Toxic positivism ?! Isn’t this a contradictory phrase? Can positivity or positivism also be toxic and harmful? Yes! Anything that is overused and out of balance can be harmful. In this article, we define toxic positivism, give examples of it that you are better acquainted with, talk about its harms and symptoms, and finally introduce the solution to deal with it.
What is toxic positivity?
Toxic positivism means maintaining optimism and a positive attitude in all situations. Although positive thinking is recommended and desirable, anything that gets too much can be harmful. Toxic positivism, instead of focusing on positivism, seeks to divert the mind from the bitter and distressing realities that need to be understood and addressed, and to replace it with positive but imaginative thoughts.
Examples of toxic positivism
This harmful type of positive thinking can be seen in a variety of ways. You may have encountered some of these problems in your lifetime. To better understand the subject, consider the following examples:
- When something bad happens, for example, you become unemployed, others may advise you to be optimistic and think about the positive aspects of it. While this advice is benevolent, it may keep you from the pain and suffering you endure.
- Sometimes when you lose a valuable person or thing, others may say that it must have been wise. Although such comments are often made to reassure you, they may be a way to keep themselves away from you.
- When you say that you are sad and sad, someone may respond to your feeling that happiness is a choice. This means that the person blames you for being upset and believes that you are not happy, because you do not want to be happy.
A few examples of toxic positivity
- think positively!
- Just pay attention to positive thoughts!
- It could have been worse!
- Everything has a wisdom!
- Failure is not an option! You have no right to fail!
- Happiness is a choice!
Why do we say toxic positivity is harmful?
This way of thinking positively hurts people who are going through a difficult and upsetting period in life. Toxic positivism, instead of allowing for empathy and understanding, inadvertently questions and ignores negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Here are some harmful effects of this mindset:
1. It creates a sense of shame
When someone is suffering, he wants his feelings to be recognized and his loved ones and families to support him; But toxic positivism questions and denies this feeling of suffering. As a result, the person becomes ashamed of suffering.
2. It makes you feel guilty
Toxic positivism causes a person to blame, blame, and feel guilty for negative or upsetting feelings.
3. It does not allow the person to express real feelings
Toxic positivism is a mechanism of abstinence. When others show such behaviors, the person is prevented from expressing their feelings and dealing properly with their emotional problems. Sometimes we use these toxic positive thoughts in our dealings with ourselves and internalize them. In this way, we ignore emotional difficulties when faced with them.
4. It hinders individual growth
Toxic positive thinking prevents us from dealing with distressing and challenging emotions; While this confrontation could have grown us and deepened our attitude. Toxic positive thinking destroys our motivation to change circumstances, because we fundamentally deny the existence of any problem.
5. It shows us to be cruel
When a person is experiencing a difficult situation, our misplaced positivity is not only a step towards empathy, but may make the snake feel cruel and insensitive; For example, when someone is struggling with problems such as unemployment, financial problems, illness or the death of a loved one, saying “think positive” does not make the situation any better, but also makes us a numb and hard-hearted person in the eyes of others.
What are the signs of toxic positivity?
Toxic positivism can often take an intangible form, but it is easier to identify by recognizing its symptoms, such as:
- Masturbation of the problem instead of facing the problems;
- Feelings of guilt about being upset, angry, frustrated, and so on;
- Hiding your true feelings behind motivational phrases that everyone repeats;
- Hiding and suppressing your true feelings about a person or thing;
- Trying to reduce the distressing feelings of others;
- Creating a sense of shame in others for not having positive emotions;
- Trying to be a hero and denying the discomfort and harassment you experience.
What do we do if someone around us gets caught up in toxic positivity?
If you think that one of your loved ones or those around you has developed toxic positivity, to the extent that he or she allows others to harass him or her with toxic positivity sentences or torment himself / herself with toxic positivity, it is time for him / her to Help do; but how? You have to talk to him.
How to talk to a person with toxic positivity?
Express your views on his over-positivity. Remind him that this kind of positive thinking has reached the stage of denial and that he is harming himself or others by denying the facts. Of course, be gentle in expressing these issues and emphasize that your goal is to worry about him. Be sure to give examples of his toxic positivity and tell him; Because you are raising a topic that was previously unknown to the person himself. give an example The best way to prove positive is to think positively of the person who suffers from it.
It is also best to address the issue when one is experiencing the consequences of positive thinking; Because in this case, you are more likely to notice his wrong attitude.
However, you should not insist on expressing your opinion. Their lives are their own, and you can not force the attitudes of others out of their minds. If a person becomes angry about the issue, step aside and reaffirm his or her authority over his or her decisions and attitudes (tell him or her that he or she is free to think or act as he or she wishes); But if he comes to you again after experiencing a failure or re-exploitation of his positive thinking, remind him that you have already commented on the matter and advise him that it is better to think about change instead of getting caught up in this harmful cycle. Be your own attitude.
Examples of empathetic sentences without the burden of toxic positivity
- I listen to you completely.
- I am by your side in any situation.
- This feeling or situation must be very difficult.
- Sometimes bad things happen.
- What can I do to help?
- Partial failure of life.
- Your feelings are real.
What if we ourselves become entangled in toxic positivism?
If you feel you have become addicted to toxic positivity, consider the following:
Talk to a trusted friend or counselor about the root of the problem. You can ask yourself these questions:
- Am I afraid of conflict?
- Am I pessimistic about my problem-solving skills?
- Do I believe that some emotions, such as anger, are inherently bad and unpleasant?
Ask your trusted friend or counselor to be alert and let you know if he or she sees too much positive speech or behavior. Most people are reluctant to give their opinion to another because they do not want to judge or are afraid to ignore something and upset their friend. Reassure your friend or mentor that you are receptive to their criticism and feedback so that they can more easily identify and articulate your positive thinking blind spots.
2. Write diaries
Another way to identify toxic positive thinking is to write diaries. These notes will help you to record your thoughts. As a result, by reviewing them, you will notice potentially toxic positive thinking patterns.
3. Manage your negative emotions, but do not ignore them
Negative emotions are like warning signs that tell us there is a problem; So instead of denying them, try to identify and treat their root cause or find a way to deal with negative emotions.
4. Have realistic expectations of yourself
When faced with a stressful situation, it is natural to feel anxious and stressed. Do not think of yourself as a hero who has no fear, stress or worry.
5. Recognize mixed and contradictory emotions
Understand your feelings and know that we humans can experience conflicting emotions at the same time; For example, at the beginning of a match we are both worried and hopeful.
6. Learn empathy skills
Learning empathy skills can prevent us from activating our toxic positive thinking and hurting others when they are experiencing difficult situations.
7. Pay attention to your feelings
Following Motivational Pages in Cyberspace Although it can sometimes be a source of inspiration, be careful! If you feel ashamed and guilty after watching such content, you have most likely developed toxic positivity. In such cases, it is better to avoid such content.
Toxic positivity is often an intangible attitude. Perhaps we have all been trapped in such an attitude at times. By learning the signs of this kind of attitude, we can better protect ourselves and others, have more empathy with others, and provide and receive appropriate support.
If you have experience with this type of positivity, write to us in the comments section.