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People cynical: its 7 characteristics and typical features

People cynical: its 7 characteristics and typical features

July 15, 2024

Living in society implies being constantly pressured by a series of norms, both written and unwritten, which in theory help us to coexist without significant friction between us. We are all affected by them, but we do not all have the same tendency to accept them and to make our actions fit with them.

What we usually know as cynical people is an example of this . These are individuals who are characterized among other things for not having objections to show in a fairly open way that they do not conform to the rules that for most are important. They are accused frequently for acting with impudence, and this makes that in an instant they can happen to win the enmity of many.


Even though cynicism is a pattern of learned behavior , it is usually expressed quite consistently over time, unless specific life experiences or the simple maturation of the person make that change. Next we will see what are the typical characteristics that define it.

  • Related article: "The main theories of personality"

Characteristics of cynical people

These are the characteristics that show a tendency to cynicism in a person. They are not ordered according to a certain criterion, nor must they all occur at the same time necessarily. On the other hand, keep in mind that there are different levels of intensity in everything, and it is very difficult to find people who carry all these characteristics to the purest extreme of cynicism.


1. Tendency to use basic fallacies

The cynical people they have no qualms when using traps in their way of arguing , since sometimes they try to persuade the rest taking advantage of our propensity to think through cognitive shortcuts, even if this implies making us reach a false conclusion.

Therefore, they make fallacious comparisons, criticize the person instead of the argument, appeal to the opinion of a supposed authority on the subject without showing why he is right, etc. Normally, the fact that many fallacies can appear in the same discussion causes many of them to be detected as such immediately, but cynical people do not usually care about them.

2. Tendency to self-centeredness

Another of the most important characteristics of cynics is that they live almost totally oriented towards themselves, and that is why they do not feel especially bad when they think that others may have a bad opinion of them . In addition, another consequence of this self-centeredness is that there are easily situations in which they harm someone voluntarily or involuntarily, to achieve something that only they will enjoy.


  • Maybe you're interested: "Self-centered personality: 15 characteristic features"

3. Ease to pretend

Cynics are not simply individuals who do not conform to social conventions; neither do they conform to a morality in which honesty has value . For that reason, it is not hard for them to pretend that they care about others and, when they are interested, to totally break that illusion to act as they really feel and think, practically without any shame.

4. Pessimistic perspective on society

Normally, cynics do not expect much from society as a whole. In any case, they can see it as a sum of individuals who agree not to harm each other for a while, just to avoid receiving damages. Is about an individualistic way of conceiving social relations .

5. They are distrustful

By having a rather negative view of life, cynics do not feel compelled to win the sympathy of others if it is not for specific reasons related to specific advantages.

6. They can say what they think, without shame

Many times they do not respond to a practical purpose, but where doing so has no clear negative consequences, cynics can be very transparent, which means that without saying something that would be relevant in a conversation, it's easier than not for fear of what they will say or for shame , elements that are rather irrational. This can be good or bad, depending on the case and the sensitivity of the listener or reader.

7. Lie with ease

As there is no moral "cap" for it, the lie is considered another tool in a world in which everyone looks for their own. Therefore, cynics tend to lie more to achieve their goals.


The psychology of narcissism - W. Keith Campbell (July 2024).


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