Toxic Positivity: The Dark Side of Being Too Sunny
Alright, let’s dive into this, shall we? We’re talking about this sneaky little bugger called “toxic positivity.” Yeah, you heard it right. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns regarding positivity, folks. Sometimes, it can be as toxic as that ex you should’ve dumped ages ago.
What the Hell is Toxic Positivity?
So, what’s this toxic positivity crap all about? Well, it’s when you’re forcing yourself to be all sunshine and daisies, even when life’s throwing you curveballs. It’s like trying to convince yourself that everything’s peachy when it’s clearly going to hell in a handbasket. It’s not just unhealthy, it’s downright dangerous. We’re humans, not robots. We’re meant to feel all the feels, not just the good ones.
Let’s take an example. Imagine you’re having a really shitty day. You lost your job, car broke down, and dog ran away. But instead of acknowledging your feelings, you plaster a smile and tell yourself, “Everything’s fine!” That’s toxic positivity in action. It’s like convincing yourself that the house isn’t on fire when standing in the flames.
The Ugly Side of Toxic Positivity
Now, I’m not saying positivity is bad. Hell no! But there’s a difference between being positive and being delusional. Life isn’t always a bed of roses, and it’s okay to admit it. You don’t have to be the Energizer Bunny all the time. It’s okay to feel down, angry, or frustrated. It’s part of being human.
So, how does this toxic positivity show up? Well, ever been in a situation where you’re feeling like crap, but everyone around you is like, “Cheer up, buttercup!” or “Look on the bright side!”? That’s toxic positivity right there. It’s like telling someone who’s drowning to just swim. Not helpful, right?
And here’s the kicker: toxic positivity can mess with your mental health. When you’re constantly trying to suppress your feelings, it can lead to anxiety, depression, and a whole lot of other issues you don’t want to deal with. It’s like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. It’s not only exhausting, but it’s also just a matter of time before it pops back up. And guess what? This isn’t just me talking out of my ass. There’s a real connection between toxic positivity and mental health issues like depression and suicide, especially among men. Don’t believe me? Check out this article.
The Antidote to Toxic Positivity
So, what can we do instead? Well, for starters, let’s ditch the “just stay positive” BS. Instead, let’s try to be more mindful of our language. When someone’s going through a tough time, let’s listen and validate their feelings. Let’s acknowledge that life can be a rollercoaster, and it’s okay to not enjoy the ride sometimes.
And remember, it’s okay to feel your feelings. You don’t have to put on a brave face all the time. It’s okay to admit when you’re not okay. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to be human. And if you want to learn more about the power of emotions, check out this article.
Exercise: Embracing Your Emotions
Here’s a little exercise for you. The next time you’re feeling down, instead of trying to force a smile, try this:
Acknowledge your feelings. Say to yourself, “I’m feeling sad/angry/frustrated, and that’s okay.”
Allow yourself to feel. Don’t try to suppress your emotions. Let them flow through you.
Express your feelings. Write in a journal, talk to a friend, or even shout into a pillow. Do whatever helps you express your emotions.
Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay.
Avoiding the Trap of Toxic Positivity
So, how do we avoid falling into the toxic positivity trap? Well, it starts with acknowledging that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or frustrated. It’s okay to have bad days. And it’s okay to talk about it.
Let’s stop pretending that everything’s perfect when it’s not. Let’s stop invalidating our feelings in the name of positivity. Let’s start being real with ourselves and with each other. Because at the end of the day, we’re all just humans trying to navigate this crazy thing called life.
So, the next time someone tells you to “just stay positive,” remember this: It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel your feelings. And it’s okay to be human. Because being human isn’t about being happy all the time. It’s about being real, being authentic, and being you.