The glass is half full… How can positivity be poisonous sometimes?

False positivity hinders its owner from maturity, growth, and gaining experiences from difficult situations he is going through

We always hear about the importance of positivity and its impact on our lives and our view of what happens to us and around us, especially in times of adversity, but have you ever heard of “toxic positivity”? And how can it harm its owner at times?

To get a sense of the meaning of “toxic positivity” simply, you can imagine that one day you woke up late for work, and while you were drinking coffee, you spilled some on your shirt, and while you were angry, you dropped your phone and broke its screen, and when you got in your car, you discovered that it had a malfunction, and finally when you got to work You tell your friend what happened to you and he smiles and tells you, “Be positive and smile.”

In this case, you may feel ashamed of how you feel, or more angry because you are purely with what you feel. Despite the importance of positivity and its good impact on our lives, its application here will not help, but will make matters worse, and what may help you to overcome what you feel is receiving approval for Your emotions, understanding and accepting what you’ve been through and it really is annoying.

Known as “Very WellMind” (VeryWellMind) Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how difficult or severe a situation you are in you must maintain a positive mindset and reject negative feelings, it is the “positive feelings only” approach to life.

While there are many benefits to having a positive outlook, life is not always positive and rosy, and we may all go through painful feelings and experiences, and these feelings are also important and must be dealt with effectively and not rejected and buried behind the mask of optimism and positivity.

Rejection and denial of negative emotions cause many psychological damage (pixels)

forms of toxic positivity

Toxic positivity appears in a variety of forms, some of which you may have encountered in your life, including:

When you are going through difficult circumstances such as losing your job, people tell you to “look on the bright side,” or be grateful and remember that there are children who cannot find food and people who are homeless, which causes you to suppress what you might want to say to express what you are experiencing and feeling.

Or when someone tells you that “happiness is a choice” at a time when you feel sad, frustrated or disappointed. In these difficult times, such statements hold the sad person responsible for the negative feelings he feels, because he did not “choose” to be happy.

Toxic Positive Damage

There is no doubt that gratitude for the blessings and the good part of life has great positive effects on getting through a crisis, but the rejection and denial of negative feelings do many harms, including:

Denied the real support we all need, and instead of being able to share true human feelings, people find their feelings completely rejected or ignored.
The sad person feels ashamed of what he suffers from, and that he does not have the right to feel some negative emotions and must replace them with positive ones all the time.

Exacerbating the pain, as hiding our feelings causes great psychological pressure, which psychiatrist Linda Shaw pointed out to the newspaper “The Independent”. (Independent) “If you have chronic physical pain and ignore it, it can get worse over time without treatment, and the same goes for our mental health,” she said.

False positivity also hinders its owner from maturity, growth and gaining experiences from the difficult situations he is going through.

Psychotherapist John Paul Davies told The Independent that “in order to get through the pain you have to feel it, which can sometimes make positive thinking harmful if you are pressuring someone to always see the bright side of things.”

Requirements for overcoming grief caused by the loss of a loved one (pixels)Allow yourself to feel some negative emotions without denying them and overwhelming them with positivity (pixels)

How do you avoid toxic positivity?

If you are likely to take or suffer from toxic positivity approaches, there are some things you can do to take a healthier and more effective approach. Some ideas include:

  • Allow yourself to feel some negative emotions without denying them and overwhelming them with positivity, and without letting them control your life either.
  • Be realistic about understanding how you feel. When you face a stressful situation, it is normal to feel nervous, anxious, or afraid, and do not expect anything else from yourself so that you do not become let down or blame yourself for how you feel.
  • Know that it is okay to go through more than one feeling at the same time, you can realize the meaning behind the crisis you are going through, and at the same time still feel sad or stressed.
  • Focus on listening and empathizing when someone tells you how they feel. Show support as much as you can. Tell them that their feelings are normal. Don’t try to silence them or embellish their tragedy with cheerful words.
  • If you’re the one exposed to negativity, Tabitha Kirkland, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, suggests expressing your needs clearly and reassuringly, reiterating your intent for the conversation by saying, for example, that you’re looking for sympathy rather than advice.

If you keep hiding your feelings, they won’t disappear. They will haunt you directly or indirectly until you finally deal with them. True happiness doesn’t come from suppressing negative feelings and pretending to feel happy. It comes from accepting all of our feelings, both positive and negative.

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