You know them.
Perhaps one or two. If you’re very unfortunate, then maybe half a dozen. Or more.
Yes, of course, I am speaking of cynics. Those evil, evil beings.
This is a cause for concern. Maybe you’re thinking you’ve read enough. Maybe you have other blogs to attend to right now. Maybe you would rather be sleeping, or ruminating, or perfecting your gargling technique, or doing anything rather than facing this truth. But you would be wrong. This is most definitely a cause for concern. Concern of immediate and epic proportions.
Cynics breed evil in three ways:
1- They raise their eyebrows at you: The eyebrow raise is almost impossible to deflect. When you’re on the receiving end of it, all your defenses are immediately worn down. The speed of the eyebrow raise only adds to its inordinate power; the faster that eyebrow goes up, the quicker yours hopes come down. And since there are no gestures or facial twitches that precede it- you can’t even take cover in it. Be aware.
2- They say words like ‘interesting’: Words that they obviously do not mean in any shape or form. The word ‘interesting’ may at first fool you into thinking the cynic in question agrees with your great idea, grand scheme, or brilliant plan. They in fact do not. The word ‘interesting’ (and it’s relatives like ‘fascinating’, ‘unbelievable’ and the godfather of them all ‘wow’)- in fact means anything but. It does not indicate respect and affinity. It means you’re imagining things. And not in a way that’s going to get you a little gold star at the end of your essay. There is no block for the word ‘interesting’ and it’s voluminous family. It’s out of a cynic’s mouth faster than you can blink.
3- They smile at you: This is the worst one of all. It needs no explanation.
So what’s an unsuspecting soul to do?
First off, there’s the…
Eyebrow and Head Tilt; This move works on a physical level; the cynic will subconsciously respond even if their mind refuses to accept what you say next. The tilt is simple- when you sense an eyebrow being raised across the table, simply raise your own and tilt your head ever so slightly to the side (towards your shoulder). Cynics are incapable of the tilt. Cynics don’t do tilting. Seeing their own skeptic eyebrow reflected with a quirky tilt reinforces on a cellular level that that cynic’s eyebrow should stay where nature intended it to. It also makes you look funny. Humor always breaks a cynic’s flow.
There’s also the…
Use of Unexpected Phrase; Hearing condescending words out of a cynic’s mouth will definitely leave you blank of mind and unable to respond; it helps to a keep a store of unusual phrases and responses on hand to throw out whenever you hear the dreaded ‘Wow’. Tailor these unexpected phrases to your own personality and life, as long as they adhere to one simple principle: the intention to confusion. Next time you hear the word ‘Interesting’ respond with a stock line like ‘It is; infuriatingly so. Fascinating to a fault. I’m flummoxed.’ Not only do you sound too strange to bother figuring out- you have one up-ed any word they could possibly have tried to zap you with. Yes. Even mesmerizing.
And finally, the mama of all- the most cunning cynic deception ever invented:
The Cynic Feint; A feint is defined as ‘a maneuver designed to distract or mislead, done by giving the impression that a certain maneuver will take place, while in fact another, or even none, will’. In the endless struggle against cynics and cynicism, the feint is your favorite friend. Your most trusted ally. Your only hope. Cynics are persistent by default. They will not rest until they have worn you down. So preserve your energy. Administer the ultimate feint: agree. And then- as the definition suggests- another maneuver will take place. You do/think/dream exactly as you intended to all along.
And you guessed what happens next I’m sure. The cynic f(a)eints. A lame ending but a fitting one.
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