Toxic Positivity

On yesterdays post titled “Anxiety”, I mentioned how I’ve been feeling a little low and I talked about wanting to share it with you guys. I tried to explain what I meant but it was the middle of the night and I had just woken up and added that part so I was unable to share my thoughts properly. Special shoutout to the cats fighting in the background and distracting me.

So, I thought I would share my thoughts today and be a little more articulate about it. As I mentioned, I didn’t want to share that information for sympathy or anything like that. The reason I wanted to share that information is because of “toxic positivity.”

If you are unfamiliar with what toxic positivity is, please click here for more information on it. I don’t want to go too much into it because that’s not why I’m writing this post. No, I’m writing this post because once again it’s time to put the whine in lifesfinewhine.

As someone who does social media management I spend a lot of time on social media on behalf of my clients and I see a lot of stuff on there. And one thing I’ve noticed about social media is that there is really an abundance of toxic positivity on there and it drives me a little crazy (well crazier than I already am- shoutout to my anxiety and depression).

I think people really want their life to seem perfect on there and it encourages this notion that it is possible to have a perfect life. Except, it’s not. No ones life is perfect and everyone has their problems. What toxic positivity does is encourage people to repress their negative feelings and act like things are perfect when they are not. It also makes people associate negative feelings with shame or guilt because they feel like they shouldn’t be experiencing them. Lastly, it makes them less empathetic to other peoples negative feelings and these are often the kind of people that tell others to just “be happy and not worry about stuff.”

Basically, toxic positivity has truly opened up a whole can of worms and not the delicious gummy kind. It has not only led a lot of people that suffer from mental illnesses astray but has also perpetuated the notion that mental health issues can simply go away by being positive when in reality it takes a lot more work than that and for some it may take professional help and medication.

Negative emotions exist for a reason and we experience them for a reason. It’s unhealthy to live in some kind of delusion where everything is okay all the time. Negative emotions can be painful and difficult to process which is why so many of us shy away from them but in reality all we are doing is repressing them. We push them into a little jar and close the lid tightly but what happens when the jar gets full and overflows? Rather than having to deal with that it’s so much easier to learn to process negative emotions. Experience them, process them and learn to move on from them in your own way.

The reason I wrote about experiencing negative emotions was because I wanted to be real and not act like I have some kind of perfect life because I don’t. Just like everyone other person on this planet. I have my issues and problems. I experience negative emotions and that’s okay. And I want everyone reading this blog to know that. Don’t be fooled by the people online or in your life that act like everything is perfect because I guarantee you they have issues and problems too.

This is a weird place to end the post but your girl needs to work now. Thanks to everyone who left a comment on that post- I read each one including the ones WP decided to wrongfully put in my spam. This is honestly just the best community to be a part of. And remember- it’s okay to feel like crap sometimes. It’s okay tasty in bed and not be productive sometimes. It’s okay to smack your neighbour because they’re making noise while you’re trying to write a post not be okay sometimes. Nothing last forever and pobody’s nerfect.

YARN | Well, pobody's nerfect, right? | The Office (2005) - S08E06 Doomsday | Video clips by quotes | 685c3f60 | 紗

I hope this post made sense- it was a little too ramble-y but some of you really enjoy that so I don’t know?? I tried to keep the words to a minimum too but it seems I’ve already reached almost a thousand and me rambling on about how much I rambled on this post probably isn’t helping. I mean it’s helping with my SEO but not great for readers. And here I am rambling again so I’m just going to go now.

If you are experiencing negative emotions and don’t know how to deal with them or find them too overwhelming please do seek professional help especially if the emotions don’t go away over time.

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130 responses to “Toxic Positivity”

  1. This . . . “Don’t be fooled by the people online or in your life that act like everything is perfect because I guarantee you they have issues and problems too.”

    Yup. True. Very true, indeed.

    1. Thanks so much. I think a lot of people especially younger people see stuff on the internet and believe which can be very damaging.

  2. I think it is a difficult balancing act. Some people tend to be up more than others. Some people were taught not to talk about everything. So, some people don’t know how to react. Some people will react badly in any case. So, there are a variety of people and ways of dealing with things. This is what makes life hard.

    1. Yeah I absolutely agree. Different people react differently.

      1. Sometimes they don’t have enough information to know what to say too….or don’t know about the full extent of things. It happens. That’s life and why it’s hard.

  3. Yes. That makes a lot of sense. Straightforward honesty is a rare commodity.

    1. Yeah especially on social media. I feel like people are more honest on certain platforms but social media is really filled with a lot of fake bragging.

    2. Well actually, life definitely is full of problems. In my humble opinion: some problems can be solved immediately, some over a long time. And some problems, instead of being solved, can only be managed in a good way. ( Which kinda solves them).

      But what helps us manage all problems is our beliefs, which bring about internal peace and the right mindset. They tell us how to react to different situations.

  4. A great post, Pooja. It’s so true about social media, these people try to make themselves look glorious but it’s just not true. I am not easily influenced, but it’s easy to see how SM can damage young people badly. Get some sleep! ❤️

    1. Thanks and I definitely agree, people who are easily influenced can really be victims of social media sometimes. Thanks! ❤️

  5. Thanks for this informative blog. I called it informative, as I’ve learnt some things after reading it. You are amazing for sharing this. I didn’t know about toxic positivity. Yes, a lot of people have issues, and they hide it online to seek the approval of fan. I really don’t trust social media with anything, because most of the time people are actually lying there. Like someone will say, eat this diet to get abs, that’s a lie. I mean, people are sharing stuff which they know is of no use, but they are doing it for the views. I like how you have talked about this, as a lot of people are confused about it and they really needs help. This blog will definitely encourage them. A lot of people look upto you, including me and this blog is really helpful. Yes, wp community is cool. I haven’t met anyone toxic and I’m learning a lot here. Sorry for the long comment

    1. I appreciate the longer comment and glad you found the post informative. Yes, most people share misinformation for the sake of likes and views which is so horrible. It’s important to take everything you see on SM with a grain of salt.

  6. I agree that social media can be very misleading, especially for younger people who maybe don’t realise that life isn’t perfect. I am one not to post negative things online. Firstly as I haven’t had many sad things to express thankfully but also because I don’t want an outpouring of sympathy either. I like to deal with things in my own private way. Everyone is different I guess. I do think it’s good that people share when they are not feeling great though, either physically, mentally or emotionally as people can relate and be empathetic. Great post Pooja. I hope you get some sleep too, those cats would drive me mad 🙈😜.

    1. Yeah I think it’s the worst for younger people who can sometimes be more gullible. I definitely don’t expect everyone to share the negative stuff, I think I mostly just hate it when people are aggressively positive or act like negative emotions should be repressed. I feel like me sharing my negative stuff evens that out a little if that makes any sense 😂 Thanks and yeah the cats eventually stopped before I threw something out the window 😜

      1. Totally agree Pooja. Aggressive positivity…I have never heard that term before but I so know what you mean! I really don’t like that either 🙈. I’m glad you didn’t have to throw something out your window 🤣🤣

        1. I don’t know if aggressively positive is actually a thing but that’s always how I think of people like that 😂

          1. I like the term and I have witnessed this first hand.

  7. Thanks for sharing! I wrote a post on this topic too.

    1. Thanks and I’ll check it out if I haven’t yet.

  8. Very well said. It’s not good at all for you to suppress your emotions when you are not feeling good.

    1. Yeah I think it’s important to take the bad with the good.

  9. Well said pooja! Great post

    1. Thanks so much!

  10. Another great post… we have this in education! I am a public school teacher and it is so hard to handle the toxic positivity. I am so glad you are sharing this… keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks! Oh wow that’s sad- unfortunately I think kids are effected much more by social media and such issues than adults.

  11. Ah, I can understand this. It’s about accepting your emotions and feelings. I always spread positivity, I also have been like this my entire life. I struggle a lot too. Never knew there was such thing as toxic positivity.

    1. Glad you get what I meant. I think spreading positivity is great but when it becomes toxic positivity it becomes an issue.

      1. Yes, I didn’t know that was a thing. I am enjoying all the knowledge. Thank you for sharing. You are helping so many people. Including me. 🙂 Stay Shining

        1. Oh good- very happy to hear that. 🙂

  12. You are all Beautiful in your own Individual way. Keep your head up. You are such a Beautiful Soul. Stay Shining

    1. Thanks so much and you are too.

  13. I wrote about this too

    1. Oh that’s great.

      1. Let’s keep it up!

        1. Absolutely!

  14. I had to step away from working in social media all together bc it’s so toxic

    1. Yeah I definitely understand why you would do that. It can be extremely toxic for sure.

  15. I have a tendency to post positive stuff on Instagram not because it’s to remind me that there is another way to see the world, how to approach problems, and healthier ways to communicate. It’s another tool to approach depression and anxiety for me.

    I had a bad day with anxiety recently. Enough so to miss work.

    I really appreciate you being so vulnerable here. Thank you Pooja! 😊

    1. Yeah I definitely get that and I like when people share stuff like that but some people really act like life is perfect and anything less than perfect is wrong which is what gets to me. I don’t know if you’ve come across any of those (hopefully not) but it’s unbearable. It’s usually like influencers and stuff who are promoting something.

      Sorry to hear you’ve been having a rough time with anxiety. I can relate. Take some time out to take care of your health. ☺️

      1. Agreed. It’s like the opposite extreme where everything is bad. Both are in denial.

        I think I have, but didn’t stay long because I get that gross feeling in my gut that they are fake. Or are a salesperson using me. I’ve seen far too many ads and know a popup when it appears. 😅

        Thanks for the well wishes! 😁

        1. Yup, both extremes are not a healthy way to experience emotions.

          Lol I swear some of these people on social media are just salespeople in disguise 😂

          1. Says the lady who sells services 🤣

            1. Which reminds me… would you like to buy something from my services page?? 😂

              1. Sigh. Damn you and the helpful things in your trench coat… 🤑🙃😅🤦‍♀️ Maybe next month? I’ve been doing more SEO research, and realize just how much work my website needs. So much so I might need to start from scratch? Maybe a rebrand too. Ahh… I gotta figure out some things.

                So, until next time Ms. Trenchcoat with an accent. 😉

                1. My trench coat is always filled with helpful things and occasionally drugs to sell to high schoolers… 😂😂

                  Yup SEO is an insane amount of work- literally been updating my posts and making them SEO friendly for over a year. It’s paying off but damn is it a lot of work. And the annoying part is they keep changing what’s SEO friendly so you have to keep updating stuff. Okay, I’ll stop ranting about SEO now 😫

                  You mean Ms. Trenchcoat who sounds exactly like Danny DeVito 😂

  16. Great post! This is true that social media influenced people so much. People thinks that their life is so perfect, but this is not true. Thanks for sharing this post.

    1. Yeah SM has too much influence on peoples lives. Thanks so much.

  17. beautiful honest sharing Pooja! 💖💖🥰

    1. Thanks so much!💕☺️

  18. We need happy, not perfect…

    1. Yes- that’s exactly it!

  19. you my dear are unique and I will only say Rise Higher because only you can do what you do and that’s what’s got you to where you are. blessings for all that’s up ahead, the roads just taken a curve and the next stop is going to be fun, drive on. Cheering you on.

    1. Thank you so much. Your kind words really mean a lot to me.

  20. Makes a lot of sense. The whole positive thinking while ignoring the pain and reality can be harmful. I think it is better to acknowledge reality and be interdependent with those we trust.

    1. Yeah absolutely. I think a more healthy route is to experience those emotions and learn to process them.

  21. Great post pooja. Everybody experience negative emotions which are not entirely bad. These emotions need to be acknowledged and dealt with.

    1. Thanks and yes exactly. We all experience negative emotions we just need to learn to process them in a healthy way.

  22. I felt it but i didn’t know it has a name ‘toxic positivity’, i am happy to finally have a description of how i feel most of the time. That’s great! (seriously)

    What do you mean your life is not perfect? (sarcasm) it’s perfectly Chaotic and out of Control, Messy and Monotonous. i like to think of it as a norm, everything that’s not like that is somehow Unique, Unusual or Ultimately Uppish. well, i could come up with more adjective, i think… i was just being silly. i love puns, alliteration, hyperbole and sarcasm, especially sarcasm.

    1. Glad this post help you find the name for it. I came across it a few months back and it just clicked.

      Haha I always enjoy puns and sarcasm and all the rest. It’s always welcome here!

  23. “Negative emotions exist for a reason and we experience them for a reason. It’s unhealthy to live in some kind of delusion where everything is okay all the time.” THANK YOU. Beautiful. Well said. Following

    1. Thanks so much. Glad you feel that way too.

  24. I believe that despite of what many people think, our society is making a great progress in tackling mental health issues. In the olden days we could also be put down by people’s bragging about their perfect lives, but let’s say it would happen weekly, before church.

    Now we see the bragging every day, and our circle is enlarged by all sort of celebrities and instagram influencers, spending their days at the beach with their perfect tan.

    1. I definitely agree that a lot of progress has been made when it comes to mental health but I think we still have a long way to go.

      Yes, I think bragging has always existed but it has gotten worse thanks to social media.

  25. Actually I used to say this as Forced Positivity where many times people give you unrealistic hopes and create a strawberry surrounding which actually have a lot of deviation from the pragmatic life…so it can make the scenario more worse and horrible…instead of giving false relief we must face the real situation and must act / respond accordingly.

    Thanks for putting and highlighting such a concern about which we generally don’t find a discussion😊

    1. Yeah forced positivity works too but I think the name that’s commonly used is toxic positivity. Means the same thing of course.
      I couldn’t agree more. We must face all the situations in our life even the difficult ones we may not want to.

      My pleasure and thanks for reading as well as leaving this insightful comment.

      1. Yeah, onwards I will replace word Forced with Toxic 😅

        I read some of your posts those are incredible…and your follower count is letting me know kii these many people you wordpress 😂😂

        1. Thanks haha 😂

  26. “We push them into a little jar and close the lid tightly but what happens when the jar gets full and overflows? Rather than having to deal with that it’s so much easier to learn to process negative emotions. Experience them, process them and learn to move on from them in your own way.”

    I love this, especially the jar example. So true. Thank you for sharing, Pooja!

    1. Thanks so much. So glad to hear that!

      1. You’re welcome!

  27. The post makes so much sense to me.. And pobody’s nerfect

    1. Thanks so much and yes absolutely.

  28. I used to feel that way. I called it the “cult of happiness” and disliked the social expectation always to say “I’m fine” or whatever. Things changed as I grew older. Now that I have reason to believe in God, I’m of the ‘Good of good and bad’ school. That doesn’t deny the bad but for me reframes it… big time. 🙂

    1. I think it makes sense to be able to control your reaction to negative stuff. As long as you don’t deny or repress the negative emotions we experience that’s fine. Glad you have gotten to such a positive place 🙂

      1. Yeah, it’s partly self control, like if someone else annoys me, and partly being carried by a higher power, which really is the source of the positivity. 🙂

        1. That’s really great.

  29. This is an excellent post – these issues are very important. I also do social media for my job and understand what you say about toxic positivity. We can’t just put a positive spin on our lives and expect the difficult things to disappear. Thank you for being so honest.

    1. Thank you so much. I’m glad you understand too. I think most people who spend more time on SM get it. The negative stuff needs to be dealt with not repressed. Thanks for your comment.

  30. “It’s unhealthy to live in some kind of delusion where everything is okay all the time.” Very well said.

    1. Thank you so much.

  31. You guys are doing great job. can you visit my website? I just start I will be posting soon. My website is

    1. Thanks and I’ll check it out when I get a minute.

  32. Love the post, so educative. Not everything on social media is real. Some live a fake live to deceive others. I wonder why!
    No one is perfect, everyone got one, two or more issues/problems to deal with.
    I just hope many won’t be moved and go deep into thought due to a person’s lifestyle which look so perfect on social media.

    My advice to any individual will be
    “Be U” “Live Your Life” “Be happy”
    “Everything would be okay”
    “You are doing great”
    “Smile always”
    “Keep moving”

    1. Thank you. Yes, people online can be fake and their lives that are shown on SM is often quite fake too. It’s sad because it effects a lot of people negatively especially young kids.

      That’s excellent advice 👍🏼

  33. 💕u re welcome

  34. This! I’m so glad toxic positivity is becoming increasingly more recognized and talked about. Like you said, negative emotions exist for a reason. They usually teach us that something is wrong in our environment and needs to be addressed. So shoving them down does nothing but create bigger problems down the road.

    1. Thanks! I absolutely agree. Negative emotions help us better understand our surroundings and are often a sign that we need to change something. Repressing them only makes them come back stronger.

  35. Good post, Pooja. If you are aware of what’s going on social media ( that you pointed out) then it’s really great👍 you are very right what you have observed.

    1. Thank you so much. Glad you agree.

      1. My pleasure 🙂

    2. she must be aware of what’s going on social media

  36. Great post! An dyou explained very well the main issues behin toxic positivity and social media in general! To me, the worst thing behind toxic positivity is that it “forces” you to see the good in things that don’t *have* to be good all the time. It is good to be optimistic and all, but sometimes, the best way to feel better about something is actually to accept that the situation is shitty, to sit with your bad feelings for a moment and then, when time is right, it is easier to move on. Just shoving every negative emotion aside is actually terrible!

    1. Yeah that’s so true. Some situations just suck and that’s the reality of it. Acting like it’s not that bad can actually be more damaging!

  37. I totally agree with this! We have labelled negative emotions as something that does harm but in reality, emotions actually point us to our values. When we feel the negative ones, it means that our values are being threatened. That’s why it’s more important to know how to be curious around our emotions than repressing them. Yes they are uncomfortable, but definitely worth exploring.

    1. Yes, absolutely. Emotions, even the negative ones, have a place in our life and often are a warning of something being wrong such as what you mentioned with our values being threatened. They don’t feel good but they exist for a reason.

    2. yes you are right but every single thing has pros and cons

  38. Very well written. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks so much.

  39. Great post! I love all your kinds of posts, but I find myself able to comment more on the personal ones. The ones with advice are just as great but I find I have nothing to say because I just soak it in like a sponge.

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, I think these kind of posts are more interactive rather than informative.

  40. Thank you for sharing this in-depth perspective of dealing with toxic positivity. You have given me a much better understanding of the feelings of negative emotions and how to process them. In the digital world, we live in, it’s oftentimes difficult to comprehend that not everything is as it seems and everything isn’t perfect all the time, nor should it be. I thank you for the honesty and for helping people like me who struggle with negative emotions sometimes by giving a better conceptual foundation for why we feel crummy sometimes and also learning from those feelings to move forward.

    Great stuff!

    1. Thank you. I also struggle with negative emotions so you are definitely not alone. But processing them instead of repressing them is always the best way to go.

  41. I couldn’t agree more. Great post.

    1. Thanks so much.

  42. You make some very good points. Toxic positive is indeed those people who tell you to only think positive thoughts. One must also sit with the negative in order to grow. However, I do think that, on social media, there is as much a tendency to wallow in the negative as there is to post “perfect lives”. It all depends upon the platform. Go on Twitter and you will drown in the morass of negativity being posted there.

    I happen to be one of those annoying people who believe that complaining and negativity is contagious. So while I’m with you on how life isn’t always perfect all the time, and that we don’t need to pretend it is, I would also add that, when it comes to complaining, I am of the “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” category.

    To be clear, I’m not talking about productive complaining such as this blog where you’re pointing out a problem. I’m talking about complaining or being negative for post after post, and making it your identity. While the desire for validation is strong, we shouldn’t always share every negative thought we have.

    Hope you get some sleep. Great post.

    1. I absolutely know what you mean and thanks for sharing your thoughts because you’re right. The other extreme of only sharing negative stuff is just as bad.

      I did get some sleep and I’m much better now. Thanks so much.

  43. I totally feel you there!

    1. Thank you!

  44. What happens when the jar gets full? Well let me tell you. You feel trapped like nothing you do is good enough and you will never find a way to break out of your rut get to the better place you want to be.

    1. Yeah that’s exactly why it’s so important to let things out when you need too.

  45. Negative emotions do exist for a reason! This is amazing, it isn’t possible to be happy all the time and that is okay. I have embraced being stable😂😂 just be stable or just okay. Life is so much better if you feel what you need to feel as it comes!

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, absolutely. We all experience negative feelings and that’s totally okay. You just need to learn to deal with them in a stable way 😂

  46. Hi, are you available for guest post??

    1. Not at the moment unfortunately.

  47. I’ve read this blog before but I had to revisit this again to understand much better. As, someone recently told me that I’m doing “toxic positivity”. Then there was a conversation with a friend and your blot came into my mind. I’ve shared it with them 🙂

    1. Oh I see, why were you told you’re practicing “toxic positivity”?

      1. A fellow blogger shared something about their life.
        I commented that, you know how to deal with it and I’m sure you find a solution to it. I sent her some positive vibes 😅
        They told me they don’t appreciate toxic positivity. I had to visit your blog to learn more about it. Because, I swear I had no clue what it is(I still don’t completely understand it). I don’t believe I practice toxic positivity.✨

        1. Lol that’s not really toxic positivity. Sending positive vibes is just like saying “you’re in my thoughts.”

          1. This is why I revisited your blog as I remember you have written about it 🙂
            It is kind of tricky situation, if we share positivity, people will say it’s toxic. If we don’t say anything, people will say you don’t care. If we start guiding them, people will say you are teaching us. haha

            1. Yup there’s no winning 😕

              1. Well yeah….
                Good thing is there are bloggers like you who spread quality content and smile.

  48. Wow… This is so true in so many ways. My first time reading your post and I love your rumbling 😂😂😂
    Negative emotions will always find way in our life. What we need to do is just deal with them in whatever way we can. What’s wrong is the suppressing them with positivity and believing because you are all positive they no longer exists. Just so what you have to do to deal with them.
    Your posts makes so much senses i didn’t get to see any rumbly I enjoyed every bit of it!!!😍🙏😍

    1. Haha thank you so much. I am famous for my ramblings (not at all really) 😂

      Yes, absolutely. Negative emotions are just as necessary as positive ones. Thanks again! 😊

  49. […] This six word story in particular is inspired by societal norms. I think as humans, we are often expected to mask our true emotions especially when they are negative emotions such as pain, sadness, anger etc. And we are expected to be okay all the time. For a species that constantly asks one another, “how are you?” we don’t always answer this question honestly. In fact, most of us say we’re okay even when we are not. Which leads to toxic positivity.  […]

  50. […] to add that the reason I don’t read a lot of self-care books is because they are riddled with toxic positivity. Something I am strongly opposed to. But Re-Create And Celebrate By Cindy Georgakas is nothing like […]

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