Can Positivity Be Toxic? Choice is Yours
Updated: May 21
Have you ever been in a situation in your life when you were stressed about something, and you shared it with someone, and he/she replied “Hey! You must forget it, ignore it and be happy. Life is short”. These people intend for you to be happy and smiling. They are not wrong but here is the thing- they are not right either. Their intention is good but the way isn’t. Positivity is not bad, but forcing it is.
You don’t need to be happy all the time, you don’t need to be positive all the time. Agreed, you should remain positive and optimistic, but an optimistic person is someone who finds the good even in the bad, who remains positive even when things are unfavorable, not someone who avoids their emotions. Here comes “Toxic Positivity”, an approach where you fake yourself as a happy and optimistic individual, who deep down is going through so much! It is a belief that people should put a positive spin on all experiences, even those, that are profoundly tragic. You don’t want to do that, do you?
Also Read: How To Conquer Fear In 5 Easy Steps
The problem with our society is that everyone presents themselves as someone who is very happy, having no problems, as only being successful but, this is not the truth always. We all have problems and sometimes cry ourselves to bed and that’s ok! When we look at people who are always happy, we complicate our problems by creating FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), great! But the real ones who are missing out are they because, let’s face it, you can’t be happy and cheerful 24/7 and you don’t have to! Present yourself as a happy being when you feel like it, trust me you don’t need to fake anything.
Avoiding your emotions is never a solution because ultimately, they bottle up and one day you will burst out. So, instead listen to yourself, think about what’s bothering you, tell it to someone you trust, just pour your heart out, do not keep it within, if you don’t feel like telling someone, write it down. It will help you (I do the same). Consider your emotions legitimate. Its natural and healthy to have emotions. After that, treat yourself with love, and you will heal. (Time is the biggest healer, remember?)
Once you are healed, reward yourself for being kind to yourself and listening to yourself, celebrate yourself. Indeed, life is short and you don’t want to feel sorry about yourself meanwhile, right?
There is nothing called “good vibes only” There are good vibes as well as bad vibes and it’s perfectly alright to experience both! And you need bad experiences to appreciate the good ones.
“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.” ~ Mark Manson (The subtle art of not giving a fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
(Disclaimer: Views expressed are author's personal views.)