The Root of My Cynicism

I’ve done a lot of root cause analysis in conjunction with my profession and suffice to say, it’s about time to do the same process with why I ended up being cynical. After having a brief – and not so happy – trip down memory lane, I finally found the beginnings, if not the cause, of all my semi-pessimist outlook in life. 

When I was younger, I’ve been raised to be conscientious, which eventually lead me into extremes as I grew older.

I’ve always lived by this saying . . .

Think first before you speak or do something.

It’s what the nuns, confessors and advisers drummed into my being while attending private Catholic schools during my formative years. Up until now, whenever something comes along or I’m trying to decide what to do, I never follow my gut instincts. I always deliberate and analyze things first before moving forward. That led me to become a procrastinator and inadvertently an over-analytical person.

Being conscientious itself is not bad. In fact, it made me be a better person by being sensitive to other people’s feelings and all that. What made it bad was my penchant to being VERY conscientious leading to cynicism and over-analyzing.

Yes, analyzing the situation may be a good at times, especially when decisions involve other people, too. But sometimes, I tend to over-analyze, a veritable cause that completely disregard the beauty of jumping into great opportunities that would enliven my otherwise tepid existence. I let those opportunities for grand adventures pass me by. What made it more miserable is knowing that I could have been happier if not for my overly-cautious tendencies, not to mention, a fatter bank account.

But, is jumping head-first without caution a good or bad thing?


I always argue that I’m not cynical whenever I spout things that are not, in any way, positive or I’m always suspicious about other people’s motives. Because, fact is, people are moved by motives whether it is good or bad. 

I’d rather tell people that I am a realist since it has a nicer ring to it, rather than be stamped with the infernal indelible cynical label on my forehead. Let’s face it. Not all things in this world are rainbows and butterflies. Everyone and everything has a price. People can be bought. Maybe not by money, but by other things. Because we live in a material world and people want to get their hands on anything that they can have. 

My cynicism can often be a good thing, I think. It makes me be on-guard and trust only the trustworthy. It doesn’t hurt to be cautious and listen to the sometimes venomous voice inside my head. I’ve been saved countless times by those voices and by my cynicism. But it can also be a handicap, especially when it hinders me from being free to enjoy what life has to give.

I also have to agree that it can become a road to self-destruction. However, I am not clueless and I am aware of  the limits. I have moments of seeing rainbows and butterflies when I want to.  If only it happens a lot . . .


2 thoughts on “The Root of My Cynicism”

  1. Same upbringing with you. Good thing got married to a guy who has the opposite POV, i.e, act before you think; he balances my tendency to overthink. In the beginning of our relationship, this kind of POV tends to result in me always blaming him if things didn’t turn out what i want to because i always “give in” to following his “instincts.” But now, i’ve come to understand and accept it as part of him and us; its more peaceful. I’m like the YING to his YANG.

    1. True. We’re so much alike in POVs. It’s rare to find someone who compliments you. I wish I’ll find someone like that for me. Ending up with someone who’s similar in character is boring. Diversity can definitely spice up a relationship.

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