Cynical Or Realist, Which One Are You?

Jovi Harrison
4 min readAug 10, 2021


Cynicism and realism are two entirely different things. And though they may sound quite similar on the surface, their differences are so fundamental that it goes all the way to the core. So let’s get into it.

Let’s start with cynicism. People often misinterpret cynicism as realism and use it as an excuse to mask things like their insecurities or their unwillingness to do something. You’ll often hear these people spit out negativity at an increasingly alarming rate. You’ll notice, if you’re unfortunate enough to spend enough time with cynics to know that their views of the world are largely negative, not unlike their pessimistic brethren, but instead of being negative to themselves, cynics will often drag you into their dark, colorless world where nothing is good. These are the absolute worst people to be sharing your business ideas with as they’ll shoot anything down, and where a realist will give you real-world advice with everything they say being weighed out against the odds which factors in all of the possibilities that you might face, cynics will take one look at it and engage in their exercise in futility of “what if” and do their damndest to drag you into it too.

Cynics are infuriating to deal with not only because of their toxically negative views of the world, but also because of their unwillingness to do anything to change it. Cynics have a breadth of nihilism baked in and think that nothing means anything and why should you care about anything or be excited over anything if everything is going to ruins anyway? You know who these people are in your life and sure, you might be able to tolerate them for a while and think that maybe the brighter side of life can change them, but it’s not really the way things are. They’re hardly interested in your help and will always fall back on their cynicism no matter what you do, and again, it’s one of the most infuriating things you’ll witness.

So what’s a realist like?

Well, the short answer is that they’ll always fall back on logical reasoning and there’s always a reason for their answers and they can always not only explain but also defend their views. There’s also a chance that you might change their mind because it’s logical. That’s the keyword there; logical. You see, most realists are logical people, and no, being negative under the guise of being a realist is not the same thing, you’re a cynic who doesn’t know what realism is and you’re just trying to look smart by branding yourself as someone, who, on the surface looks like they’re capable of logical reasoning when in reality, you’re just lazy.

Realists will do their due diligence and research things, measure the data they’ve received, and determine if there’s a chance for them to change the outcome. It’s very methodical and mostly logical.

How do I know this? Well, because my business partner is a realist. He’s not the type who will shoot your ideas down unless he has a great reason behind it, and if you have your own views which might change his mind, then there you go, you’ve just changed his mind. And as a self-admitted realists with a tinge of opportunist and optimistic view of the world we balance each other out and that’s why we work so well together. Nothing that comes out of his mouth feels like intense hatred for labor, or innate hate of the world, no, it’s all very logical.

I’ve learned my lesson over the years in trying to help others who may be having a hard time getting back on their feet. Some are realists, and some are just straight up cynics who aren’t reading enough to know the difference. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but cynics are just plain lazy. Sure, the world can be intensely bleak or blindingly beautiful depending on how you plan on looking at it, but the bottom line is if you’re not even willing to get off of your butt and learn, explore, and tinker with things in life even if you know it may fail, then what’s the actual point in living? The beauty of tinkering with things isn’t that you get to create new things. It’s to understand things, to figure out why something fails and figure out ways to fix it instead of slapping the good ole “it doesn’t work” badge on it, call it a day, and spend the rest of the day watching YouTube thinking “oh man when will I get my chance to do it”.

It’s time for a change. If you think you’re a cynic, maybe change the way you view the world. Not everything is pitch black just because you’ve had a rough background. Not everything is beyond salvation and nothing is beneath you. And to close things off, do you know who thinks that the world is a hopeless glob of darkness and it’s better for us to not do anything risky because risks might work out and you’d be proven wrong? Well, emo teenagers. Think about that for a good second.



Jovi Harrison

Jo is a freelance copywriter and content writer. Feel free to send him an email regarding anything.