51+ Best Cynical Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Profoundly inspirational cynical quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

Famous Cynical Quotes

When too much cynicism threatens to engulf us, it is buoying to remember how pervasive goodness is. Carl Sagan

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Oscar Wilde

All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism, for the record, 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

Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist. George Carlin

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do. Dorothy Day‍

If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn’t as cynical as real life.Terry Pratchett

Pessimism becomes a self fulfilling prophecy; it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act. Howard Zinn

All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism, for the record, 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

Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Stephen Colbert

As my father always used to tell me, You see, son, there’s always someone in the world worse off than you. And I always used to think, So? Bill Bryson

While skepticism is healthy, cynicism, real cynicism, is toxic. John Oliver

In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow men, with a few exceptions, are worthless. Sigmund Freud

It can sometimes feel like loving the beauty that surrounds us is somehow disrespectful to the many horrors that also surround us. But mostly, I think I’m just scared that if I show the world my belly, it will devour me. And so I wear the armor of cynicism, and hide behind the great walls of irony, and only glimpse beauty with my back turned to it. John Green

Life the way it really is is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse. Joseph Brodsky

A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it. Aldous Huxley

Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what the heck is really going on. Mike Royko

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Oscar Wilde

A true friend is a gift from God. Since God doesn’t exist, guess what? Neither do true friends. Scott Dikkers

Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.  George Carlin

Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent. Glen Cook

A cynic can chill and dishearten with a single word. Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is nothing more important than appearing to be religious. Niccolò Machiavelli

Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists. Thomas Friedman‍

It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours. Diogenes of Sinope

Pessimism We have a problem, but we can’t solve it. Optimism We have a problem, and we can solve it. Responsibility We have a problem. Can I help solve it? Initiative We have a problem. Here’s how I’m solving it. Adam Grant

Scratch the surface of most cynics and you find a frustrated idealist  someone who made the mistake of converting his ideals into expectations. Peter Senge

The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance. Theodore Roosevelt

I’m not ready to let the youthful part of myself go yet. If maturity means becoming a cynic, if you have to kill the part of yourself that is naive and romantic and idealistic  the part of you that you treasure most to claim maturity, is it not better to die young but with your humanity intact? Kenneth Cain

I don’t believe in pessimism. If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it’s going to rain, it will. Clint Eastwood

Constantly exposing yourself to popular culture and the mass media will ultimately shape your reality tunnel in ways that are not necessarily conducive to achieving your Soul Purpose and Life Calling. Modern society has generally lost the plot. Slavishly following its false gods and idols makes no sense in a spiritually aware life. Anthon St. Maarten

Youthful cynicism is sad to observe, because it indicates not so much knowledge learned from bitter experiences as insufficient trust even to attempt the future. Maya Angelou

A refusal of praise is a desire to be praised twice. François de La Rochefoucauld

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. Maya Angelou

Cynics are  beneath it all  only idealists with awkwardly high standards. Alain de Botton

Optimistic young adults stay healthier throughout middle age and, ultimately, live longer than pessimists. Angela Duckworth

Life is serious but art is fun! John Irving

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. William Arthur Ward

Rich men have dreams. Poor men die to make them come true. Glen Cook

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. Paul Hawken

Why do we call all our generous ideas illusions, and the mean ones truths? Edith Wharton

Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists adopt the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. Rebecca Solnit

All I have to be thankful for in this world is that I was sitting down when my garter busted. Dorothy Parker

No one wants to follow a pessimist You can be skeptical, you can be realistic, but you can’t be cynical. If your boss is Eeyore, do you want to work with someone like that? Oh, bother. Bob Iger

I’m not into this whole move with the times thing. I reckon we should just decide on a year and stick with it. R.D. Ronald

Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. Charlie Chaplin

Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Stephen Colbert

Cynicism may seem a mild transgression, but it is a patient predator that suffocates hope, slowly, over many years. Rachel Held Evans

The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun’s just started. John Updike

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. H.L. Mencken

Sometimes I think books are the only friends worth having. Susie Derkins

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap