You could not have wished (or not) to meet two more cynical people than us when we first met in 1989. It was probably the major thing we had in common actually!
If anyone was nice to us, we’d ask ourselves
‘What do they want?’
‘What’s their ulterior motive’?
and how did it benefit them.
One of the reasons we moved away was to escape being expected to revolve our lives around other people and we grew tired of being at their beck and call 24/7 (we were once asked to drive 18 miles to put a bin out because it was raining).
It took a while and cost us a few friends who actually weren’t, but we learned the importance of the word NO. Even better was the use of it without feeling guilty!
It’s a different story now of course. We still have our cynical moments, but they are so few and far between, we don’t really notice!