Toxic Positivity — When Positivity Can Actually Be Negative.

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Have you found your vents cut short, struggles invalidated by sayings like “think positive”, “it could be worse”, and just have a happy pill shoved down your throat?⁣

Well, that’s called toxic positivity, and it will probably look like this as an image.

Toxic positivity is more dismissive than supportive. It puts a sparkly, shiny wall up and uses empty words to focus on the positive and reject, deny, or displace the negative such as guilt, anger, jealousy, hate, sadness, and grief. ⁣

In theory, it sounds like being optimistic, but in reality, pushing aside our unpleasant emotions only makes them bigger.⁣

While cultivating a positive mindset is a powerful coping mechanism, and a natural response to someone being sad is to cheer them up, negating is not. ⁣

Surely we don’t want ourselves to remain stagnant and dwell, but such a response does not bring comfort. Rather, it brings about feelings of isolation, lack of support — which is counterproductive to mental health. ⁣

Instead of throwing one-liner phrases, create, and seek out spaces that give you permission to be heard, feel, explore the roots of your emotions.⁣

Actively listen, and be conscious of what your emotions are trying to convey. Allow your emotions to pull for comfort, fostering open and honest relationships.⁣

Encourage yourself and others to be honest in defining how one is feeling — vocabulary expansion in relation to our emotions is beneficial! ⁣

One needs to acknowledge all facets of emotions, rather than have it revoked by not being deemed fit by societal norms of emotions and thus be sent into denial and repression of authentic human emotional experience.⁣

Sabila Siddiqui

A medical student who is passionate about content creation; taking the form of writing, graphic art, videography, and photography.