A little bit of cynicism can be a good thing. It can keep you on the straight and narrow path, one where you are able to see things as they are, not as they should be. The challenge occurs when people become overly cynical about everything and find it hard to trust anyone else. The truth is we all need each other. To become too cynical means we may be at risk of hurting recovery.
What is Cynicism
Cynicism is an attitude of negativity that pervades every aspect of a person’s life. A cynic believes the motives of other people are always out of self-interest. The term cynic was once used to describe a school of philosophical thought in ancient Greece. They believed life should be lived in accordance with nature and that customs and traditions could be viewed as a source of suffering. Cynics also had a strong conviction in the importance of relying on themselves.
Dangers in Recovery
Too much cynicism can be detrimental to a person’s overall health and recovery. People with addiction tend to have a cynical attitude towards authority figures. They can carry this cynicism with them into recovery. Some of the dangers include:
- If people are too cynical, they might refuse help from recovery programs
- It can be hard to spend too much time with people who are negative, thus isolating themselves
- Learning never stops and happens with others as well as by yourself. It is important to trust others in order to grow
- Cynics view others negatively and this can lead to depression or anxiety about trying to connect with others and trust
- Excessive cynicism can be unhealthy and lead to inflammation in the body and increased risk of heart disease
Moving Past Cynicism
Cynicism in small doses can be a good thing, but only if people want to feel better in recovery. Cynicism can be overcome if the person is willing to challenge their assumptions about themselves.
- Cynicism is learned behavior, which can also be unlearned
- Individuals must recognize a problem exists and understand why excessive cynicism can be detrimental
- If people try to be more humble, they will become less cynical as a consequence. Humility is a great asset in recovery, which starts with a beginner’s mind
- People are highly influenced by other humans they spend time with. Being around cynics can make people copy behavior so spending time with positive people can help
- Open-mindedness is another key component to overcoming cynicism. When people are open-minded they are always willing to give other people the benefit of the doubt
Humility can be an important aspect of recovery for people with addiction. It includes a willingness to consider that other people may have something of value to offer. When you are open-minded, it means you are receptive to new ideas and differing opinions. This can help you grow and become stronger in recovery.
The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process. It is important to recognize that many of our services offer a group setting and environment, so that the client spends time with other people affected by the same chronic disease and problems. 432-620-0255