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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107 thoughts on “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.

    Liked by 5 people

  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.

    Liked by 4 people

      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.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 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.

      Like

  3. 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! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 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

    Liked by 5 people

    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.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. 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 🙈😜.

    Liked by 2 people

    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 😜

      Liked by 1 person

      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 🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  6. 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!

    Like

  7. 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! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    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. ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

      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! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

            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. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            2. 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 😂

              Liked by 1 person

  8. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

    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!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “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

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 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.

    Like

    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.

      Like

  12. 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😊

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. “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!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 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. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    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 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 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”
    💖💖💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

    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 👍🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  17. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. 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!
    Matt

    Like

    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.

      Like

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