Cynicism is the presumption that no one or anything should ever be trusted. Cynics suffer a gloomy outlook and a sarcastic tongue; they are the opposite of cheerfulness and respect. A cynical person is filled with bitterness, speaks with malice, and suspects even the most honorable people. It comes from a suspicion that the future is bleak and everyone around you acts only out of self-interest. In short, cynicism is a perpetually distrustful attitude.

When distrust reigns in your spirit, you mock everything good and decent. You are suspicious of the motives of everyone, and you're jealous of anyone who succeeds. Cynics have no faith or hope in the human race, and they love to ridicule those who attempt to make their world a better place to live. Political journalist and author Norman Cousins declared, "Cynicism is intellectual treason." He meant that a cynic subjugates his intelligence and reality to a jaded view of life.

Does that sound like you? I sure hope not. If it does, you need some help, but where to start? Since most cynics are bloviating critics of everything good and decent, begin with your tongue: don't let your cynicism escape through your speech.

Ralph Waldo Emerson suggests, "Don't be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don't bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives. Don't waste yourself in rejection, or bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good."

A predisposition to cynicism may be a sign that you've turned on yourself; you now see those around you with the same internal critical filter through which you see yourself. If think you're not good enough or often feel left out, you project those feelings to those around you. You see everyone from your mate or closest friend to a distant relative as irreconcilably flawed as you and have no compassion for their struggles and frustrations.

Take an honest look at your past. Sure there are bitter lessons there, people have mistreated you, no good break ever found its way to you. But that doesn't mean your future is bleak. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Forgiveness doesn't mean the pain doesn't matter or what you or someone else did to you was permissible. It means that you let go of the need for revenge or the need for an apology. Make peace with your past and restore love to your relationships (admittedly not easy to do), but necessary to losing the life-spoiling, joy-crushing, love canceling life-view of a cynic.

And about all those folks around you, consider their good qualities—and tell them how you appreciate them. See the light, not the darkness, the noble, not the dishonorable, and bless others—don't curse them.

It's this simple: you are the creator of the world in which you live. Create compassion instead of cynicism. Speak hope, not despair. As you "chant the beauty of the good," you will relieve your sour, cynical self, restore broken relationships, and recreate the lovely person God made you to be.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross is an author, publisher, speaker, broadcaster, and co-founder of He lives in Loveland, CO USA