things happen, and still want to change the world.  You can make a difference, even if it is a small difference.  You can keep your joy.  You can be you. 

I know in the past I have felt so dumb.  I am quick to trust, quick to believe the best in people, and super quick to forgive.  But then, you know what happens, people disappoint me, time and time again.  I have been lied to so many times, I have been left out, I have been betrayed, I have needed someone to be there for me and nobody showed up.  And you know what I do, nothing.  I just brush it off and keep being me.  I keep believing the good in every single person.  To the point where I think I am crazy.  This can’t be the right thing to do.  I need to protect myself. I need to stop being so trusting.  I need to see the bad before I am surprised.  I start thinking that I am living my life wrong.  This was such a great reminder for me, reading this was perfect timing.  I could let my past shape my future and start being cynical. But, that would not make me be the best version of myself. That would be letting the bad take over my life.   I can’t let past experiences shape how I choose to live my life.  I can’t let bad apples take away my joy.  If I am going to get hurt, that is on you.  I am not going to give anyone power to make me not trust in the good, in the world, in people.  We aren’t perfect, things will happen.  But, I shouldn’t worry about what I can’t control.  I can put my trust in God, myself, and others.  

Hope. Believe, Trust. Grow.  
Don't Let Cynicism Win
*Quotes from: Didn't See it Coming by Care Nieuwhof
October 19, 2021 — Brandi McDonald

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