Is it odd for a teenager to become LESS cynical as they grow up?

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I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering). Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

A lot young people have this "edgy" cynicism which is supposed to show "Hey, look how grown up I am! I don't believe in anything good and our society suxxz."

As for being being idealistic: Good for you! Striving for a positive goal, having morals and being optimistic are all part of being an idealist. As you grow up try to hold on to that. Most teenagers feel as you do, but the wannabe cynics just attract far more attention and love preaching to a crowd. No wonder they are the only ones that get noticed.

It's not weird
Teenagers are going through puberty, the moodiest time of their lives. They'll cheer up after that then fall into depression for their mid-life crisis.
All part of the plan.

Yes, there is something wrong with you. Please, report to the nearest Teenage Watch Administration Team for immediate assistance. Your Directive for Internal Correction Keeping module seems to have failed and you would now need to do more Behavioural Intervention - Teenage Counselling Habilitation and Immersive Neurological Grounding.

Maybe you already hit the top cynicism level so the only way to go for you was down?

Or you're secretly getting drugged by an alien entity in an attempt to steal your bedside lamp.

Keoul:
It's not weird
Teenagers are going through puberty, the moodiest time of their lives. They'll cheer up after that then fall into depression for their mid-life crisis.
All part of the plan.

pretty much bang on the money.

as a 40 something imo the best bit is maybe mid to late 20s to mid to late 30s.

at that age you've usually got a decently balanced handle on things (you'll probably have learned "you don't know everything" "the hard way" at least once or something :P ), are reasonably confident (but not too full of ego...), are still usually "free" enough to be able to take risks and fit enough to thoroughly enjoy doing so.

use it well.

its a cliché and i apologise for stating it but life really isn't a rehearsal.

ofc that assumes you avoid having a "quarter-life crisis"...

I'd call myself a young adult. Not quite an adult, and not quite a teenager. I'd say throughout my years I've become more of a realist with occasional cautious idealistic tendencies (can that even be a thing? It feels like it fits me the best).

I sometimes believe that a lot of teenagers go through the whole "society sux" because they're just now being exposed to injustices that they had no idea existed when they were young. As you grow up, you're not really "eased" into the full-view of society. It's kind of thrown at you like a surprise brick to the face. Some teenagers tend to go to the cynical route, while others appear to not care at all. From my experiences I'd say it's about even, but it's hard to measure this sort of thing.

Teenagers often act hugely cynical, either because they think it makes them look mature and insightful or because they are just plain miserable.

Then they grow up a bit, and the ones that make some kind of life for themselves (that is to say, the vast majority) realise that the world isn't that bad.

Then they get old and have a chance to experience some genuine bitterness.

Cynicism is thought to be a sign of maturity, but it is really just immaturity plus a little bit of knowledge about the world, plus petulance that things are not the way the cynic would like them to be. Becoming less of a cynic is a sign of growing up.

Teenagers go through a phase where they feel a need to psychologically define themselves as separate from their old identity. As a child and adolescent, their identity was largely defined by groups they couldn't control- what their family happened to be like, what their neighborhood happened to be like, what their classmates in classes they couldn't select happened to be like. As adolescents become teens and eventually adults, they must on some level go through a phase of rejecting the trappings of their old identity and building a new identity that is more independent and self-directed.

Simultaneously, teens often go through a process of realizing (often for the first time) that the people around them are fallible. As a child they are dependent on their parents and authority figures because there are so many things a child can't do for themselves but an adult can. As teens take on more and more responsibilities for themselves, they realize that the adults around them are flawed and imperfect, which can lead to even more cynicism. However, teens also often lack real achievements to build their confidence in themselves around. So an outlook of "everything sucks" is a natural resting place until the teen realizes that they do indeed have the ability within themselves to make some things not "suck", and this realization should provide the drive that motivates them until their first mid-life crisis.

So, in a nutshell: teens who don't go through a cynical phase at all... that may actually be a warning sign of sorts. Teens that don't reject their childhood identities can grow up to be overly dependent on their parents and unwilling to take independent risks. But teens who go into the cynical phase, build an independent identity, and then get out of it fast... I'd say they're doing pretty well for themselves.

The only thing to watch out for is if your lack of cynicism comes from coasting on achievements made in your teenage years. As an older person, I see this a lot in my former classmates from high school. They were captains of the basketball team, beloved class clowns, popular cheerleaders, or whatever. And they allowed themselves to peak in high school because once they got to the top of that very tiny pyramid, they didn't see any need to work toward anything better. And as the years have gone by since then, many of them have been very unhappy. So not being cynical is fine, but don't sit on any laurels.

Maybe you just went through all the moody shit earlier.

Well being a 17 year old I see a lot of my friends are getting brighter, probably because they're all odities but it's not that odd these days as kids seem to be going through there separation and individuation phases earlier. I have no idea why though.

Katatori-kun:
Snippy

This guys got the facts on separation and individuation for you.

We live in an age in which an electronic signal will be sent to satellites in space and back, carrying millions of points of data a second, and be perfectly decoded into a high rez image by a machine performing millions of calculations a second, so I can see a funny picture of a cat on my phone while i'm waiting for a bus. Also, we live in an age in which a mass murder or heinous crime is considered absolutely shocking and not, "Tuesday". We live in an age in which the idea of dying from a cold or a broken bone seems strange. We live in the most amazing time ever to be alive. So amazing that the only thing outpacing our advancements is our expectations. It only makes sense that as you leave a childhood where cynicism is cool, that you appreciate how good we have it, and how great the world has become.

Probably a little unusual these days. I can't comment much from personal experience as to whether it's "natural" for people to go through that. Without spilling my life story, I didn't need to be naturally inclined to that kind of behaviour, things were pretty shitty for most of my childhood, and I reacted, well, as you'd expect; growing up a cynical, sometimes depressed bastard with a tendency towards paranoia and a shockingly low level of faith in humanity.

As to whether it's natural for that to happen? No clue. Would seem so, given the amount of people going that way at that age. But I can't see anything wrong with not having this phase, or that phase being postponed. I believe Oancitizen said that, as much as some people, the director of "melancholia" in particular, can try to glorify depression, there isn't truly an upside that's worth the crushing low.

So, I guess to summarise, it really doesn't matter whether it's odd. It's good.

It's probably as you said, the negative people tend to attract more attention so it seems like there's more of them. At least I hope that's the case. It would certainly seem that way if you spend a lot of time on the Internet.

EDIT: Whatever the case, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Consider it a blessing.

Here's the answer from a whole bunch of entertainment products:

It's just a part of growing up and out of the whole self-centered angst period and realizing that things aren't so bad. Hell, I was myself an angsty loner in middle school, so I can speak from personal experience.

People my age are cynical since cynicism has become ''cool'' all of a sudden for no apparent reason.A load of bloody tosh I say,those so called ''cynics'' are exactly the people who are apparently ruining this generation.Fuck me,that's a confusing sentence,hope I manage to get my point across.
Teenagers will devoutly try to do anything that is considered hip or cool or whatever.I'm not trying to paint myself as ''a real cynic stuck in a world of fake cynics'' kind of person.
Bleh,what the fuck do I know anyway.

Hmm, have you ever spent time being extremely sad for seemingly no reason? Besides from any kind of mental illness or tragic event I mean? Cos I'm sure I went through the moapy teenage years when I was 9-11. My teenage years, apart from highschool bullying, were a fucking blast! Okay they weren't, they seriously weren't, but for the most part when I was upset it could be validated by another person as something serious whereas a lot of my friends did get upset over totally trivial things.

The growing process is an unmerciful confusing bitch to say the least.

Katatori-kun:
--snipperoo

Oh no, I did have a short period of cynicism around, what, 12-13? But I've found that I've been growing much more idealistic while many of my peers are only just descending into cynicism.

See, I agree that most especially adolescents are jaded and cynical simply to jump aboard the "cool and edgy" train. So I'd suppose getting less cynical is normal. It's a fad that passes.

Then you grow up and your life suddenly becomes mostly your own responsibility, and from then on it depends on both experience and how your brain is wired. I, for one, am a pretty cynical person, which does tend to aggravate others sometimes - but that doesn't mean I can't be positive or cheerful either.

Having a couple rough years makes one a bit rough around the edges and all. But it's not a permanent thing. It's a different perspective on the world, but even a cynic will still see good things in it. That is, as long as we don't go into extremes, but a healthy, moderate dose of cynicism, I say, can be a good thing.

Depends, what are you smoking?

Seriously though, I'm betting something happend in your life to trigger you cynicism early, and now you've managed to get through most of your teenage years with a relatively positive self image. That's part of what makes teenagers unhappy: being insecure about themselves. Do try and stay the way you are, bitterness is WAY overrated.

Alot of people get less cynical as they get older, often when they go to university and see the world a bit. I became much less cynical when I was about 16 I think

Well, cynicism starts when you become aware of the terrible things out there and your mood darkens because the world is such a miserable place to live. Your carefree youthful days are over and you can't see anything except for the dark clouds. Then as you mature a little more you might become more reasonable and start seeing the world for what it is and you see a balance to some degree.

It all depends on experiences, but puberty usually have you in some crazy moods that eventually calm down. Of course some people live really crappy lives and have no reason to stop being cynics. Also cynicism is cool along with communism and anarchy because those make you different from the rest.

Being cynical is what's cool nowadays (for some odd reason). I think it's quite normal for someone to become less so as they grow up. I know I was more cynical 2 years ago than I am today.

However, I have yet to meet someone my age who isn't still in that cynical teenage stage, and I'm 19. I think growing out of it depends on how long it takes you to grow out of going with the trend.

And some people never grow out of it

Nah.
That's normal.

Although 'edgy emo fucker full of shit' and 'acknowledging that the world we live in is oftentimes so fucking awful it's not even funny' aren't quite the same thing.

Froggy Slayer:

Katatori-kun:
--snipperoo

Oh no, I did have a short period of cynicism around, what, 12-13? But I've found that I've been growing much more idealistic while many of my peers are only just descending into cynicism.

Mind if I ask, do you feel confident in your achievements?

Katatori-kun:

Mind if I ask, do you feel confident in your achievements?

I'm relatively self-confident, though I realise that I have a lot of personal flaws. I generally strive to better myself. Looking at your post, I wouldn't say that I've peeked in anything at high school; I'm pretty smart but not genius tier, I'm not the class clown and I'm definitely not the sports guy. I just have a positive outlook on life, I guess, which a lot of people that I know lack.

No, not really. I, for instance, went through a cynical phase years back, and I have only become much more optimistic ever since. I think it is a natural part of growing like. You realize the world isn't perfect, but then you start to realize it isn't complete crap either. :P

Froggy Slayer:
I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering). Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

Rule of Angst: The whinier someone is, the more they're noticed

So no, positive people at your age aren't all that rare, it's simply they're WAY less vocal about it.

BTW, good on ya for the positive attitude. We can never have enough of those kinds of people.

Froggy Slayer:
I wouldn't say that I've peeked in anything at high school;

Ah, I didn't mean to convey that I thought you might. I guess I wasn't very clear earlier (I had written so much, believe it or not I was trying to be brief). My experience has been that people who peak early have achievements they coast on because they didn't have to work hard to earn those achievements. Maybe we all know someone who gets good grades not by studying but by being naturally smart, or who is charismatic because they are attractive, or someone who doesn't need to practice hard every day to do well on the sports team because they're naturally gifted... it is these people who I find peak early. They don't actually achieve anything that takes work, so they don't learn how to work, so when real life begins calling after graduation they tend to struggle.

I'm a teacher who has spent several years working with JHS and elementary school age kids and is very interested in youth psychological development. I'd be very interested in any thoughts you may have about why you are feeling more positive.

Katatori-kun:
--snip--

Ah, right. I didn't have to put in too much effort to succeed in my GCSE's, but have had to put in quite a bit of effort to succeed in my A Levels. I've found that the workload is quite manageable due to my positive outlook, however. I don't really know why I feel more positive. Maybe I feel lucky to live in the 2010's rather than back in a time periods where expressing the wrong religion could get you executed. I hope that helps a bit.

Froggy Slayer:
I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering). Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

Not at all. Teenagers, as a general statement, like to be miserable. It feeds into the ego-centric worldview that most teenagers have and makes them feel more important.

Most people tend to grow out of that kind of thinking fairly quickly as they grow up. Matter of fact, I'd posit that not being so overwhelmingly cynical is at least to some degree a mark of maturing.

I got cynical when I was 9. Beat that bitches.

Aaanyway, no, that's pretty normal. But I kinda fluctuate depending on how happy I am. At the moment, I'm pretty happy, so i'm optamistic and jolly and shit.
But say... 2 months ago? I was bloody misrable, and blam, cynical and hateful.

McMullen:
Cynicism is thought to be a sign of maturity, but it is really just immaturity plus a little bit of knowledge about the world, plus petulance that things are not the way the cynic would like them to be. Becoming less of a cynic is a sign of growing up.

Actually i'd say cynicism is the first step to maturity. When you're a child you are not conscious of all the crap going on in the world (murder, corruption, pollution, etc.) and than when you grow older you are more and more conscious of those things and since they're new they hit hard. The consequence is cynicism. But than as you grow even older you get used to reading about that crap and you just stop caring. Basically it goes from : blissful ignorance to cynicism to apathy.

I wasn't to cynical back in high school until my senior year. College was when I really hit my stride and realized things suck. As I've gotten older things have started to look up but frankly I think its just because I've gotten used to it (not sure if that makes me more or less cynical). I have however noticed a direct correlation to how much money I have at a given point and how happy I am, but that might just be because I'm American.

To all you depressed teenagers though, just stick with it. It gets alot better when you're leagaly able to drink.

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