Toxic positivity. What is that you ask? Before I delve into it, let me ask you this question. If you are going through a very difficult time whether your marriage is on the rocks, you have a very sick child, or your dog is dying. You tell someone who you thought was a friend or someone who you thought cared about the stress in your life. Their response to you was oh just think positive and your woes will disappear, or you need to get over it because being in a negative state will not help you, or things could be so much worse. How would you feel?
I bet you will feel as if your feelings about your situation were invalidated. Therefore, you just felt as if you were completely invalidated because your feelings were completely dismissed. You were told to not feel the way you do because it is so ‘negative’, and being ‘negative’ will only make the situation worse. Right? Absolutely not. This is what toxic positivity is.
Toxic positivity is the belief that you have to think and be positive no matter what is happening in your life. Even during the times when you have every right to grieve after experiencing a loss. The number one reason why toxic positivity is so dangerous is due to the fact it is so dismissive of how you are dealing with a very stressful situation.
Anyone who tells you that you have no right to feel what you do regardless of what is happening in your life should be cut out of your life. You don’t want anyone who invalidates your pain in any way at all.
Additionally, toxic positivity is used in regards to mental illness. If you have depression, you need to ‘stop thinking so negative and you need to only think positively’. If you have anxiety, you need to ‘stop believing the worst will happen and focus on the positive’. You get the idea. Toxic positivity is dangerous no matter what you are facing in your life!
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