Exploring The Effects Of ‘Toxic Positivity’

Sometimes being positive isn’t going to help the situation. The world is tough out here, and we don’t want to look on the ‘bright side’ any longer!

There are one of two ways everyone goes about dealing with all the negativity going on. You’re either serially criticizing everything and everyone or staying optimistic through it all.

Staying in the middle of these two complete ends of the spectrum can be a little challenging! While being negative all the time can drain you, have we explored what staying positive all the time does to you emotionally?

Not dealing with things.


Trying to remain in a constant state of positivity means you’re going to cast your negative feelings aside. Not dealing with things at present is going to force you to face those emotions in the future.

You can look at the bright side, but after you’ve dealt with your emotions. Process your feelings, the loss of a loved one, or the feeling of isolation, and then gather yourself and push forward.

People can’t relate to it.


Going through bad things is all part of the experience of life! You can’t stop people from feeling sad, angry, or anxious. Those are valid emotions that deserve to be felt.

Being positive and encouraging people to get through those emotions makes it difficult for them to relate to you. They may even find it difficult to confide in you because they feel as if their feelings are invalidated!

Where is the balance?


You have to find the balance between the good and the bad. Just like yin and yang, there is some good in the bad and vice versa; you have to accept it and experience it all!

“It (tragic optimism) acknowledges the difficulties and the pain and the suffering of what’s going on, and at the same time, the ability to maintain hope,” Emily Esfahani Smith.


Tragic optimism is a means of finding a lesson in the difficulties of life. Yes, loss is hard! But we learn to appreciate our loved ones and enjoy life’s precious moments because of it!

It isn’t always easy maintaining the balance, but we do our best to try. If you feel like you’re slipping off one end of the scale, voice it. There is no shame in the truth. You just have to open up and be honest, especially when you’re venting!


“When we give ourselves permission to hold multiple seemingly conflicting truths in our minds at the same time, we can eliminate the tension between them and give room to all of our emotions—both positive and negative,” says Jenny Maenpaa.

When you’re venting, tell people what you need in return, so you’re not riled up in the end with no results! Leave room for all your emotions; don’t get stuck in a negative or positive loop because you don’t want to end up with a breakdown!

Written By:
Dr Saadiqah Hajat

Recommended Posts