How cynical are you?

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How Cynical Are You?

Just thought I’d make a quick update as I haven’t posted in a while. I’m still not feeling well which is why I haven’t been online lately… I think it’s just a virus but it’s frustrating. I haven’t been able to answer comments yet either but I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts on my last post; you’ve given me a lot to think about and I’ll be following up with another post in a few days.

I haven’t done much writing either but I’ve been thinking about an idea which could be different for me… it was sparked by a dream and I’m just debating whether it should be a screenplay or a story at the moment. I had this image of a man emerging from a fire, a shape-shifter, and everything’s just fallen into place from that scene. I’m leaning towards the screenplay, but we’ll see… I’ll post a short synopsis once the details are worked out.

Anyway, as I haven’t been able to do a normal post, who’s up for a quiz? :) I found this one earlier and thought it was interesting. I’ve never thought of myself as much of a cynic but I am with my writing; I’m confident but I try to keep myself in check. Apart from that my result seems about right… I’m fairly positive but I know how the world works and my impressions are pretty accurate.

I wonder if being cynical is so bad, though? A cynic is often portrayed as pessimistic but I think you can have a healthy scepticism about anything; sometimes being a little cautious can be a good thing. What’s interesting is how our impression of cynicism has changed from its origins, though. Originally cynicism wasn’t about seeing the world in a misanthropic way as much as advocating a simpler lifestyle in the pursuit of virtue. It encompassed a number of Greek philosophies but now a cynic is someone who always believes the worst in humanity… as a philosophical movement you can see its benefits but now it seems somehow dishonourable. Strange how times change.

So are you a cynic? Do you think cynicism has its place? I’d be interested to find out. And I’m looking forward to catching up with your blogs again too. It feels weird catching a virus when it’s still 26° C outside… must be Murphy’s Law. Or maybe I’m just being cynical. ;)

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9 Comments

  1. You Are 48% Cynical
    Yes, you are cynical, but more than anything, you’re a realist.
    You see what’s screwed up in the world, but you also take time to remember what’s right.

    hah, i’m more optimistic than you. :P you’re right, being cynical doesn’t have to be bad, it’s good to be aware of the bad side of life so you don’t get too optimistic and have unrealistic expectations. it’s when your cynicism is evoked without real thought, when it becomes so instinctive to be cynical of almost everything you come across, that it will make you a very negative person.

    i’m not a cynic with people, but with myself. so it’s very bad when good things happen to me, because i keep screwing them up with my cynicism, thinking they will turn out bad anyway.

    CJ: I demand a recount! That’s only one question between us – too close to call! Wait, now I’m starting to sound like Al Gore. :)

    That’s a good point about cynicism. It’s easy to get carried away about something and being a little sceptical is a protection. When it’s bad is when you start looking for it in every situation, but I think there’s a difference between that and being truly negative or pessimistic… pessimism is more of a world view and that’s much harder to break.

    And you should give yourself more credit, sulz! You have all the potential in the world, so it can’t be that bad when good things happen to you! Otherwise you’d never have met so many friends blogging. ;)

    Reply
  2. I’ve admired the Greek Cynics somewhat, and agree that they were not necessarily pessimistic, but just careful in their examination of ideas. That being said, here are my quiz results:
    You Are 4% Cynical Cynical? Not even close! If anything, you’re a bit naive. Overall, you enjoy life and try not to be paranoid. Even if you’ve been burned before.

    I guess this sounds like me. But I’m so naive I don’t even believe I’ve been “burned before”. I only checked ONE box on the entire quiz! I actually tried to check more, but couldn’t in all good conscience. Also some of the statements like “You prefer movies with realistic endings to movies with happy endings” had me telling myself that happy endings can BE realistic! Sheesh! Anyway, I’m glad you’re on the mend, but so sorry you have not been well. Thanks for posting—I’d been wondering if you were OK. Your screenplay (I vote for that!) sounds fascinating, and I’m very much looking to reading more!!! So, have some tea with lemon, and take care of yourself, and come back to us when you can.

    CJ: Wow Muse, 4%? I think that’s the lowest score I’ve seen for any quiz! I can understand it, though; some of the statements were ambiguous and it does sound like you. I agree about movies; just because it’s a happy ending doesn’t mean it can’t be realistic. I always think back to my favourite movies, though, and they’re mostly sadder endings. I mean, can you imagine Wrath of Khan with a different ending? It would have lost all of its impact.

    Thanks for the kind thoughts. I’m feeling a bit better now so I’ll get round to seeing some blogs later; looking forward to seeing what you and sulz have been up to! ;) The screenplay’s probably going to be more of a scriptment at first but I really like the idea, so I hope it works out. At least it shouldn’t take too long to write, compared to a novel.

    The weird thing is I hardly posted in March and I actually had my best month ever with hits. Why is it that you don’t post and your stats go up? Must be one of the great mysteries of blogging. :)

    Reply
  3. I was so pathetically uncynical, that it is too embarrassing to put up the score. I only got points for not believing in Astrology, but I don’t really see how that fits into being cynical or not.

    The Worst of Perth
    Artdesignarchitecturehumanity

    CJ: Now that I think about it, it’s one of those quizzes that will probably generate either a high or a low score; the questions are slightly ambiguous, so you have to choose one way or the other… so I’d expect a few low scores. Or maybe that’s just me being cynical again.

    Astrology’s an interesting one. I’m not a big believer in it but I read the columns sometimes; so does that make me cynical or naive? I think it’s healthy to be a little sceptical but also not to be closed off to everything… whether that fits the common view or not I don’t know, but I think it’s a pretty good attitude. Works for me anyway. ;)

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  4. 4%
    Cynical? Not even close! If anything, you’re a bit naive.
    Overall, you enjoy life and try not to be paranoid. Even if you’ve been burned before.

    I thought that is how I would rate, I am definitely a half glass full type of girl. It said I might even be a bit naive. Perhaps, but I’m happy being me so Whatever:):):
    Maribeth

    CJ: Another 4%! I don’t think I’ve seen a score like that before and now I’ve seen two in a day! Feels like déjà vu. :)

    I agree about the naive bit; it seems harsh. I mean, thinking the best about someone doesn’t make you naive unless they’ve given you reason to think otherwise… being naive and being gullible are two different things.

    I’m a realist so I’m not sure if the glass is half empty or half full, btw… I usually say there isn’t a glass. It gets some interesting looks. ;)

    Reply
  5. You Are 20% Cynical

    Cynical? Not even close! If anything, you’re a bit naive.
    Overall, you enjoy life and try not to be paranoid. Even if you’ve been burned before.

    I don’t agree with the first line but I do for the rest of it…

    Hope you are feeling better…

    CV

    CJ: Yes, it’s a strange way of putting it, isn’t it? Like believing in something is bad… sometimes trusting yourself to something or someone is the only way you can grow. The rest sounds like a good match, though. ;)

    I am feeling a bit better now; I guess some things just take a while to get over. Looking forward to getting back into posting and commenting again.

    Reply
  6. I was sorry to hear you weren’t well. :( I hope you get well soon!

    I scored 12% in that quiz, so I’m another naïve one. That’s nothing new though!

    The weird thing is, I’m actually an avowed pessimist. Assume the worst, and then nothing will disappoint you! Does that make me cynical? Sometimes I wonder if I’m not so much naïve as innocent.

    Cynicism might not be a bad thing, and in fact I often find people who are a little bit cynical are funnier and more interesting than non-cynics. I didn’t know about the Greek cynics, though. You’re right, it is pretty interesting.

    CJ: Thanks, Bobby. I am feeling a bit better now… it’s just been one of those things that’s taken a while to get over. Now I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

    Wow, another one of those results… I might have to take the quiz again at this rate! I like your attitude, btw. I wouldn’t say it makes you cynical; that’s more being suspicious about something than expecting it… I’d say it’s more of a world view.

    That’s true about cynics; they often have a way of bringing out the irony in a situation, so they can be quite funny. I think it’s a bit of a myth that a cynic is this dour, unhappy person… a cynic’s probably not even aware they’re being “cynical” at the time; it’s just part of how they live. Perhaps in that way it’s not so different to how the Greek cynics used to live after all.

    Reply
  7. 65% Cynic.

    You’re a full blown cynic… and probably even skeptical of these results.
    You have your optimistic moments, but most likely you keep them to yourself.

    I’ve seen too much.

    CJ: Actually I’d have thought you’re more sceptical than cynical, Stone… but would we expect any less? ;)

    Reply
  8. bobby seelye

     /  September 7, 2012

    i often question whether or not i’m too cynical. however, i think it has a lot to do with my environment up to this point. all through high school i was the opposite of a cynic. didn’t have to work if i didn’t want, looked for the good in everyone, and the world couldn’t get any better. i had my whole life ahead of me. then i went to a relatively prestigous private university as a business student. this whole time i was in college i was also in a touring rock band. as i toured and met the people in the audience and backstage (crews, promoters, ect.) i compared them with my college peers and started to become disgusted. everyone seemed so lost. they all had their eyes covered by wool. it was a very unsober environment. i did this for a decade. as i approached age 30 i began to polarize toward the successful business friends and purged everyone from the music scene. why? because the business people had houses, cars, and wives and childeren. they could eat a steak for dinner if they wanted. they weren’t looking for free booze and drugs. then as the political climates changed i saw mainstream govt/media honoring the degenerates and villifying the successful. this is so backwards to me. if this govt attitude ‘progresses’ then my cynicism will have become justified. which is sad. but, since i embraced my cynicism i have a house, a nice car, an awesome dog, and am currently searching for the wife who has an equal level of success. meanwhile, all the old music scene friends still live on people’s couches or their parents basements. so i guess i’ll say this. cynicism can be annoying to others and can lead to problems within friends circles. but the same thing can be said about overly optomistic people. they are annoying too and are often fooled by those that prey on them. both sides of the spectrum can be fine-tuned to live a healthy productive life where you don’t have your time wasted and your dreams aren’t crushed by ‘hoping’ some positive outcome into existence. negative outcomes are inevitable but they can be mitigated if you are aware of the alternatives and are able to think things through.

    Reply
  9. Spark

     /  September 13, 2012

    I think I’m quite cynical… For a 12 year old anyway. But I’m kinda naïve when it comes to romance

    Reply

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