Are You Too Cynical? How Cynicism Affects Your Overall Outlook On Life

This is how cynicism affects your outlook on life (and what to do about it).

confused woman in white getty

If you thought you were going to read about how you shouldn't be cynical and how cynicism is bad... Not so fast!

Let’s dig a little deeper!

What is cynicism, anyway? One definition points to how people are generally selfish and dishonest. Another definition is an inclination to question whether something will happen or if it is worthwhile.

There's a common perception that cynics are pessimists and disagreeable, that some people are dishonest and self-serving, and  that many things are not worthwhile.


RELATED: What The Zodiac Signs Are Most Cynical About

Are you too cynical?

A certain amount of cynicism is normal and maybe even helpful. It's like a warning system, that says to watch out or to not be too naïve and vulnerable.

Cynicism can even help you question things that are not in accordance with your reason or ethics.


There's a big difference between being cynical about a specific situation or person and a general attitude of cynicism.

An attitude of cynicism colors the interpretations of the world with a pessimistic veneer that prevents you from seeing situations where you should call forth hope and optimism for meaningful change.

What if we thought about cynicism from an energetic point of view, and not just a mental disposition or a reflection of our values?

Or, to put it differently, what if cynicism is a sign of energy depletion in the heart and the mental attitude of cynicism reflects that?

RELATED: If You're An Optimist Dating A Pessimist, Here's What You Should Know


If we want to see a change in ourselves or others, we need the energy to fuel the opposite of cynicism — optimism and hope.

Our hearts are the strongest electromagnetic generator of the body.

A simple meditation practice like Heart Rhythm Meditation can fill your heart back up with energy to make it less likely for us to fall into non-productive cynicism.

Close your eyes and breath deep into the lower abdomen and chest. Try to feel your heartbeat or pulse inside.

Count the same number of heartbeats on the inhale and exhale and aim for eight in and eight out. Put your whole being into your heart in the middle of your chest.

Experience yourself from the heart’s point of view. Your heart is waiting to be heard and may surprise you.


The problem with cynicism is it deprives us of the ability to see a possibility for change. Life is constant change and growth — it relies on energy.

No change or growth equals no energy and no life. Conscious coordination of breath and heartbeat brings us an energy refill with the wonderful side effect of optimism.

So, are you too cynical?

Probably, if your attitude is preventing joy and hope in your life. Consider a heart tune-up, and you will notice a more positive outlook and ability to bring your best self to the table.

We need you. And yes, hold on to your healthy cynicism! That's your mind doing its job.


The mind needs its judgments and doubts. But take a chance on your heart and see if anything changes.

When your heart is energized, your mind has a better chance of working well with the ability to see more clearly.

RELATED: How To Make Yourself Happy When You're A Pessimist

Dr. Kathleen Friend is a child psychiatrist, children's book author of "The Greatness Chair" and Heart Rhythm Meditation teacher. For more information on Heart Rhythm Meditation, you can find further instruction and information on her website.