(excerpts from a post in The Daily Mind)
The Oxford English Dictionary defines cynicism in a very enlightening way: “…a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions…”
The main thing to notice about the definition is the presence of negativity. A cynical person will almost always choose to doubt, disbelieve or discredit, even when there is no logical reason to do so.
So why do people think and behave like this? There are many schools of thought on the matter – some regard cynicism as a personal defense mechanism whereby people prevent themselves from opening up to love and friendship for fear of being hurt. Others say it comes about due to a traumatic event that occurred in childhood and caused a person to “close up”.
Here are some super simple things you can do to get yourself on the path of positive thinking and away from those habits of cynicism:
1. Recognize the problem
As with all problems the first step is in the recognizing. Some people go their whole lives not realizing that they are horrible people with miserly outlooks and cynical views of the world. Thank yourself lucky that you have had the good fortune to recognize the problem and do something about it. This is the first step.
2. Recognize each cynical thought
Once you have realized that you can be a cynic the task is to start realizing it more often. Think of this as a bit of a mindfulness meditation. The idea is to become attuned to your own mind and thoughts and start to become aware of every cynical thought that you have.
3. Use logic to debate the cynicism
Logic is a wonderful thing. Logic allows you to overcome destructive emotions and other negative things in your life. Why? Because 99% of the time the reason for your depression, anxiety, hatred or other negative feeling is illogical. If you debate the negative feeling using logic you will often find that the negative feeling gets weaker.
4. Make a definitive choice to be positive
Everything good in life comes from a choice. When you make a choice to do something you do everything that you can to make that thing come about.
5. Focus on people’s qualities
The last method I want to give you is the one that has worked the best for me. It is the simple art of choosing to look at people’s qualities instead of their negative attributes.
if you are a cynical person and you find that you have no friends, a bad job, poor social life and are generally unhappy then you could conclude that the results of your cynicism were bad. This is the type to avoid. If, however, you find that your cynicism helps you to avoid trouble then you can conclude that it is a good type.
Make sure you learn the difference.