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Stanford Professor Explains 4 Ways Being Cynical Is a Trap

studies and statistics have indicated that fewer and fewer Americans trust each other as time goes on. In other words, lots more people are cynical now than they were a couple of decades ago. ADVERTISEMENT For many, cynicism is a protective mechanism.

There’s a lot of negativity in the world, and those who continue to be optimistic can often find their hopes dashed as such. Thus, many turn to a darker view of the planet and its population. When you prepare for the worst, you can’t be hurt by those things.

It’s like a shield.As it turns out, this probably isn’t the best way of thinking – or so says Jamil Zaki, the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab director. He’s also a professor of psychology at Stanford University. Jamil Zaki’s work primarily covers empathy and how it can be built and has worked on the subject printed in various renowned publications.

In other words, if there’s anyone qualified as an expert on this idea, he’d be your guy!According to Jamil Zaki, the epidemic of cynicism that we face now is a dangerous spiral, and it’s a cycle that we need to break. In August 2021, he spoke at an official TED conference with some exciting insights into the dangers of this way of thinking. Here’s how a Stanford professor explains four ways being cynical is a trap.

ADVERTISEMENT We often have an idea of cynics that indicates they’re outliers. We think of them as the grumpy older man yelling at kids to get off his porch. Or perhaps we think of them as jaded, troubled individuals – people outside of the norm.

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