Cynicism and Optimism

When did I become so cynical?

It’s something I’ve noticed recently, that amidst all the click bait, celebrity relationship drama, and “it’s just a prank bro” clips filling my Facebook feed, I have come to accept that I hate other people. It leaves me bewildered, searching for the answer to when I stopped seeing the best in people, basically, when I stopped giving as much of a shit as I used to.

As a teenager, I was wound more tightly than hospital sheets. I was anxious, nervous, and highly insecure… so pretty much like 80% of teenagers (I assume, anyway. Just go along with it for the sake of this piece).

And so, eventually I finished school, got a job, started studying, got a different job, got promoted, finished studying, got another job, and so on.  My job exposes me to the best and worst of people every day, but then again, whose job doesn’t? Somewhere along that way though, things changed. I was no longer who I used to be. I no longer had control over being the playful optimist I had once been, as life was now in the way.

But I guess that’s the beauty of optimism. It is inherently biased to highlight the points which you actually want to remember, beer helps with those other memories. Hidden in the opportunist concoction of hindsight and artistic licence is the reality of mediocrity and underwhelming chronicles. We too often remember fondly of our past, not always willing, or capable, of distinguishing the merit to our rosy re-creation.

This is where I am at now, trying to find the best of both of me, the real cynic, and the playful optimist. Seeking out how to balance the scales by recognising each side of me and adapting my style depending on the situation. Knowing when to be positive, and trust in optimistic power, but also when to bite the bullet and know that the cynic grounds my perceptions, and keeps me close to reality.

For the record, I don’t actually hate other people, it’s more a compelling frustration.


Do you have something to say about the roles of cynicism and optimism in your lives, contact @guiseside on Facebook or Twitter, or email at


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