Fighting Cynicism (Or Why I Do Experiments)

“All I ask of you is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism- it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” – Conan O’Brien

A few people asked me, “Why do you want to create Awkward Moments? What’s the purpose?”


The problem:

I created five years (2006-2010) of extremely well-wired cynicism into my brain.

The cynicism ate me alive in the beginning of 2010 because my brain couldn’t turn off. It judged every moving thing. You know there’s a problem when you’re saying, “What a pathetic tree, just standing there, swaying with the wind.”

I had labels, judgments, and generalizations for everything much of the time.

I projected my cynicism unto others and ended up assuming they were thinking negatively about me. It was a feedback loop of self-destruction.

When you lack confidence, you end up becoming cynical to protect yourself from perceived harm. You’re trying to protect your own ego because it’s vulnerable.

The cynicism isolated me. I was sick of that.


The solution:

When I created this blog, I decided to see if people would react well if I talked to them.

-During Fall 2010, I talked to five random strangers to see how they would react to me talking to them. It didn’t feel so bad after all. In fact, it felt great. Even if it was incredibly awkward at times, I finally figured out that people aren’t out to get you!

-After learning about Rejection Therapy during Winter break, I got rejected everyday for 71 or so days. People were extremely polite. They wanted to talk because they were bored. I shared stories and energy with people. It was a humbling experience.

-Summer opened my mind to so many different bloggers going through all their challenges as well. I connected really well with them.

I opened my mind enough to stop judging people. Look what happened.

There has been so much connection with little downside. I’ve met people like Mark, Rhina, Abigail, Matt, Ken, Niall, Dena, and everyone else I didn’t mention because I opened up shop on this blog and gave them a shot.

In only 18 months, I went from keeping myself locked up to freeing myself to others.

I do things outside of my comfort zone to stop being cynical, welcome interaction, and to show everyone that going outside one’s own comfort zone can spice life up.

Matt Ramos
Matt Ramos

thanks Dena, you're a wonderful person yourself. Every person can make a huge difference by being the support for someone's idea.