Toxic Positivity

People being positive all the time is just as toxic, narrow-minded and limiting as people who are negative all the time. Only instead of them looking at only negative things, people who are too positive will refuse to look at, address or allow anything negative in their life. “Oh, my car got wrecked by someone rear-ending me! Guess this is a new opportunity to buy a different car.””Lost my job? That just means there is a different opportunity out there waiting for me! Everything happens for a reason. I’m sure something will come up and my bills will get paid somehow.”

Toxic Positivity is just another inappropriate coping mechanism / disassociation when faced with problems, allowing the person to distance themselves from it rather than be forced to deal with things they don’t want to. The kind of people who absolutely do not want to hear you being negative in any way, least it spread to them like some kind of negativity flu.

Here are a few ways on which you or anyone you know might be showing signs of toxic positivity :

  • You will get over it soon.
  • Just be positive.
  • Positive vibes only.
  • stop being negative all the time.
  • Think happy thoughts.
  • Never quit. Never give up. Ever!
  • Just stop being sad and be happy instead.
  • Always look for the positive, even in a negative situation.
  • Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Just forget it and stay positive.
  • Failure is never an option.
  • Everything will get sorted by the end.
  • I did it. So you can do it too.
  • Get rid of negativity.
  • It could be much worse.

Can you identify with any of these signs?

Reference : https://themindsjournal.com/toxic-positivity/

35 Comments Add yours

  1. kellyanngegg says:

    I like to believe I’m a healthy mix of positivity and negativity. If something terrible happens, I’m upset (getting hit and my car totaled?! DEVASTATED!) Having my little boy climb up on my lap, hug me and tell me he loves me……ecstatic! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Our lives is a healthy mix of positivity and negativity. You seem to be on the right track. Good Luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. eob2 says:

    Interesting, I am a balanced (meaning I know my ups and downs so to speak). However I like to know how to deal with someone who only lives in the negatives, what are they escaping?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Their own insecurities maybe.

      Like

  3. Dragthepen says:

    Think happy thoughts 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.

      Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dragthepen says:

        Wow. I appreciate your comment. thank you for stopping by dragthepen.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ufotpry says:

    yes i agree with you. there is a thin line between passivism (toxic positivity) and positivity. having a little sense of negativity pushes one to action, while extreme positivity drives to a state of negligence and infidelity. we have to maintain a balance. may be i should say we have to be negapositive to avoid toxic positivity. MY THOUGH INSPIRED BY YOUR WORK. WELL DONE

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      If you’re being influenced by toxic positivity, we encourage you to set healthy boundaries with anyone who passes judgment on your authentic experience and speak your truth. We get one chance at this beautiful, painful, imperfect life…embrace it entirely and you’ll reap the rewards of bountiful aliveness. Thank you for liking my work. Glad you found it informative.

      Like

  5. Syd Weedon says:

    I like this. It puts into words something I have been feeling but couldn’t frame it as clearly as you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Being a healthy human being involves being conscious of ourselves and how we show up in the world. If you recognize yourself as a transmitter of toxic positivity, it’s time to cut it out. You’re hurting yourself and the people you care about most by insisting on this monochromatic mindset. Instead of practicing toxic positivity, aim for balance and the acceptance of both good and bad emotions rather than all-or-nothing thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Omatra7 says:

    Yup I am definitely positive most of the time! I keep my heavy mainly to myself… sometimes I let it out…I do not want to cry over things – and I do feel negativity can be toxic. I have experienced way too much negativity

    I cope the way I can cope, but I do only for myself so that I can handle and I am happy

    If someone can’t handle who I am, they are free to leave at any time. I do not hold them prisoner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      The relationship with yourself, is often reflected in the relationship you have with others. If you can’t be honest about your own feelings, how will you ever be able to hold space for someone else expressing real feelings in your presence? By curating a fake emotional world, we attract more fakeness resulting in counterfeit intimacy and superficial friendships.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omatra7 says:

        Oh no… let me correct lol… I am brutally honest lol ✌️ I won’t hold back. Definitely in touch with my feelings

        I don’t do fake at all, but I am happy and positive most of the time – I am alive, I appreciate that… my personality has always been extremely upbeat and positive.

        And I have no problem being brutally honest. I definitely do not play games or waste my time being fake.

        The way I cope is staying away from anything negative as much as possible – I don’t want that in my life

        I want to enjoy my life… life should not be taken for granted… I am blessed to be alive and have amazing people in my life…. I am careful who I allow around me.

        I have no counterfeit intimacy lol…

        And I definitely do not do superficial friendships at all.

        I do not live in a fake emotional world – I know what the world is… but I choose to cherish my life, my way.

        And like I said… if someone can’t accept who am – there is the door.

        I am extremely strong in personality… I am happy and bubbly with a fire lol ✌️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Glad to hear that :):)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. theOwl30 says:

    Thank you for posting this. It shows that even “good” things, like thinking positive, can be overdone. While I dont wanna drag people down, either, I find 90% of all motivational quotes to be sugar-coated garbage. It’s always easy to be positive when you have Money, Health and no immediate deadline or danger. Or productivity quota. Or aren’t dealing with equipment failure or legal issues.

    The problem with positivity is it ignores NATURAL reactions!

    “Don’t be so negative”. But—if you take 20 people in some bad circumstance and 18 of them react or feel”negatively”, then Face Reality—this is a Natural Reaction. i.e..”who wouldn’t feel thaat way??” But they can still make a plan to deal with things. And along that line, I myelf have been criticized. I try to look ahead and see a few possible pitfalls or hassles that might happen. And, sometimes, I’ve been told: “only you (me) would think of that.” And I look ’em right in the eyes and I say: “that’s the problem. YOU wouldn’t. At least I wont be caught with my pants down, so to speak.”

    And then we come to jobs, companies and organizations that put up Motivational posters and slogans. The sheer fact that ANY place even “needs” this AT ALL is total proof on just how far they have already sank. Why work there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      To force a positive outlook on pain is to encourage a person to keep silent about their struggles. Most of us don’t want to be seen as a drag or “bad,” so when the choice is between A) be brave and honest or B) pretend like everything is going great, we might be tempted to adopt the latter. Author and researcher Brené Brown teaches in several of her books, presentations and interviews that the energy source of shame is silence, secrecy and judgment. In other words, where there is hiding, secrets and denial, shame is usually in the driver’s seat.

      Shame is crippling to the human spirit and one of the most uncomfortable feelings we can feel. Often, we don’t even know that we are feeling shame. Here’s a clue on how to know it’s there, ask yourself, “If they knew __________ about me, what would they think?” or “Something I wouldn’t want the world to know about me is _______________.” If you can fill in that blank with ANYTHING, whether it be a situation, a feeling, or an experience there is a high likelihood that there is some shame around that.

      Like

  8. Sindy says:

    interesting post actually. Toxic and positivity contradict each other. I never hear that OD with happiness is bad for you!
    bottom line is: A balance between positive & negative lasts longer and Is positivity toxic? I seriously doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Ultimately, it is important to recognise that we won’t always be able to make sense of what we are going through and we should know that it all is a part of life. The best way to release your emotions is to start journaling, pouring all your heart and soul into it. You can also start meditating to calm your mind and channelise the negativity. When you bombard people with your positivity, you make them feel scared of expressing their emotions. So, the next time you tell someone to ‘’be more positive’’ and “stop being so negative”, it is advisable to step into their shoes and show a little more empathy.

      Like

  9. judeitakali says:

    Is positivity toxic if it preserves mental wellness, or if it gives happiness in the worst times, or hope. That’s what most of those highlighted statements do for people

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      According to a recent survey published in the journal Emotion, obsessing over happiness can actually prove to be counterproductive. When you think about it, it actually makes sense. Putting a lot of pressure on yourself, to be happy all the time will eventually lead to being unhappy. This happens because when we are constantly trying to be happy, irrespective of the situation, we are bound to feel sad when we experience negative emotions. A normal human behaviour is to accept the emotions as they come and go, so when you hold onto positivity and refuse to acknowledge anything remotely negative by driving it away with more positive thoughts, you are ultimately paving the way for unhappiness.

      Like

      1. judeitakali says:

        Okay but it’s not that easy for everyone to handle negative emotions, some people spiral into depression, and the toxic positivity which can also be partly gratitude (given some of the items on the list) is what can be their shield or comfort.
        That positivity doesn’t make you numb to negative emotions, it just gives you a way to fight them

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Small steps everyday.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Darazizi says:

    I actually never knew this was a thing. Thanks for the Enlightenment. What what is the difference between toxic positivity and faith?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Okay here are my thoughts on the difference between the two. Faith is when you hope for the best, keep positive expectation and then “let it go”. Letting go means that if what I want comes to me…I’ll be grateful…but if it doesn’t come to me….I’ll be grateful too. Faith keeps us grounded in this way.

      In Toxic positivity, there is not letting go. There is anxiety when the thing you want is not coming your way or you do not see it coming your way..yet.

      Like

      1. Darazizi says:

        Thanks for that clarification 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GS says:

        Glad you agree. Take care.

        Like

  11. clcouch123 says:

    I’m always more at peace with those who are a combination of whatever they need to be, positively and negatively. Not that this is about me–it’s about all of us. Imagine taking that list of attitudes (excellently recounted) and applying it to grief. You’ll get over it. Come on, be positive. Yet we are pushed in grief and other difficulties to tell a joke and move on. Optimism’s fine. Forced positivity is not. Thank you for another timely review that should help us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      I feel like because I put out such a positive version of myself that is so like happy and carefree people often think that’s who I am and that I can take anything, because I’m happy and funny and confident. But also I feel like I have no allowances to be down, or quiet, or the person who doesn’t talk as much or doesn’t come out because of this toxic positivity that I feel like I have to stick to. It’s a personality I’ve carved out for myself and now other people see me as that, and to some extent I am that person, but I feel boxed in when I’m not.

      Like

  12. AP2 says:

    I’m glad you bought this up. Positive toxicity is indeed a dangerous thing. I think those who refuse to acknowledge negative emotions are running away from exactly what they need to confront to build emotional resilience. People mistake emotional resilience for the absence of negativity but that’s BS. Emotional resilience comes from being able to cope with negative emotions and turn lemons into lemonade. If you ignore your negative feelings they will catch up with you. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      I agree with you. Toxic positivity refers to the idea that we should focus only on positive emotions and the positive aspects of life. Hence, if we ignore difficult emotions and the parts of our life that aren’t working as well, we’ll be happier. However, this approach can actually be detrimental to mental health.

      Liked by 1 person

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