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10th May 2022

The Tragedies of Toxic Positivity


Written by Shaniz Chowdhury

Being caught up in the traps of an exaggerated joyful, optimistic state of mind in all situations is defined as toxic positivity.  We’re living in challenging times so it is totally okay to feel a range of emotions. Sadness, anxiety, rage, and grief are seen as intrinsically bad emotions rather than inevitable aspects of human nature. Developing a positive attitude is beneficial, but toxic positivity stems from the belief that the only way to deal with a difficult circumstance is to put a positive spin on it. 

It often leads to the denial, minimization of bad experiences, and invalidation of genuine human emotions. It’s important to be grateful but one should not gaslight themselves while doing so. Toxic optimism may drown out negative feelings, suppress pain, and put individuals under pressure to seem cheerful even when they aren't.

The Downsides of Being Too Positive:

  • When you’re always searching for the silver lining, you may end up ignoring the alarming signs of danger. 
  • Sadness and regrets as a result of failures are only natural. A person who is constantly told to move on or be cheerful may believe that people are unconcerned about them which adds to their pain.
  • Some people may feel ashamed or hesitant to share their true feelings as they already know that people will ask them to be positive instead of giving them advice or listening without any judgment. This might lead them to pretend like everything is fine even when their whole world is falling apart.
  • Not admitting or suppressing feelings can lead to more stress and even escalate to serious mental health problems. For peace of mind, acknowledge and verbalize your emotions. In doing so, you accept and love the WHOLE you - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Accepting ourselves exactly as we are is the key to having a healthy emotional life.

How to Avoid Being a Toxic Positive Person:

  • Recognize all your emotions properly and accept that going through difficult times is as normal as having good days. It is all part of the human experience.
  • Talk it out with people you trust and seek support from them. 
  • Encourage others to speak openly about what they’re going through. Create a safe space by getting comfortable with negative emotions.
  • Avoid trying to have a positive response to everything someone says.
  • If you feel lost and need help, you can always reach out for help by calling Vent (Call 09678678778).

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