By June 5, 2014

Killing The Cynic

It is easy to become a cynic. Most of us fall into the cynical cycle without even realizing it. When you go down that road it leads you right to pessimism and negativity. In this video I talk about why cynicism is so bad and how to break the cycle.


Full transcript:

John:               Hey, John Sonmez, and I’ve got a question for you this week, which is: are you a cynic?  Would you consider yourself a pessimist and would you consider yourself cynical?

A lot of people are cynical.  Well, we tend to be pretty cynical as a culture.  Whenever someone does something, we tend to sneer them and we tend to talk about why things can’t work.  I think I'm probably using cynic in a wide terminology here.  It really comes down to being a cynic or being a pessimist, being a person who always says why something can’t work or why something can’t succeed.

What happens is you start to do this to other people’s lives, right?  Someone says that they’re going to accomplish some goal or do something, and in the first stage of this is you basically, to yourself in your mind, say, “Yeah, that fatso is not going to lose weight,” or something like that, right?  You’re cynical in your mind.

Then step 2 is you actually become more of a cynic.  You become braver and you actually reply to them directly.  You actually tell them flat out or some sarcastic way that they’re not going to accomplish their goal.  That it’s not going to happen.

See, step 3 is where things get interesting, because at step 3, you do it to yourself.  If you keep going down that path of being a cynic, what ends up happening is you become a pessimist and you become a negative person instead of a positive person and you always believe that not only can someone else not accomplish what they set out to do and why they’re going to fail but you start to believe why you’re going to fail.

When you get in that situation, you’re in a pretty dangerous situation because, now, your failure is going to be reinforcing.  Because what’s going to happen is when you don’t believe in yourself, when you’re negative, when you’re pessimist, when you’re self cynical, you start to fail a lot and you start to prove yourself right.  The more that you prove yourself right, the more you’re going to fall into that trap and the more cynical that you’re going to become.

You’re just going to see that cycle repeat, because one thing that we tend to do when we become discouraged is we tend to discourage others.  That is a self-feeding cycle, because as you do that and become more cynical, it comes back to you and you continue to reinforce your belief that you are a failure and you can’t accomplish anything, and you continue to project that on others.

You really have to break that cycle by killing the cynic inside you.  You have to stop being cynical.  You can break that cycle in the same way that that cycle starts, which is basically to start being positive to other people.  I’ve talked about the power of positivity and it truly is a powerful.  If you can start being positive to other people, if you can start supporting them, here’s a good exercise on Twitter or Facebook, right?  These are the places where a lot of the cynics like to sit and disparage people from afar, start encouraging people.

When you start seeing someone posting about something they’re going to do or something they’re setting out to do, start encouraging them.  You might be cynical in your mind at first, but if you start doing this, your thoughts will follow your actions.  It’s not always the other way around.  If you start acting like a positive person, if you start acting like someone who is not cynical, you will change your mind.  Your thinking will follow what you’re actually doing and what you’re saying.

Give that a try and see if that helps you.  It’s up to you to decide.  You have to determine for yourself.  Not everyone is a cynic but a lot of us are.  I can fall into that trap from time to time.  I have to catch myself, and then I have to stop that cycle before it takes me in too far.

Well, if you like this video, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel here.  I’d appreciate it, and leave any comments that you have.  I will talk to you again next week.  Take care and have a good week, and don’t be a cynic.


About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."