Toxic positivity is real! But what is it?
It is actually an assumption that despite a person’s emotional pain or difficult situation, they should only stay positive or have a positive mindset.
Photo via Chatelaine
According to Healthline, Dr. Jaime Zuckerman, a clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania said that toxic positivity can take many forms - it can be a family member who chastises you for expressing frustrations instead of listening to why your upset or it can be a comment to
“Look on the bright side” or “be grateful for what you have”.
...it can even be a meme that tells you to “just change your outlook and just be happy”.
With toxic positivity, sometimes negative emotions are seen as bad and it is often denied, minimised or invalidated. Always being okay, is not always okay…
Avoiding your emotions could actually cause more harm. For example, if you were told to not think about something, it actually makes you more likely to think about it even more!
Photo via BuzzFeed
So, remember that it is okay to NOT be okay, especially during this pandemic. In fact, it is totally normal to feel sad, or if you feel like you want to cry. Your feelings are valid, the good ones and even the bad ones.
You can deal with toxic positivity by:
Avoid ignoring or stuffing your emotions
Listen and validate how others feel even when it’s different than how you feel
Remember that it is okay to not be okay
Know that feelings are not mutually exclusive
Always be realistic - If you want to be productive, start with small, actionable steps
It’s okay to be wary of social media
There’s no shame in feeling sad. In fact, it is how we cope with stress and it keeps us grounded. Always validate your feelings, be kind to yourself and stay safe!
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat