The risks of indulging in cynical attitudes and the rewards of being positive. Whether it’s a lazy co-worker who calls in sick every Monday or a flaky friend who always bails at the last minute, there’s always something (or someone) in our lives that can make us cynical. Like an ill-fitting sweater, cynicism can be easy to slip into, yet difficult to shake off. But what are the risks of indulging in cynical attitudes? A 2009 study of more than 97,000 women showed that optimistic women had lower rates of coronary heart disease, cancer-related deaths, and mortality. Conversely, women with the most pessimistic and cynical personalities, had higher rates of these diseases and death. When we think of hostility and negativity as life-threatening conditions, it makes the goal of being less cynical all the more crucial.