10 Tragic Traits in Mind of Bullies and Cynics

Only after you hit unethical walls raised by scorn from the cynic, do you value freedom flights toward its opposite – the curious mind. I’m speaking of that chronically negative person, who expresses disdain for innovative ideas, where stressed brains rely on habit and distrust reigns.

For Russel Lynes, cynicism’s the pseudo-intellectual’s substitute for intelligence. For Norman Cousins it’s intellectual treason. For you? However you define it, the cynic’s brain leads a direction of disaster by tone that rushes to highlight the worst.  

Have you ever considered the mental equipment alive and active within brains of bullies and cynics?

1. Amygdala for the cynic is that tiny sac of neurons that remains agitated most of the time,  overheats easily,  and triggers turmoil as an emotional pattern. How do you tame your amygdala?

2. Cortisol releases from cynics like falls at Niagra, as its potent chemical slams people into stress that  shrinks human brains. What tactics do you use to counter that cortisol surge?

3. Neuron pathways for cynics create disagreeable expressions of gloom, and habitual synapses can reshape moods or jade perspectives into permanent problems over time. Can you see how today’s actions shape tomorrow’s brain?

4. Plasticity rewires the cynic’s brain nightly for angry responses, and deep seated frustrations. Outwardly,  poor tone packs punches that cripple opportunities to prosper. Rewire against cynicism by doing its opposite, since every action you take today helps to reshape the brain as you sleep tonight.

5. Dendrite brain cells connect negativity to negativity in the mind of a cynic, to regenerate mental stagnation not seen in the curious. Practice one positive act and watch chemical and electrical activity reboot you mentally for more of the same.

6. Basal ganglia, with its propensity to default back to ruts,  stores and replays worst habits of cynics til others can cite their complaints by heart. That’s why you see some people locked into racism, sexism and other poisonous practices picked up and played routinely without much thought.

7. Working memory sits unused and often remains mute for the cynic, who finds no need for mental equipment that prospers the curious or leaps into action for solution bound minds. Focus on facts that build concrete solutions and working memory tools spring into action to solve complex problems out of bounds to the cynical mind.

8. Brain chemicals refuel retched  moods in cynics, with decreased natural drugs for well being, and increased hormones for negative behavior.  Cynicism blocks serotonin, sometimes referred as molecule of happiness, and stirs up chemicals that accompany disdain.

9. Serotonin sinks lower in mind of the cynic, leaving the brain without resources against anxiety, disquiet, anger, or conflict at work. Each cynical act can lower a brain’s natural serotonin supplies. Increase serotonin through healthy foods, exercise, and many behaviors that spike sincere satisfaction.

10. Brainwaves of cynics rewire daily to rewire a mind for more cynical performances. Organized by a hierarchy, electrical waves control how neurons communicate for better or for worse, and cynical forces can surge a brain’s circuitry for negative outcomes.

Reading this post the cynic will likely see no cause for change, yet cynicism leaves its victims craving attention and creating conflict much like addicts crave drugs or drunks cause oppression. In either case mental tools shut down. In fact, looking back at mistakes, the cynic often chills to bitter regrets, while rarely taking advantage of mental equipment tapped by curious minds who build finer futures. Know any molecular switch that could turn off cynical cravings in your circle?

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53 thoughts on “10 Tragic Traits in Mind of Bullies and Cynics

  1. terry gregg

    Thanks for the info and suggestions and thanks for the time you spent for this effort. Terry

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  24. eweber Post author

    Wow — what a terrific mind tactic – to shift perspectives and take a look through another lens. How refreshing!

  25. Marianna Paulson

    How kind of you, Ellen.

    I’m always amazed at how our brain is great at correcting errors so much so that we don’t even see them. Like in my opening question!

    I agree, it is hard at times. It helps when we shift our perspective. Fortunately, that is a skill that can be practised!

  26. eweber Post author

    Marianna, you inspire the rest of us with you eyes to see and your mind to change and grow and renew! We can all get cynical, yet when a hard core cynic shows up in our leadership circles, that person slows down certification for all those who come with an openness to learn. Because I have seen that dozens of times, I work harder to help the cynic and recognize it will slow us all down from building our caring community where people disagree with skill and respect. Yikes it’s hard at times, but so many mature leaders like you build daily and it’s all worth the efforts:-) Thanks for your insights!

  27. Marianna Paulson

    Are cynics a product or nature or nurture?

    I was more cynical in my early years as a form of protection. If I expected the worst, and it didn’t happen, I didn’t get as disappointed or hurt. Or, so I thought.

    As I continue to work on transforming my stress through the power of my heart, I’ve found that I’ve become more and more optimistic. Having experienced both, I can say that it feels much better being optimistic. The proof is in improved emotional, mental and physical health!

    Retraining has increased my resilience so that when a storm hits, I have the ability to weather it. Increasing my awareness about my thoughts and emotions and how it affects heart and brain functions makes it easier to apply techniques that allow me to do and feel better.

    This post is a good reminder that we need resilience in order to withstand the cynics sting, otherwise, one bad apple truly does spoil the bunch!

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  46. eweber Post author

    JD, this is an amazing insight into what it means to communicate. When a brain focuses on facts – and away from emotions (or the amygdala) that brain sets itself up for a win.

    I’ve noticed you do that especially well. Do you practice it? Attack can be very hard on a circle – if it focuses the attention on the attack rather than on the facts or issues.

    You said it far better than me:-) Makes me wonder what your favorite presentation topic is though:-) Thoughts?

  47. JD

    Hi Ellen, I knew I could have written my comment better, Robyn mentioned confidence and I expanded my views to include welcome cynics, even it they are close minded, if what your are confident in rings true the audience will buy into your passion. If it is a true attack, the presenter must maintain their professionlism, and stay with the facts, and at some point move on the another question.
    If some is there just to distrub the presenter, then yes it can take away from the creative solutions.

    JDs last blog post..Stimulus Bill

  48. eweber Post author

    Interesting insight, JD, but are you sure Robyn suggested to welcome cynicism? I understood she was saying that opposite views are great and yet that these add to the discourse rather than tear down community or hope – as cynicism does.

    Over the years I’ve noticed that you handle cynics well, and show respect for all, yet the cynic often focuses attention away from creative solutions and onto attacks. Have you seen it?

    What do you think?

  49. JD

    Hi Ellen, I just posted on presentations and as Robyn points outs, if you are confident in your subject matter and ability to communicate the creative aspects via story telling, you welcome cynicism. If you are unsure or fear presenting, then amygdala will heat up!

    JDs last blog post..Stimulus Bill

  50. eweber Post author

    Spoken like a pro and thanks Robyn! Creativity and cynicism are polar opposites, since serotonin in creative process tends to open learning and cynicism shuts it down.

  51. Robyn McMaster

    Often, it’s more in the brain of the presenter, where confidence is needed. The cynic is usually in the crowd, and some seem quite ready to pounce when least expected. There’re always folks who think opposite, which is good, and can lead to deeper insights from the group. The cynic on the other hand, puts down but fails to suggest solutions for what they dislike or vent.

    Often it’s more about confidence in your life work, and where you are headed with it. You mention staying positive. If you’re presenting ideas to others, it takes all the energy you have, especially if you facilitate others’ creative responses. I think facilitating creativity works against cynicism more than anything.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Put Fire to Your Feet!

  52. eweber Post author

    How interesting that you suggest “what works against the cynic’s tactics.” In a sense it’s a bit like stopping the craving of a drug addict, when each drug that person takes seals the craving inside the brain. That’s why it’s often best to run rather than rant with a cynic:-)

    Also interesting that they strike early in presentations. Cynics try to move the mood their way, and unfortunately because of the brain’s nature – they often win at that trait. Yikes!

  53. Robyn McMaster

    It takes quite a brain-based tool chest, as you show here, to build up creativity and solutions to problems. Often cynics strike early on so that their darts are even more poisonous.

    Thanks for the very thoughtful explanations about cynics and what works against a cynic’s tactics.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Put Fire to Your Feet!

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