Every friend group has a cynic. You know the one: They’re innately sarcastic, always view the “glass half empty,” and make it known that they believe most people are just out there for themselves. Fortunately, they’re also often wildly intelligent, fabulously clever, and downright hilarious (yes, snark has its merits.) While we’re sure they’d never admit it—they are a cynic, of course—astrology could play a role in why these people have this particular trait. Read on to discover the six most cynical zodiac signs, from the slightly skeptical to the righteous realists.
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As the warrior of the zodiac, Aries is ambitious, assertive, and adventurous. However, their high hopes can sometimes set them up for disappointment and skepticism. “Those born under the sign of Aries will rush headfirst into a new situation because they are usually enthusiastic and passionate,” says relationship astrologer Anna Kovach. “But if they don’t get their way, particularly if their trust is violated in relationships, those born under this sign can become defensive and cynical.” So, if you end a fling with an Aries or pass them over for a promotion at the office, you can expect it to bring out their brooding side. Fortunately, Kovach notes that Aries moves on easily. “They seldom hold on to cynicism for too long,” she says.
Taurus’s cynicism exists primarily in the financial space—and is driven more by fear than it is by a general pessimism or bitterness. “Taurus doesn’t trust anyone when it comes to money,” says Kovach. “They have their sights set on success and won’t take any chances—this can make them cynical when it comes to budgeting and making business decisions.” For example, your Taurus pal may not trust you to pay back a loan or join them as a co-founder of a company; if you’re partnered with a Taurus, they may secretly harbor a fear that you won’t split the household chores evenly or keep your credit score intact. Stay vigilant in making sure the Taurus in your life feels safe and valued—oh, and pay those Venmo requests on time.
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Two of Virgo’s most famous traits are practicality and sensibility—so it should come as no surprise that this sign can sometimes veer cynical. “Their tendency to rely on logic and facts is part and parcel of their existence,” says Alice Alta, resident astrologer for the Futurio app. Because of that, trying to explain a spiritual phenomenon or read them their weekly horoscope is likely fruitless.
However, they’re not above being proven wrong. “With a raised eyebrow, the sensible Virgo will ask an innocent question, definitely not designed to trip you up,” says celebrity psychic and astrologer Inbaal Honigman. “If you give a sensible answer, the eyebrow will lower. If you mess up and show that you’ve been embellishing the truth, the eyebrow will stay up.”
Ruled by Mars—the planet of action—and Pluto—the planet of darkness, subconscious, and rebirth—Scorpio is equal parts intense and truth-seeking. “Those born under the sign of Scorpio are constantly looking for ulterior motives and hidden meanings,” says Kovach. “They take nothing at face value. When they are in relationships, they’re always on the lookout for deception and lies.” This can occur even if you’ve never given them a reason to doubt you.
Crescent, professional tarot reader and astrologer at Crescent Divination, compares Scorpio’s energy to the open ocean. It’s “horrifying because you don’t know what is underneath the surface, no matter how calm the waters may look,” she says. Don’t be surprised if a Scorpio’s cynicism catches you off guard—you may never realize you’re the subject of their attention until you’re in the thick of a confrontation with them.
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Capricorn’s cynicism can be attributed to its governing planet of Saturn, which rules responsibility, hard work, and karma. The sign is distrustful of others and believes that in order for anything to be done right, they need to do it themselves. Because of that, it’s somewhat difficult to let a Capricorn down. “When others make a mistake, they already assumed it would happen, so it is just an inconvenience,” says Crescent. “If they make a mistake? They will beat themselves up over it.” You’ll also see cynicism slip through in everyday conversation. Crescent notes that most Capricorns will tell you they’re a realist, not a pessimist. “That is just something they tell themselves to make them feel better,” she says. Instead of taking their word, let their actions speak for themselves.
Aquarians are known as the geniuses and humanitarians of the zodiac. Unfortunately, those traits can also lead them to cynicism. “Aquarius is an air sign, and therefore intellectual, idealistic, with a strong belief in humanity,” says Honigman. However, she notes, that doesn’t mean a strong belief in humans. On the contrary, this sign tends to see the best in individuals and the worst in the world at large. While Aquarians fight for the underprivileged, underrepresented, and mistreated people in society, they also see a fair share of evil. “They’ll have spent a lifetime squaring up to those who oppress, discriminate, and marginalize others,” says Honigman. “So please forgive them if they’re a little jaded.”
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