Can positivity be toxic? The answer is a resounding YES! Phrases like “Positive vibes only” are clear examples of toxic positivity.
Remember, anything done excessively is detrimental to one’s mental health, that includes positivity as well. This is a recent dark trend.
Sure many would easily blame social media for this. But remember, the pressure to keep up the image exists only when you give power to it.
You don’t have to be perfect or look a certain way to fit into society’s idea of a person. Likewise, if you do see people who are being overly positive, know that this is a journey for them too. More often than not, people do not realise that they are practising toxic positivity because lines are so blurred.
When a person is overly positive, they could be using this as a form of escape. This simply means that instead of dealing with the issues that they are going through, they trick their mind to think being positive will make their problems would disappear. This is not accurate at all.
Here are some common signs that help you see the toxic positivity:
Hiding your feelings
Some people mask their feelings to escape their reality. This will just delay and make problems worse. They think that just because they are positive, problems will fade away. This is not as simple as an acne scar.
Shaming others for expressing themselves (especially, when it is not positive)
Have you ever felt so frustrated when you voiced your feelings and the person you are confiding in tells you that, “You just need to be positive,” This is so unhealthy because one needs to embrace how they feel and then process it.
Here’s a helpful guide we found online.
Part of life is embracing the negative experiences. They are inevitable and vital for growth. Have you ever realised how careful you are when you have learnt a lesson the hard way, as opposed to hearing about it through another person’s experience?
It is different because when we go through something negative, the impact may be harder on our mental health, hence making it more difficult for us to achieve peace.
However, once we are in a better place, mentally, we would be a lot more careful when we allow certain people back in our lives. This won’t happen if we escape and hide our feelings. As cliche as this sounds, with every bad thing that happens, there is always something good that would come out of it.
Part of being a balanced and healthy human simply means that we should be more aware of ourselves and how we interpret the events and experiences in our lives.
If you feel that you are transmitter of toxic positivity, then it’s time to cut it out. Subconsciously, you will be hurting yourself and the people you care about most. Instead of practicing toxic positivity, aim for balance and the acceptance of both good and bad emotions rather than all-or-nothing thinking.
The zero or hundred mindset is a very tricky trait to have. In some areas in life, it is so helpful. Personally, I practise this trait when it comes to loyalty and trust. It is either you are loyal or not, there is not midway to this. However, like every rule, there are exceptions. By having a balanced mind, you will be able to handle a lot more situations in life.
One of the best ways for you to set healthy boundaries with anyone who passes judgment on your authentic experience is to bravely speak your truth.
We get one chance at this beautiful, painful, imperfect life. Let’s embrace all of it.