Sarnika A Toxic Positivity
What is toxic positivity? Toxic positivity is telling people to always stay positive even though their circumstances are is clearly not fitting the situation. Telling people everything’s always going to be okay and essentially having a positive spin on practically everything. It is like everyone posting on social media, only the good side of what’s going on in their lives.
It can make others feel they’re not where they should be compared to everyone else and essentially it makes people feel like they should be doing more, working themselves harder and trying to meet everyone else’s standards. It makes people think that they can’t talk about things that aren’t going well. If you say that you have a high achieving personality and you’re always doing a lot more than you should be and you’re always posting your accomplishments it kind of turns you into someone who can’t talk about your struggles or your struggles wouldn’t be validated.
So it can feel like when they do have a family struggle or educational struggle, then it’s not good enough to talk about it or to be public about. When you’re showing people your accomplishments and achievements, everyone supports you, and everyone is happy about it. But when you’re telling other people that they should be at that level, or you’re using your accomplishments and achievements to show other people that they’re not doing good and that they should be doing better is where it starts affecting mental health.
How do you think we can respond without being toxically positive? The basic practices of empathy would be really important, essentially just validating other people’s emotions and struggles and telling them that it’s okay to feel not okay, and it’s okay to have emotions that aren’t happy or aren’t positive, or to feel like everything’s going to fall apart sometimes.