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i have just one pesky difference to the above and it is in most part one of semantics. everywhere you've written honest (or any word with honest as its base, ie; honestly, honesty) i would prefer to see the word true (or any word with true as its base, ie; truthful, truth). simple reason, what most people are honest about is what they don't know; "honestly i don't know!". where truth is beauty, honesty is just homely. honesty varies person to person. truth is universal. honesty wielded without compassion has the feel of abuse. yes, there are times that the truth hurts but never for long because once known it's hard not to want it as your own. lastly, kudos to you for this site and all of its enlightening content. i would have never thought myself a cynic (thanks for pointing out the differences between skeptics especially) but now i am not just a cynic but a positive one and die hard to boot.

Rick Bayan

Interesting points, beelzedug. As Jack Nicholson once pointed out in a movie whose title I've forgotten, some people can't handle the truth... and that might explain why cynics generally don't win popularity contests. Glad I've helped you find your true (note that I didn't say "honest" -- well, until now) identity.

Feral Jesus

I recently began exploring the philosophy and lifestyle of the Cynics. I actually think I discovered cynicism through Jesus and Nietzsche, with a little Thoreau sprinkled in. How's that for a combination? Anyway, I like the notion of uisng the adjective "positive" before cynicism to preempt the detractors who charge cynicism with nihilism or hopeless pessimism. At my website I am playing with the idea of Feral Jesus, a mythology-free Jesus who leans more toward Diogenes of Sinope and away from a god-figure.


Oh thank god/dess for you! And articulating these thoughts I have been living the life of a cynic for years and am only coming out of my hole of despair and examining how to find things to love. Am currently loving your term Positive Cynicism also Positive money and positive investment right now. Looks like positive cynics are rising!

David Fick

I had suspected this might be the answer. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this mindset.


I bloody loved reading this!! Brilliant from start to finish! I am definately one of these! Can I share a link to this on my post please? Have a doody day, sprinkled with a few droplets of crappiness that only a positive cynic can love and hate in equasl measure :) Luv Dawny

Frank Trovato

Your article prompted by interest and curiosity. I've always been a proponent of questioning oneself and others. Deciding on one answer has been the difficult part. I could engage in a very convoluted, thought process about the different personality types you had covered, and which do I include myself with, but I would need a reason for that. My opinion, simply, is that we become who we are, based on what we believe in. Trying to fit comfortably becomes the task. For me, there are 2 types of people...those who put forth there efforts to survive and everyone else who strive for comfortability and convenience...on different levels...that's what makes us different....the levels...If you (generically) don't understand and/or believe in the concept of God, heaven, hell and how we're supposed to live based on that understanding & belief (faith)...pick something in your list....


As a 22 year old recovering from psychosis, I can agree with these values. An accurate perspective is good because it lets us enjoy life to its fullest.

Ample Waters

omg, this was an awesome read and thank you so much... Im a long time cynic, former idealist and man, you have described me to the tee. Im coming out of a many year funk finally at 52 years old now... Finding your writing is an amazing coincidence at this point in my life... wow... im WITH you, SIR !!

Ample Waters

i was just imagining a story about diogenes recovering from his depression and homelessness and rising as a profit.


Haha! You've made my day! Overly positive people (who lets face it are dying inside) and their never ending quotes really cream my corn! But now I feel that makes me a positive cynic, rather than a hot grumpy bitch! I'm positively delighted to call myself a positive's the best thing thats happened since the last disaster ;)


I love this attitude. Having grown up with a very depressed mother it is important to say that personal independence and a cynical but forward looking and determined mind is a good thing.


I am a long time cynic and deeply in despair, depression and total frustration with the world. Up until now I've always been aggravated hearing others suggest that the problem is with me and the way I see the world.This always seemed to suggest that rather than seeing the world for what it is, I needed to change my thinking, become a delusional optimist, convince myself that the truths I know are actually not true, and use phrases like "Everything happens for a reason" to keep myself content with reality. I can't lie to myself like that, pretend I haven't seen the things I've seen or delete the truths that I know.
The ideas in this article solve a very real problem for some of us. I came upon this page while I looking for others like myself in hopes of learning how one can continue to survive in this world as a cynic. I notice the comments are rather dated and I hope this conversation hasn't died. I would like to continue this discussion.

I hope you're still out there!


Cynicism is the key... Whether positive or negative still opens the door to truth. For the past few years I have been expressing cynicism and telling everyone that I know what I know without even being aware that there was in fact a word to describe my mind... I am now, alone...with my wife and 6 month old. Depression is high, chest hurts, drinking does not get me drunk anymore and marijuana seems to be the only thing that removes the knowledge just long enough for me to focus on passions and hobbies of my own. Which, when I focus upon these things while medicated I can create for hours... For hours I feel alive. Motivated. I feel purpose instead of feeling like I am purposefully serving. Great read! Now I got something to look into for the time being but, I already know it doesn't matter.

Martin Christensen

I'm an Introvert Outsider,
who was forced to behave like an
Extrovert Insider.

Thanx a million for your excellent write-up. Much appreciated!

I've (finally) come to terms with the fact, that I'm basically a Cynic Hippie who replaced the spirituality with a deep, deep love of (Blue Sky) Science, Nature and Curiosity (which is crazier and even more mind boggling once you dig into it, than ANY spiritual "ism" will ever be! )

Question EVERYTHING & think for yourself.

What's the world's best question?
- Why ?

All the best :)

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  • (n.) An idealist whose rose-colored glasses have been removed, snapped in two and stomped into the ground, immediately improving his vision. -- Rick Bayan, author of The Cynic's Dictionary (and host of this site)


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