Toxic Positivity Destroys Happiness – Here’s How To Embrace the Negative

Life is a treasured gift, so we must always be happy. Everything is always wonderful. People who express negativity are “crushing our vibes,” we go out of our way to avoid anything that makes us feel bad.

It’s toxic positivity, and it’s not healthy.

What is Toxic Positivity?

Toxic positivity is the idea that we must always be optimistic about everything. We avoid negative emotions like the plague, refuse to engage with people who don’t support our wildest endeavors, and act like the world is bathed in sunlight and rainbows.

We act like anything that doesn’t conform to our idea of happiness doesn’t exist. We blatantly ignore potential challenges, opting to pretend it will all work without any additional effort on our part. 

People who offer realistic advice in desperate attempts to help us get sidelined. They’re standing in the way of our greatness, destroying our vibes with their pessimistic attitude.

What’s Wrong With Being Positive?

We should try to remain optimistic about our lives and situations. A positive attitude can keep us motivated and help us triumph over adversity.

But too much of a good thing can be detrimental.

Toxic positivity seeks to avoid anything that feels the slightest bit “bad.” But how can we know life’s greatest joys if we don’t also experience its deepest sorrows?

To live a full life, you must experience the breadth of human emotion. Toxic positivity strips away essential aspects of the human condition, leaving a veneer of happiness that seems robotic and forced.

Am I Guilty of Toxic Positivity?

The quest for happiness is so fundamental to modern society that many of us may exhibit toxic positivity without even realizing it.

Here are some signs you’ve confused happiness with positivity.

Avoiding Anything Negative

Remaining positive all the time takes tons of energy. To keep it up, you have to avoid anything unfavorable.

Ideas, events, entertainment, and even people who make you feel bad get ignored. You’re like the Lego, singing “Everything is Awesome” all the time because you can’t stand even a second of discomfort.

Fair Weather Friends

Even your best friends can’t escape your refusal to engage in negativity. You’re only there when everything is going well, but the second a friend needs you, you ghost because you can’t handle their problems impacting your life.

Constant Masking

The tricky part about being positive all the time is that we all know it’s impossible. You aren’t happy all the time; you’re just pretending.

You plaster that happy mask on your face to hide from the world. If you pretend everything is fine, you don’t have to be vulnerable.

Ignoring Problems

Everyone faces problems, but you can’t let yours dismantle your false sense of happiness, so you sweep them under the rug.

Of course, most of them only grow larger, but you’ll let it pile up for as long as possible to avoid any impacts to your cheerful veneer.

How To Stop Indulging in Toxic Positivity

Toxic positivity claims to offer the answer to all life’s problems. We think that if we can avoid bad feelings or experiences, our lives will be happy.

It’s a false claim that only hurts you in the long term.

Here’s how to stay positive without dripping in toxicity.

Self-Reflection

First, you must realize that you have an unhealthy relationship with happiness and positivity. You might think you’re protecting yourself, but you’re hindering your growth.

Take some time for self-reflection. Consider whether you’re intentionally blocking anything adverse from your life and dig deep to understand why.

Accept that Bad Things Happen

Life will never be perfect. Every single one of us will experience loss and hardship. We’ll get into arguments with loved ones, fail at something important, and lose our parents.

It’s not “negative,” it’s life.

You’ll never be truly happy until you accept that loss is part of life. It will happen, so you must be ready for it.

Allow Yourself To Feel

Toxic positivity forces us to block out all the negative emotions we feel, like guilt, sorrow, and jealousy.

But those emotions are crucial to the human experience. Stop blocking them out. Welcome them as a the gift they are: a gift that showcases your humanity.

Sit with the Emotions

After you welcome them, allow yourself to sit with them. Let the sadness wash over you. Cleanse yourself with a good cry. See how cathartic it can be.

Forcing yourself to sit with the emotions will help you realize that experiencing them isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t have to impact your happiness.

Learn To Overcome

Sometimes, the bad things can have lasting impacts on our lives. Many people who embrace toxic positivity do so because once they open the floodgates of negative emotions, they spiral.

You can’t allow the negative emotions to send you into fits of despair. If you’re unable to handle setbacks or arguments without a meltdown, you should consider seeing a therapist to help you unpack the trauma causing your disproportional reaction.

Be a Friend

Part of being a friend is being there in times of need. Talking a friend through a breakup or loss is uncomfortable. Many of us don’t know what to do or say to make it better.

But the trick is – you don’t have to make it better. You probably can’t.

It’s not about making things better; it’s about being there with them. Show them they aren’t alone. Let them feel all the grief and anger—feel it with them.

You’ll build stronger relationships, and it will help you become more comfortable experiencing the wide range of human emotions.

Embrace Challenges

Challenges help us grow. Those trapped in a loop of toxic positivity may hide from them, fearing failure. 

But sometimes, our best lessons come from failure. Embrace it. Allow yourself to try and fail. Learn from it and grow stronger. 

Think Critically

To stay positive all the time, we need to dismiss naysayers. But sometimes those negative Nancy’s have a point. 

Stop dismissing your friends and family’s valid concerns. They aren’t always trying to crush your vibes. Sometimes, they can see things from a perspective you’ve been ignoring. 

When you turn off your knee-jerk reaction and think through the issue critically, you’ll be able to tell whether they’re just being pessimistic or have uncovered a crucial challenge you’ve overlooked. 

Set Boundaries

Learning to distinguish between genuine friends in need and energy vampires looking to deplete your resources is vital.

Many people embrace toxic positivity because they’ve had far too many bad experiences with people obsessed with negativity.

It’s okay to cut contact with those who constantly bring you down. However, ghosting a friend who’s sad over a loss is very different. Recognizing the difference is crucial to developing a healthy relationship with your emotions.

Bad Things are a Part of Life

Toxic positivity seeks to delete all the bad events and emotions from life, but it’s a shortsighted, limited endeavor.

Obstacles help us grow, challenges build character, and experiencing a profound loss helps us cherish the things we have when we have them.

Avoiding any of those experiences keeps us stunted as shallow versions of ourselves. You’ll never self-actualize if you don’t embrace the full spectrum of the human condition.

End your obsession with positivity and allow yourself to truly experience everything life offers.

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