Toxic Positivity

What is toxic positivity?

  • When something negative happens, many people hear “Just stay positive,” or “Look on the bright side,” or “Everything will be fine.”
  • When someone dies, often we hear “Everything happens for a reason,” or “They are in a better place now.”
  • When you’re depressed or sad, “Happiness (or any other emotion) is a choice,” or “Don’t worry, be happy!” or “It could be worse!” are common phrases others utter.
  • It is a form of shame that is basically used to tell someone that their emotions are wrong and they should change them.
  • It can cause guilt. Along with shame, the person feels guilty for not appreciating the good things in their life.
  • It can be an avoidance tactic, used to avoid emotions that are taking place during a negative event. This can prevent growth by avoiding the challenge as opposed to facing the situation.
  • Avoiding or brushing off problems rather than facing them head on.
  • Not showing others or yourself how you really feel about something
  • Minimizing others’ emotional life when they are being vulnerable or asking for help.
  • Feeling guilt or shame about your own emotions, especially any “negative” ones.
  • Putting on a happy face or being stoic about a problem or difficult emotion.
  • Shaming other people when they “don’t have a positive attitude.”
  • Throwing out aphorisms like the ones we spoke of previously if someone is having a bad day.

Avoiding toxic positivity

  • Actively listen instead of chiming in right away.
  • Use the Triforce of Communication to ask what they need.
  • Show someone you care about them instead of using words.
  • Learn to be gentle with yourself when it comes to the emotions you’re feeling.
  • Remember it’s okay to feel more than one emotion at once.
  • Limit your social media intake.
  1. “I’m here to listen” instead of “Just stay positive.”
  2. “That must be so difficult” instead of “Look on the bright side.”
  3. “I’m here for you” instead of “Everything will be fine.”
  4. “I am so sorry” instead of “Everything happens for a reason.”
  5. “What can I do to help?” instead of “They are in a better place.”
  6. “Your feelings are totally valid” instead of “Happiness is a choice.”
  7. “What are you struggling with?” instead of “It could be worse!”

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Multiamory

We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of #love: everything from #conciousmonogamy to #ethical #Polyamory and radical #relationshipanarchy.