Toxic positivity

You must have heard people telling you to stay positive when you are going through hard times or maybe you must have heard yourself giving advice to others about how staying positive can help them. Being positive is essential to get through life but too much of it can sometimes do more damage than good. Excessive of anything can be harmful. As much as everyone believes in the undeniable power of positivity, it can take a toxic turn when we try to use it to hide the negative situations. It is a very normal human experience to face the hardships along with the good stuff but trying to negate your true feelings goes against any sort of development.

Over sweetening of positivity comes at a price of hiding one’s true emotions. Since it is always encouraged to stay positive and be happy all the time, we miss the fact that feeling sad is one of the most basic human emotions and should not be sidelined under false happiness. This only builds guilt towards one’s own emotions. Being on the receiving end of someone’s feel good quotes can be annoying at times. Sometimes you just want to and need to face the reality. This should also hold true when you are the one giving advice to someone. You telling someone to think positive doesn’t help anyone. It just creates resentment and feels as if you are minimizing someone’s experiences. Telling someone to look at the brighter side of the situation should also not be your first response when someone confides in you. Try to be emotionally supportive.

It is also apparently believed that there is some shame attached to feeling certain emotions or letting them out in the form of crying. The only reply we get is to man up and stop being a crybaby. In order to avoid this, we end up braving and portraying a false front. Suppressing or hiding these emotions lead to more stress and can erupt in a harmful manner. It makes one end up creating a fake persona for themselves. It creates pressure to be or act in a certain way around some particular people.

In order to lose this toxic positive attitude, try listening to people’s emotions and feelings rather than brushing them off. Tell them that even though you may not be able to provide solution for their problems, you will still be with them or even ask them what they need.

Being a healthy person requires being conscious of one’s emotions as well as others. Being overly positive can be harmful to you as well as to those around you. So cut the chain of toxic positivity but don’t dwell in sadness either. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and don’t let anyone, including yourself belittle your experiences.