Posted in Food For Soul

Toxic Positivity

It is next to impossible to stay upbeat all the time. If someone says he/she stays positive for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, 365 days an year, then it must be toxic positivity that is the subject matter. Nothing else makes sense. Toxic positivity has the nature of dismissing cautious optimism as negativity while overplaying a false optimism. Negativity at its worst can be discouragement but toxic positivity can be seriously damaging.

Toxic positivity is not only a state of denial but is also a blatant negation of others’ emotional experiences. That makes it selfish and heartless.

We all carry our baggage. Happiness by itself is a relative term. You can make a child orphaned at five years relatively happy as he grows up from the state of mind he was in when trauma struck. But you cannot take his past away. The scars will remain for a lifetime even if the wound may heal. Sometimes memories are all we are left with to make a precious connection. Empaths can slip into the shoes of the little boy. To toxic positive men/women, undermining and invalidating the latent grief in the boy will come natural. The boy may grow up to be a cheerful man with a healthy body and mind yet retain something from his traumatic past.

It is possible that some of us are toxic positive about ourselves. In that case, we are not doing ourselves any good. False hope can be toxic positivity.

Toxic positivity is deliberate underplaying of others’ legitimate emotional claims. It is belittling of someone’s authentic experiences in an attempt to make them feel less sure about themselves. Victims of toxic positive abuse may end up questioning their sanity and inferences that would be perfectly rational. One could have their confidence shaken and will broken. To put it in a capsule, toxic positivity is misplaced control.

Toxic positivity is emotional abuse. It is false reassurance when it is directed at oneself. It is important to identify the patterns of toxic positivity in friends and stay away.

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