Has anyone ever told you “Someone has it worse than you” or “Positive vibes only”? The problem with phrases like these is that they promote toxic positivity. Google defines toxic positivity as “the belief that if you just stay positive it will allow you to power through whatever obstacles you encounter.”
I can’t count how many times people have told me “just stay positive” or “things could be worse.” I understand that they think they are helping but their words promote “Even though you are going through this, someone has it worse so be happy.” I’m sorry for people who are in worse situations but that doesn’t mean my situation and/or feelings are null and void.
There’s nothing wrong with being positive and trying to speak light into your friends/family who are going through a rough time. But, the problem with toxic positivity is that we are pretending that negativity doesn’t exist. Thinking positive and posting quotes doesn’t help the issue or make someone genuinely happy. Not allowing someone to feel the sadness, anger or any other negative feelings is forcing them into delusion.
Let’s change the way we give positive feed back to each other. There are days when we just want to vent and whine without having “positive vibes” shoved down our throats. Putting pressure on yourself or someone else to be happy all the time can make you unhappy. Below is a chart that we all could use to show a little bit more empathy to ourselves and others. Other ways to get your emotions out are journaling or meditating. Let’s put an end to toxic positivity and add healthier ways to deal with our negative emotions.
Mental Matters because you matter…