Health Self

Can Positivity Be Toxic? And What Are Its Signs?

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Most of us are said to look on the bright side when we are down. Focusing on the glass half full and not the glass half empty has been instilled in all of us. And most of all, people have gone on a trend of seeking positive vibes or good vibes.

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Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

We all want to be happy. However, feeling happy 24/7 is not natural. We are humans, and it is okay for us to feel feelings other than cheerful all the time. It is okay for us to feel sad, upset, angry, or scared sometimes.

While we may think that thinking negative might be wrong, positivity can also be toxic. And toxic positivity is very much a thing.

So, what is toxic positivity?

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Image by Magic Creative from Pixabay

Toxic positivity is when people demand positivity without the concern of the emotions of other people. People might demand optimism in such a way making the other people feel disregarded.

Toxic positivity can also include people trying to avoid their anxiety or their own emotions to stay positive. They will avoid people who might voice concerns regarding the situation. Positivity in such a way can feel invalidating and repressive to others.

The positivity that is forced can be harmful to people when it is insincere and masks sadness, anxiety, depression, or fear.

Signs of Toxic Positivity

Even though you might believe otherwise, almost everyone is guilty of toxic positivity. And these are the signs that you might be engaging in toxic positivity:

Dismissing “negative” feelings

When people avoid feeling angry or sad, it takes a toll on their mental health. It is also unhealthy to call others out on being negative or annoying when they are sad or upset. Dismissing your or other people’s feelings can cause a severe impact on both mind and body. It can also manifest into addiction.

Hiding how you actually feel


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We can all agree that life is not all “rainbows and sunshine.” But many of us are guilty of portraying our life in a way that shows that everything is fine. When asked how we feel by our family or friends, we often reply by saying we are okay. And this is not healthy. This should not become a constant lie.

Feeling guilty for being sad or angry.

Feeling guilt, anger, and sadness are all okay. It is only human to feel different emotions. But feeling guilty while you are crying or feeling angry is not. Also, making other people feel guilty by saying how their “negative” emotions are invalid is toxic. We all have emotions and should maintain a healthy relationship with them, even the “negative” ones.

Having an “it could be worse” perspective

Many things could be worse than the things happening right now. But pointing this out to yourself and others is extremely bad. This is one of the worst ways you are invalidating your or other people’s feelings. Remember that people cope with the same event differently. And just because you are fine doesn’t make their feelings invalid.

Also Read: Toxic Behavior Normalized by the Society, Yet to be Avoided