Is there such a factor as an excessive amount of, compelled and even “poisonous” positivity?

I would reckon that many would mechanically reply that positivity is at all times a superb factor, however I’d beg to vary.

We’re in a world the place we’re making an attempt to be extra aware of others (for those who’re not, you is likely to be a part of the issue, simply sayin’). In fact, having a sunny outlook on life is deemed an endearing character trait, however what if that very factor makes you dismissive of others struggles? Is an excessive amount of positivity a foul factor?

What is toxic positivity and why is it problematic?

I got here throughout the time period “poisonous positivity” the opposite day, and it actually resonated with me. I’ve at all times thought of myself a “reasonable” – which some who’re impossibly optimistic may confer with as being adverse.

I’ve at all times discovered those that are optimistic only for the sake of not being adverse arduous to narrate to; It may well appear not solely phoney however truly invalidate real considerations.

Now, I am not one to mechanically toss out the time period “poisonous’ on issues as a result of I discover it extremely overused. However I do consider there’s dismissive positivityand poisonous traits can result in it.

I’ve executed a bit breakdown of dismissive positivity, in addition to methods to reply to somebody who may come at you with it. Hold studying, and let me know the way you’ve got discovered coping with people who find themselves unobtainable optimistic.

What is Toxic Positivity?

In keeping with Psychology In the present day, “the phrase”poisonous positivity” refers back to the idea that holding optimistic, and holding optimistic solely, is the precise solution to stay your life. It means solely specializing in optimistic issues and rejecting something which will set off adverse feelings.”


I’ve a good friend who solely ever responds to arduous conditions with feedback like, “nicely simply be optimistic!” and “there are individuals on the market struggling a lot worse”. She thinks she’s forcing my hand in feeling optimistic, and it could not be farther from the reality.

Surely, utilizing language like that is dismissive of somebody’s struggles, challenges and feelings. It is empty and meaningless, dismissive positivity, dare I say.

Equally, when you do not take note of emotions except they’re purely optimistic, it provides off the impression that you’re unapproachable and unrelatable.

The difference between toxic positivity vs hope and validation

I’ve discovered one of these dismissive positivity is absolutely sturdy within the motherhood area; As moms, we are sometimes anticipated to justify our emotions for worry of somebody pondering we do not depend our blessings.

A brand new mom is likely to be having a very tough go along with postpartum melancholy and listening to one thing like, “However admire what a lovely child you’ve got!” after trusting somebody together with her emotions may very well be extremely hurtful and presumably damaging.

“Youth doesn’t equal happiness. We all know this about cash, success and fame, however why will we count on our youth to mechanically be completely satisfied/grateful/optimistic?”


That is additionally one thing I discover widespread within the Child Boomer technology and older, in direction of younger individuals, as nicely. the entire, “Younger individuals you have to be completely satisfied how good you’ve got it!” is such an unproductive response. Youth doesn’t equal happiness. We all know this about cash, success and fame, however why will we count on our youth to mechanically be completely satisfied/grateful/optimistic?

“As moms, we are sometimes anticipated to justify our emotions for worry of somebody pondering we do not depend our blessings”

What is toxic positivity and how does it negatively affect your mental health?

Society has led us to consider that the one “proper” solution to stay, is optimistic.

It is okay to really feel adverse about one thing, and spoiler alert: That does not make you a adverse particular person!

It is 2020 and which means we won’t simply chalk individuals as much as being overly delicate, adverse, dramatic or annoying, purely as a result of they are not optimistic, do not ya suppose? People are fairly advanced creatures and simply as we do not stay in black and white, we additionally do not feel that approach.

There is not simply good or dangerous on this world, and there additionally is not simply adverse and optimistic.

Solely ever on the lookout for the intense facet or silver lining could briefly look like a optimistic solution to transfer ahead… however what if we switched out “optimistic” for “validation” or “hope”? Listening to the feelings and circumstances of your self and others in a productive approach may very well be probably the most optimistic administration of emotions going ahead for the long run.

So the following time somebody says they’re having a extremely arduous time in life, or responds to one thing in a approach that expresses a adverse emotion: Validate them, and provides them hope.

Let me know for those who’ve skilled poisonous or dismissive positivity in your life, both from another person or if it is one thing you end up doing.

Do you end up mechanically wanting to reply to somebody with an empty optimistic time period?