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Toxic Positivity and How to Avoid It

Looking at the bright side of things isn’t always as easy as it seems in movies, and nor should it! Staying absolutely positive all the time is not a good thing as it may be blinding you from looking at things objectively. I’m sure we’ve all been told to keep a positive outlook on life, and there’s really nothing wrong with it, but you’ll need to pay attention to the intensity and the volume of your positivity to make sure that you stay on the right track and keep learning from things that happen in life, not just dismissing it as negativity.

You see, in this age of social media, where people constantly post about being positive all the time, every time, it’s really quite easy to get lost in the sea of positive persona because most of us wouldn’t want to be called Debby downers by our peers on social media, but this is not the way to go. This is what is called “toxic positivity”, and yes, positivity, just like its sadder counterpart, can also be toxic, so let’s talk about it.

Toxic positivity here means being permanently positive about everything. It doesn’t mean that you process your surroundings, emotions, etc, and decide to look at the better side of things and learn from your mistakes to improve. It doesn’t sound very bad until you consider how being positive all the time means that you also never end up confronting your negative emotions; anger, jealousy, envy, and end up bottling them up because you’d like to “remain positive”.

Another problem with toxic positivity is constructive criticism. Look, you can choose whose critiques to listen to and whose not to. That’s entirely up to you. But when you have toxic positivity, what will end up happening is that you’ll start closing yourself off from the outside world because you’ll deem it to be too negative for you, and you’ll start feeling that everyone is trying to bring you down with their negativity.

But doing this not only blinds you from the truth, but it will also cause you to lose faith in other people.

You see, when you remain positive all the time no matter what, you become too positive, and you’ll feel like any form of negativity, be it criticism, advice, or simply just people disagreeing with you to become something of a personal attack against you, further hindering your growth as a person, ruining your mindset, and ultimately stopping you from developing and becoming a better person.

But there’s a way to avoid it and it’s quite simple.

First of all, you’ll need to understand that learning to accept criticism isn’t going to be very pleasant, but you’ll need to do this if you want to keep growing and maturing as a person. Learn to understand and analyze this criticism, understand where they’re coming from. If you feel like they’re not valid because it’s not something you feel like is wrong with yourself, then don’t listen to it. But learn and try to set aside your ego and try to understand that no one is perfect but you can always try to improve on yourself.

Second of all, when you’re going through something that might be bad, like a loss of employment, or rejection, try not to be so hard on yourself. Sometimes learning to understand where you failed and how you could improve yourself in the future matters more than the failure itself. Learn to look past your mistakes and improve on them instead of mulling over something that’s now in the past and is therefore beyond your control.

Being positive is a good thing, but no good will come from toxic positivity. You are not perfect; no one is, and that’s absolutely fine. Learn to look at things more analytically and take lessons from the unpleasant things that you’ll face in life. You’ll not only grow as a person by doing so, but you’ll also gain more knowledge in the process.

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