Do you know what is toxic positivity and why you should be beware of toxic positivity? You must have heard many times people saying that positivity is the key to happiness. Yes, that is correct. Positivity is essential for happiness and success in life. But did you know that while practising positivity in a healthy and nontoxic manner you should always keep a few mantras in your mind? Continue reading and watching the video of Gaur Gopal Das in which he is explaining the facts about toxic positivity.
Toxic positivity, at first glance, may not seem unhealthy but this form of communication can be harmful. It can cause shame, feelings of guilt, and the prevention of human emotional growth.
What Is Toxic Positivity?
We define toxic positivity as the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. The process of toxic positivity results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience.
The process of toxic positivity results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience. Just like anything done in excess, when positivity is used to cover up or silence the human experience, it becomes toxic. Source: The Psychology Group
Examples of Toxic Positivity words
- Be positive
- Cheer up
- Look on the bright side
- Get over it
- Move on
- Everything is going to work out
- Be a man
Beware Of Toxic Positivity – Change Your Thinking
Toxic Positivity Vs Real Positivity
How many of you have heard this mantra, ‘It does not matter what your blood group is, A+ or O+, in life you must always be positive (B+).
How many of you have heard this mantra, ‘Always be grateful’?
Shift your attention from your problem to your blessings and feel your negativity melt away.
And how many of you have heard quotes like ‘It is not about what happens to you outside, it is about how you deal with inside that change your life positively.’
Now, being grateful and positive during difficult and troubled times is indeed uplifting and empowering and very important as well. But then it is also very important to ensure that that positivity is not toxic.
Toxic positivity – needs to feel positive regardless of how you feel.
What is toxic positivity means?
Toxic positivity means, it doesn’t matter what happens to you, it doesn’t matter what you are going through, it doesn’t matter how you feel, you have to always be positive.
You may be going through intense emotional pain because of recent heartbreak or because of a separation or divorce in your marriage or because of some misunderstandings or because you may have lost your job or someone close to you may have passed away or sometimes just because of a general sense of depression, the reason for which even you may not know. But it doesn’t matter. You have to always just be positive. See I am not against being grateful or being positive.
Toxic positivity is not natural
Toxic positivity is not a feeling that springs naturally from the heart. It seems to be like a forced imposition either by mind oneself or others.
I am not feeling positive, I’m in pain, still I somehow or the other I have to drag my mind and pressurise it to think, “I need to see something positive in this situation. I need to look for something good in what is happening.” That pressure, that “HAVE TO” silver lining is toxic.
Toxic positivity denies pain and negative feelings
It denies that I am just a human being, not some superhero from a movie who is beyond any feelings or emotions regardless of what’s happening to him.
And such artificial positivity can be extremely harmful to our mental health because it does not allow us to feel, to process, to go through our real emotions by trying to camouflage those emotions in layers of some intellectual reasoning or hope.
For example, you may have lost your job and going through anxiety, depression and worry about your future. Toxic positivity means somebody telling you or you telling yourself, “Be grateful that you are living. Be grateful that you have a roof above your head. Be grateful that you have food on your plate. Be grateful for your good health.”
And the endless list of optimism goes on and on and on. See, we can be extremely grateful for all that we have, but gratitude by itself does not do away with the pain that we may be going through right now because of having lost our job.
Real positivity acknowledges the pain
Real positivity allows us to acknowledge our pain and our negative feelings while we continuously look at our blessings.
Real positivity gives confidence
Real positivity gives us the confidence that “it’s alright to not to feel alright at least in the moment right now.”
Real positivity allows us time for our feelings
Real positivity allows us time for our feelings to settle and our hearts to heal. So next time you are feeling low beware of pushy advisers who push, be positive mantra on you, without being sensitive to your current emotional state. Rather look for empathetic supporters who lend their ears to listen to your feelings without judging you and offer you their shoulder to put your head on and cry some tears.
And if you haven’t found someone like that yet, don’t allow those feelings to pile up in your mind. Write them down. Practice journaling. Let the negative energy come out of your mind on paper. And if it is just beyond your capacity to handle, do make sure that you seek professional help
Consume social media content with caution
Also, consume social media content with caution. Because nobody is posting their low moments. Nobody is posting their not so good pics, not so good looks. Nobody is posting their real stories. As much as negative content and news can make you feel negative, insensitive positive posts that put pressure on you to be positive can also make you negative. Because such posts make you feel inferior, make you feel guilty that you are not able to do it.
Positivity is incredibly amazing. Just make sure that it is not toxic.
Credits: Gaur Gopal Das
In his talk, he explains that positivity should not be toxic. During tough times, we get advice from many people who try to make us positive. As mentioned in the last paragraph, many times we follow advice from social media. We can follow expert professional advice but must avoid social media posts giving advice because their aim is to get more likes and shares. They need publicity rather than helping people. Ensure that you are not following toxic positivity, but always accepting real positivity only.
Do you accept and follow toxic positivity?
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Mathukutty P. V. is the founder of Simply Life Tips, a passionate Blogger, Content writer, Influencer, YouTuber. Lives with a notion “SIMPLE LIVING, CREATIVE THINKING”. Believe – “Sharing is caring.” “Learning never ends.”