What Is Toxic Positivity? | Real Talk Column

Have you ever brush off a problem you have experience, with a positive quote? Have you ever heard of toxic positivity? Yes, it is a such thing of a being excessively positive & happy. As a human being, it not such thing of being happy all the time. Some more than others but we also have bad days too.

Lets be clear, it is nothing wrong with having a good attitude on life. However, if you deny your own and other’s feelings, or overgeneralizing happy, and optimism-it can be toxic.

We can all say we have been guilty one time or a few to toxic positivity. It can be even worse during the pandemic, “It is what it is” or maybe “It could be worse”. On today’s post, I am going to talk about how to identify toxic positivity and how to deal with it.

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I am guilty of this toxic positive on myself. In my life I always brush off my feelings. I feel guilty when I am complaining about different things. I mask my true feelings by brushing them off and telling myself, it could be worst. However, I was doing myself a disservice. I did not give myself a chance to understand and process my true emotions. Thus, this toxic behavior must be stopped.

What is Toxic Positivity?

According to The Psychology Group of Fort Lauderdale, ” Toxic Positivity is the overgeneralization of happy, optimistic state that results in denial and the minimization and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience. “(Source) In other words, you are masking or denying your authentic feelings by appearing to be happy and optimistic. In addition, when you tell someone to be positive, when things are unraveling.

It seems like it is a way of life, especially on social media to be positive and happy all the time. Everything that glitter is not gold, good people! When we then suppress and deny the things that actually trigger our negative feelings, it can be toxic. In other words it okay to be happy and it is okay, not to be okay. Allow yourself to feel all your emotions. You should not mask them with generalization of positivity, and quotes. When you avoid your negative thoughts, it often times make it worst.

For example, have you every been pouring out your heart, and told someone about how bad your day was at work. For them then response, “Well it could be worst.” On the contrary, I know they mean well, however it can make someone feel bad for venting, ultimately cause them to suppress their own feelings. That’s not good!

Signs of Toxic Positivity

  • Hiding or masking your emotions
  • Feeling guilty for your feelings.
  • Shaming others for expressing their frustration
  • Brushing off things – “It Is What It Is”
  • Dismissing emotions
  • Minimizing other’s experience, forgetting to validate – “It Could Be Worst”
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How To Deal With Toxic Positivity

Denying and avoiding feeling can make it worst. Ultimately, you can begin conditioning your self to not pay attention to your feelings. Thus, it can become an ongoing cycle. When you deal with your emotions you can learn more about yourself, and triggers.

  • Avoid suppressing or ignoring your feelings- It is okay for you to feel and recognize your emotions
  • Remember it is okay, not to be okay!
  • Being realistic is also importation to remember. We are not happy all the time.
  • Talk about your feeling to someone you trust, or write them out.

In conclusion, it all beneficial to look at the bright side on life for things. It is also important to acknowledge our unpleasant feelings too. Remember, we are human being and no one can be happy 24/7. It is okay! Give yourself some grace, and process your emotions and let others do the same.

Have you heard the term Toxic Positivity? What do you think of this concept?

Share with me in the comment section. Let’s talk about sis!! I hope the month of September is an amazing month for you.

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