Some people revel in the fact that they are cynics, and nobody can get anything over on them. They despise the world, and it seems nothing will change their attitudes. At the same time, these folks can be impossible at times.
Conversely, you may be the cynic who tends always to see the glass as half-empty. A negative outlook can destroy you, but you don’t have to allow it to win, as you have the power to change your pessimism.
Five Ways that Cynicism Can Ruin Your Happiness
Do you see yourself as a cynic? This person is constantly pessimistic and dwells on the negative aspects of life. They feel that everyone is against them, and nothing ever works out. However, these are five ways that cynicism can ruin your happiness without you even realizing it.
1. You’re More Likely to be Depressed
There is nothing uplifting or positive about being cynical. Since many cynics spend time ruminating about the past, you miss out on the joys of the present. Plus, your negativity can cause a bleak outlook for the future.
This negative attitude might directly cause depression, but it certainly can be a risk factor. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, cynical hostility creates stress and interpersonal conflicts. It’s also a significant indicator of depression.
2. People in Lower-Income Brackets Often Battle Cynicism
It’s difficult to trust people or take risks when you have a cynical view of your world. You may assume that everybody’s out to get you and that all your endeavors will fail. Since you may be unsure of your talents and skills, you may miss opportunities to advance your career.
Cynicism usually makes you avoid asking others for help, so networking is limited. As a result, you will make less money, making you more cynical. It’s an unproductive cycle that won’t stop until you change your mindset.
3. You May Have Fewer Meaningful Relationships
People who are bound by cynicism usually don’t make pleasant company. When a cynic is in a gathering, it won’t take others long to notice. No matter what people say or do to add some fun to the atmosphere, the cynic squashes it.
They have nothing nice to say about anyone and want to gripe and complain about their problems. These pessimists are miserable, and they want everyone around them to be the same. Does this sound like a familiar scenario to you?
If it does, you’ll, unfortunately, see your list of friends dwindle. Family and friends will stop offering invitations because you never have a good time anyway. Romantic relationships often don’t work out because the other person gets frustrated and leaves.
4. You’re More at Risk for Certain Physical Issues
Did you know that cynicism can affect your physical health? A study published by Psychophysiology discusses the link between cynicism and cardiovascular health. According to the study, the extra stress created by the pessimist mindset can risk heart disease.
Negative emotions can impact your nervous, digestive, and immune systems. Chronic stress can cause an overload of stress hormones, resulting in systemic inflammation. Such issues can lead to hypertension, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, and even premature death.
5. You May Be Prone to Develop Dementia
If all these health hazards weren’t enough to change your viewpoint, cynicism might be a risk factor for dementia. When you can’t trust anyone and have any positive views, your mind is poisoned. As a result, your cognitive skills can decline, and you could develop dementia, says an article published by the BBC.
Again, the added influx of stress hormones could be the cause. Cynics feel anxious and paranoid that others want to control them. It’s difficult for them to relax because they’re always on guard and expect the worst.
Five Signs That Cynicism Might Harm Your Life
Cynicism isn’t something you suddenly awaken with like measles. It’s a gradual shift in your attitudes from positive to negative. Here are some red flags that indicate that you may be too cynical.
1. You Might Struggle With Cynicism if You Dislike Happy People
Although cynical people expect the worst, they are still unhappy with their lives. They often believe that they are “cursed” by the Universe to be forever lacking in possessions and joy. So, when they encounter a happy person, they inwardly seethe and feel slighted.
If this sounds like you, do you find yourself rolling your eyes when someone smiles or relates a happy story? You may think that they don’t deserve such blessings that you should be receiving. Perhaps you imagine doing immoral deeds to get where they are in life.
2. You’ve Become a Merciless Judge
There’s not a lot of room in your heart for compassion if it’s overrun with cynical attitudes. Pessimists not only distrust other people, but they are quick to point the finger at them. You may find yourself judging others harshly or thinking they deserve any adverse events that happen.
Ironically, some of the faults you criticize others may be ones you also have. You may be shifting the blame to them to take the pressure off yourself. Empathy, compassion, and forgiveness don’t come easily for cynics, so maybe it’s time to reconsider your attitudes.
3. You Feel Isolated by Your Cynicism
How long has it been since you’ve enjoyed yourself in the company of family and friends? Do you often chat with them on the phone or text to keep up with each other? Maybe they’ve become weary of your complaining and endless pessimism.
4. You’ve Become Bitter
When someone offends you, it’s natural to feel hurt and betrayed. It may take a while for you to process the hurt and look at it from a different perspective. However, such offenses can make you an easy target for bitterness.
People who are hurting often hold grudges and develop trust issues. They may decide that if one person offends them, so will everyone else. As the bitterness festers in their spirit, it creates resentment and contempt.
Perhaps you feel like forgiving someone is allowing them off the hook. In reality, it doesn’t mean you excuse or can forget the offense. Forgiveness gives you the freedom to acknowledge the hurt and move on with your life.
Unfortunately, cynics would rather wallow in bitterness and self-pity. It just gives them another reason to feel resentment against the world.
5. Your Communication Changes
Another warning sign that you may be developing cynicism is how you communicate. Do you smile and laugh, or are you constantly scowling and spewing venomous sarcasm? It’s a classic sign that a cynical attitude is overcoming you.
Four Ways to Change Your Cynicism
Once you’ve acknowledged that you have a problem with negative thinking, you’ve taken the first step toward healing. Although it’s good to have critical thinking skills and not be naïve, you needn’t let that be your mindset. These are some ways to trade your negativity for unspeakable joy.
1. Try to be Positive Now That After You Identify Your Cynicism
Being positive doesn’t mean that you deny any problems in the world with a clueless grin. However, you’ll find that the good still outweighs the bad. Instead of concentrating on everything wrong in your life, focus on your many blessings.
2. Change Your Address
One of the reasons you may feel unsatisfied with life is that you still live in the past. You may spend most of your valuable time ruminating over past hurts, failures, and missed opportunities. All this behavior does is make you more cynical and depressed.
Determine that you’re going to move on from the past into the present. There’s nothing you can do to change yesterday. However, you can make a difference today that can mean better things for you in the future.
Consider a mindful practice like meditation or yoga. These are excellent ways to focus on the present moment. You may be surprised at what a difference mindful living can make.