What is toxic positivity? It’s the belief that you should appear happy, even if you are struggling. So picture a person who is skipping through a lollipop land of shiny faces and perfect families with a basket of daisies singing show tunes all the time.
Like that’s for real?
Now there are benefits to being an optimist for sure. But toxic positivity takes positive thinking to an extreme. It minimizes and denies any trace of human emotions that aren’t strictly happy and dismisses difficult emotions. That’s BS.
We need to make room for those emotions, too. In fact, the way to happiness is to acknowledge and work through struggles instead of burying them in a deeply dug latrine.
I’m going to be brutally honest. When I express sadness and someone says that “happiness is a choice,” I want to punch them in the face for suggesting it’s my fault for not “choosing” to be happy.
It causes guilt
It avoids authentic human emotion
Most importantly, it prevents growth. Because toxic positivity promotes avoiding painful emotions and denies us the ability to heal emotionally. I have learned to laugh again. And not because I forced myself but because I allowed myself to feel my way through all the pain so I could find it again.