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Mark Goulston, M.D. Headshot

Calling All Cynics

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A skeptic is someone who is reluctant to trust;
A cynic is someone who refuses to trust;
A pessimist is someone who has given up on trusting.

A skeptic is someone who once trusted and was let down and disappointed;
A cynic is someone who once trusted and was betrayed and devastated;
A pessimist is a cynic who just got tired of fighting, gave up and withdrew.

Deep inside all skeptics and most cynics is a deep ache to trust again,
but to do so without the fear of being let down, disappointed, betrayed or devastated.
Deeper inside pessimists is a willingness to trust again, but it will require tincture of time, the chance to talk (as in vent and then rant and then exhale) their way back into the game, and perhaps a touch of Prozac.

Common to all skeptics, cynics and pessimists is a need to be listened to and to feel understood and have their concerns validated even if there are not any good or quick solutions. If you agree, I hope you'll check out my upcoming book, Just Listen. If you do, you'll discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone. It's less important what you tell others, than what you enable them to tell you that really matters to them and that you help them with, because you actually care. If you are burned out (i.e cynical/pessimistic) and don't want to listen, why would anyone want to listen to you?

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