3 WAYS TO SPOT IF YOUR POSITIVITY IS ACTUALLY TOXIC

Do you ever wake up and decide that this is going to be an amazing day, no matter what

Published in Write To Inspire, a Medium publication.

Photo by Alexas Fotos

You might feel tired and sad inside, but you are determined to ignore those feelings so that you could have a great day. For a short period of time, you might actually feel good, focusing on your daily tasks from work or home, but after a few hours, you are drained of energy and quite irritated by anything. You don’t understand why. You have filled your head with positive words and images. How come you are not super energized and pumped all day?

I’ve experienced some days like that. The intention to be more positive comes from a good place, usually for everyone. For me, it was about changing my mindset and the negative chatter from my mind. I’ve soon realized that thinking ‘happy thoughts’ is not enough and that we are not supposed to be pumped about life every day.

Photo by cottonbro

We know that our internal dialogue influences a lot about our lives, from how we interact with others to having the courage to speak up or apply for a new position. So, we should all work to make it more supportive and positive. But how do we spot the toxic positivity from our minds?

1. Feeling Guilty When Experiencing Negative Feelings

Do you beat yourself up when you are sad, disappointed, or just melancholic? These feelings are usually not encouraged or praised in our societies, so it is no wonder that we are not able to feel them without judgment. If you notice that you are doing this, try to just observe and feel them, it’s a process, and it will take some time to not feel guilty anymore, but start by caching yourself when doing this.

2. Repeating Positive Affirmations Just To Distract Yourself

Are you saying, ‘Life is wonderful. I am grateful. I’ve got this.’ x 100 in your head just to avoid dealing with a crappy situation or day? Even if you have a pretty good life, you will still have things that you want to change, bad days, or difficult situations. If you are using some positive affirmations that you don’t really believe in and feel when saying, everything will get bottled up in a jar and explode at some point, as Vanessa Van Edwards also explains in her article, Toxic Positivity: Why Positive Vibes are Ruining You. So, try to feel and sit with the negative emotions as well.

Photo by Prateek Katyal

3. Telling Everyone Around You To Just Think More Positive

If someone comes to you with a problem or just telling you about a negative experience or feeling, are you always suggesting to them to think more happy thoughts? This is not only dismissive, but you are also encouraging people to stop to open up, which will probably make you do the same. This will lead to being distant and frustrated, rather than more positive. Learn to listen without judgment, be there for them, and do not dismiss their feelings.

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/toxic-positivity/#5-dangers-of-being-too-positive
Infographic by Science of People

I am still working on minimizing the toxic positivity from my head, it’s a process that takes time, and starting with noticing when you do these three actions is the best way to build authentic positivity. After reading these, do you think you’ve ever experienced toxic positivity in your life?

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