Okay — being cynical is not as easy as it looks. It takes full-bodied devotion toward the hatred of all things, which is much easier said than done. It can be an overwhelming task; so much to hate, so little time! Luckily, this 12 step guide was designed to help you properly navigate into the land of cynicism.
1. Ruin food for yourself.
Yes. Take the joy out of a basic bodily necessity. Start by watching things like Food, Inc. and other horrifying documentaries. Join PETA’s email list. Google image search, “How hot dogs are made.” (Warning, not for the faint of heart.) Read all the ingredients in your favorite foods. Give up your favorite foods. Eat only salad. Read the ingredients in your salad dressing. Decide all food is poison.
2. Start following politics.
Get like really into it. Set your homepage as Politico’s website. Get updates on your phone from CNN. Follow popular political analysts on twitter. Retweet them like it’s your job. Pick a political battle to fight. Down with Keystone XL! No ID requirement for voters! Research the American political system in great depth. Realize its modern day flaws. Understand that money rules the world. Start hating politics. Stay involved in them anyway.
3. Volunteer at a poorly run non-profit.
Decide to make a difference. Realize you never will. Feel crippled by your inability to change the world.
4. Creep real hard on facebook.
Remember that #dark place on facebook you promised yourself you’d never return to? Dare to venture back. Look at your ex’s page. Look at the pictures of him/her with his/her new significant other. Reopen the wound of heartache. Remember that girl you hated in college? Or the one who teased you in Middle School? Look at how successful she is despite all the voodoo spells you wished upon her. Compare yourself to her shamelessly. Feel the weight of your own inadequacies.
5. Devote yourself to a cancelled TV show.
Netflix makes this job easy for us. Pick a show. Fall in love with each aspect: the plot, the script, the characters…everything. Acknowledge this is the greatest show on earth. Binge watch it in one weekend. Remember it was canceled. Feel the agony of love lost.
6. Develop a signature look of disgust.
Be it the eye roll, the blank stare, the eyebrow raise or your own combination, develop a look that let’s everyone within a mile know you absolutely do not approve.
7. Watch reality TV.
There are so many choices here. All you need is 3 episodes in a row of any reality TV and you’re golden. The following are foolproof options: The Real Housewives of Orange County (or anywhere for that matter), Bridezillas: Marriage Bootcamp, Pregnant and Dating, and anything MTV decides to produce.
8. Follow your little cousin’s instagram account.
This will destroy much happiness for you. Not only does this mean that your younger cousin has a better phone than you at his/her age, but you get to see what teenagers do nowadays. Let the hatred of whippersnappers flow through you.
9. Give up caffeine.
Suffer through the mornings. Let the groggy stupor consume you until at least lunchtime. Notice how everyone around you has coffee. Write them off as damn fools who can’t control their addictions.
10. Start smoking cigarettes.
Have you ever met a non-cynical smoker? Didn’t think so. Devote yourself to one semi-obscure brand. Get annoyed when the local corner store or gas station doesn’t carry them. Get told smoking is bad for you. Develop a list of sassy retorts.
11. Read statistics.
Lots of them. Read statistics of all kinds. Focus mainly on negative statistics. Spew said statistics to your friends and family. Let them know that there is a X% chance their new marriage will fail or that there is a X% chance of contracting influenza despite getting the yearly flu shot.
12. Lose faith in mankind.
If you followed the guide properly, this should have already happened around Step 3.