I have always been a somewhat cynical person. That is not to say that I’m not empathetic (I often cry when I see others crying) or a generally positive human being (I try to not be a Debbie Downer) but … I have a hard time not immediately seeing the down side or ulterior motive for many things. I find myself playing ‘devil’s advocate’ frequently. This can, and has, served me well in meetings, trying to think of the other side of the story.
If we do this, it will lead to questions about that.
Can we talk about the implications of what move A will mean for the overall perspective of goal B?
We already told our customers we would do xyz, we have to consider that before we tackle this new project.
My problem is that I have a hard time turning that off when it’s time to be a team player and go along with an idea if I’m not 100% supportive of it or don’t understand the reasoning behind it. It’s hard for me to see something that is being touted as positive and not be kind of cynical about it. That’s just the way I am.
I think professionally I will always struggle with this because I’m not, and never plan or aspire to be, an executive so I am not the final decision maker for business plans. Just like when my parents used to say, “Because I said so” as a reason for doing something, sometimes you just have to go with things because someone in a position of power has made the call that we’re headed in that direction. And I don’t say this as a specificity to my current employer. It is like this in any corporate environment. Here, I feel creatively fulfilled. I can share ideas and feedback and I often do – but the final word on many things is not my own. And sometimes it’s hard to hop on the train and get on board to support something when I can see the cracks shining through and the unanswered questions hanging in the air. Not that I disagree with any major decisions being made – realistically, the things that I often doubt are small day to day choices that may not even affect me. I think I need to learn to better voice my concerns and opinions about something in a constructive way and maybe find a way to do it early enough in the process that it could make a difference.
It’s not just professionally that I see my cynicism coming through. Recently at the VMAs, Miley Cyrus used her platform winning the Video of the Year to try and help the homeless. She invited a runaway to speak in her place about the plight of homeless youth. And I wanted to applaud that … but it rubbed me the wrong way. It was done in a weird self-congratulatory way, where she posed on the edge of the stage and cried while he spoke. She also did this without taking into account the role that drug abuse plays leading to the rate of homeless youth, which is very contradictory to her current drug-friendly lifestyle.
I don’t know. I don’t think that this is a post about how I badly want to change my behavior and stop being cynical. I don’t know if that is even possible. But maybe I just needed to acknowledge it and vent out frustrations that all stem from my questioning nature. It’s that kind of day where I’m just feeling out of sorts and writing tends to help that.