Can positivity be toxic?

Can positivity be toxic?


As surprising as it may sound, the truth is that there is indeed a dark side to positivity.

No, I am not a negative dimwit who is in frowns and shrieks all the time. By writing this post, I am trying to oppose the idea of always making your life look cool while deep down you are in a tumult.

If we completely deny negative emotions as if they don’t exist, it leads to toxic positivity. We as humans praise a lifestyle that is free of worries and stress.

you aren’t a smiley ball to put up a smile always!

But, can the sky be sunny all the time? No, it will not. It becomes cloudy whenever it has to. Similarly, our lives come up with bizarre and tense situations alongside the happy ones. The first response seems to be “Be positive”.

This is what I am partly against. I don’t believe in the complete disregard of the existence of feelings and emotions. If one feels sad and sorrowful, first and foremost, accept its existence. It is tough to simply abandon what you feel at the moment and immediately wear a mask of fake positivity.

Like there are two sides to every coin, the human mind is supposed to process both emotions.

We know at least one person who is always optimistic. They represent Willy Loman from “Death of a Salesman”. They tell us to be happy and think positive always and always, driving us to be delusional like them.

Here’s a conversation:
Person 1: I feel like crying. I don’t know how to handle it.
Person 2: Shut up! Don’t keep whining or I will be mad at you. It will be okay on its own.

This is not the way to react ideally. Positivity is just a part of life. Not the only way to live. No one can. This kind of mindset makes the person more repressive.

forced positivity only leads to more isolation and repressed state of mind

Here’s how an ideal, judgment-less conversation should be like-

Person 1: I feel like crying. I don’t know how to handle it.
Person 2: I understand. It happens. Take your time. Cry your heart out. If you feel like talking, do ping me! I am there for you.
Person 1: Thank you. I hope I can deal with it.

Never repress your feelings and never tell the other person to drop negative emotions just like that. It ain’t easy. Rather show some empathy and remind them you are there.

Acceptance might be a small room. But once you enter it, you find peace.

“The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side… It has revealed to us much about man’s shortcomings, his illnesses, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his psychological health. – Abraham Maslow”


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