We’ve all heard the time period poisonous positivity earlier than, although most individuals aren’t certain what it means. Whereas optimism and positivity are useful in sure conditions, it may be dangerous to drive somebody to really feel completely satisfied once they aren’t. This poisonous positivity occurs once you don’t permit your self or another person to expertise their destructive emotions. As an alternative, you promote and encourage them to be positively invalidating their emotions. It’s the other of validating emotions and sitting together with your troublesome feelings. On this article, we’ll be discussing every little thing it’s worthwhile to learn about poisonous positivity and why it’s so dangerous.
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What’s poisonous positivity?
Poisonous positivity is being overly obsessive about positivity even when issues are going horribly. Whereas it may be wholesome to be optimistic, it’s not one thing try to be on a regular basis. There needs to be extra stability between positivity and negativity throughout particular conditions.
You may’t anticipate individuals to be completely satisfied and optimistic on a regular basis, notably in conditions of stress, trauma, or loss. When coping with one thing complicated like grief or loss, you shouldn’t be requested to repress your emotions simply to place a optimistic entrance. Most individuals have good intentions as a result of they don’t know the best factor to say or do, that can assist you as you battle with destructive feelings and troublesome life occasions. Nevertheless, it’s irritating for the individual struggling as a result of their emotions aren’t acknowledged, and so they aren’t being supported.
What makes this poisonous positivity is the extra you drive your troublesome feelings out of the best way and change them with false positivity, you’re not doing your self any favor in processing what you’re feeling. Poisonous positivity promotes that you simply’re not allowed to point out your destructive feelings and that for those who do, it makes you turn out to be much less of an individual. The truth is life is all about emotions and experiences. Generally they’re great, however typically they really suck.
What makes poisonous positivity dangerous?
1. It’s shameful
There’s one thing so shameful about repressing your feelings and pretending to have every little thing collectively when in actuality, you’re falling aside. It results in repressed feelings once you actively promote poisonous positivity, which is a really unhelpful method of processing your feelings. It makes you consider that your personal feelings aren’t legitimate. You find yourself feeling shameful for even feeling them. Positivity may be wholesome, however to not the purpose the place it encourages you to numb your troublesome feelings out.
Validating an individual’s feelings and emotions in the meanwhile of trauma, loss, or difficult occasion might help them by their emotions in a wholesome method. Individuals will typically undergo the levels of grief, even throughout traumatic conditions. By going by all of the steps as they need to, you permit them to finally determine how one can settle for and transfer ahead from their ache. So as a substitute of sharing your poisonous positivity, first acknowledge how difficult it have to be for them.
2. It makes you much less human
The facet that makes us human is experiencing each good and dangerous feelings. Once you drive your self to really feel pure positivity and optimism, you’re depriving your self of the power to really feel human. Ache and different difficult feelings, akin to grief and loss, are all a part of the human expertise. Whereas happiness and pleasure are each good experiences, it’s not the complete human expertise.
Keep away from asking individuals to be optimistic as a result of it makes you uncomfortable or pissed off seeing different individuals in ache. Be there for individuals the place they’re at of their emotional journey, as a substitute of anticipating individuals to be the place you’re at in yours. You may communicate positively to somebody with out anticipating them to be optimistic.
3. It encourages sabotaging conduct
The extra you repress your feelings, the extra you’ll resort to unhealthy habits like ingesting – all since you didn’t sit together with your feelings. Poisonous positivity is principally saying you shouldn’t really feel no matter destructive factor you do, however it is best to at all times be completely satisfied. Even when your world is virtually falling aside, it says that it is best to at all times have a look at the brilliant aspect. There’s nothing wholesome about this, and as a rule, the extra you drive your feelings to be numb, the extra your feelings will overwhelm you when you’ll be able to’t shut them out anymore.
Underneath extraordinarily tense conditions like trauma, performing like every little thing is okay often causes a state of affairs to amplify 10x. For example, an individual who doesn’t get the assist they want instantly following trauma is extra prone to develop post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) than somebody who will get the assist they want early on. Encouraging poisonous positivity after a traumatic occasion may be the rationale why individuals have to go on incapacity to heal from PTSD.
4. It prevents development
You may’t develop and turn out to be higher for those who’re at all times repressing your feelings and forcing happiness out of you. Whereas happiness is such a great feeling, you’ll be able to’t drive your self to really feel it on a regular basis. It simply doesn’t work that method. Once you shut your self off from the difficult emotions, you’re additionally shutting off the potential for studying from them.
When somebody is in a number of ache, it often results in a make-or-break second for them. Most individuals have to hit all-time low to assist themselves. By permitting individuals to undergo their journey of ache and struggling, they create the life they need for themselves within the aftermath of the ache. It might result in a creative outlet, making their option to discover a therapist to assist them, or studying a guide that offers them that means. Let individuals discover their ache of their method.
Examples of poisonous positivity
1. “You’ll recover from it”
“You’ll recover from it” is one standard instance of poisonous positivity being portrayed. Once you continuously inform individuals to recover from it, even when what they’re going by is especially troublesome. Even when their state of affairs isn’t one thing you perceive, it is best to by no means inform somebody to recover from it. Not solely are you missing invalidating their emotions, however you’re diminishing their battle and ache. Do not forget that each individual’s experiences and ache tolerance are totally different. Simply since you don’t perceive what they’re going by, doesn’t imply it is best to invalidate their ache by the promotion of poisonous positivity.
The truth is just not everybody will heal from troublesome occasions. A mother or father won’t ever recover from the loss of a kid to most cancers. A rape sufferer won’t ever recover from their trauma and should eternally change how they view the world. A firefighter won’t ever recover from the individuals she or he couldn’t save from a burning constructing. In so many conditions, poisonous positivity isn’t useful and isn’t one thing to recover from.
2. “Don’t be so destructive!”
When coping with one thing troublesome, the very last thing we wish to hear is to not be so destructive. You may’t rush the method of shifting on together with your troublesome feelings, which makes poisonous positivity so sabotaging. Even in order for you your self or others to stay optimistic, that’s not how actuality works. You’re going to really feel complicated feelings, and that’s okay. It’s all a part of what life is all about. Being destructive throughout a nasty state of affairs is a really regular response.
3. “At all times have a look at the brilliant aspect”
We’ve stated this a minimum of as soon as in our lives – to at all times concentrate on the brilliant aspect of issues. Nevertheless, not solely can this come off as condescending, however you’re making them refuse to take a seat with their feelings. The factor is, it’s worthwhile to sit with even your most insupportable feelings if you wish to transfer ahead and turn out to be happier. You may’t simply drive happiness in a single sitting, as that’s not the way it works. Most significantly, typically, there is no such thing as a shiny aspect. Particularly with conditions like grief and loss, there’s not a shiny aspect to take a look at, so saying that is poisonous positivity.
4. “Failure isn’t an possibility”
We’ve all had this line stated to us a minimum of one level in our lives, principally by our dad and mom or household. Nevertheless, failure is massively regular, and most often, it could actually even encourage your path to success. In case you at all times strain your self to be excellent, you’re additionally self-sabotaging your personal progress and success. Any perfectionist will inform you that you may solely study out of your experiences and turn out to be higher at overcoming errors and failing. Failure is an possibility, and it’s okay, so long as you rise again up and study from that have. Probably the most profitable individuals all failed a number of occasions, even on the factor they’re recognized for, such because the lightbulb’s invention or the discharge of Harry Potter books. Failure can inch you nearer to success, so go forward and fail.
5. “Assume completely satisfied ideas”
“Assume completely satisfied ideas” can undoubtedly be useful in conditions of a panic assault or anxiousness. Nonetheless, if it’s all you ever say to somebody once they’re coping with a troublesome state of affairs, then that’s poisonous positivity. It’s good to study to encourage sitting together with your darkest ideas. That doesn’t essentially imply that you must dwell on them and even consider your ideas, however solely in sitting together with your ideas are you able to truly study one thing from them.
Practising a guided meditation might help you discover ways to sit with robust feelings. You’ll discover meditations for each emotion: optimistic and destructive, that can assist you get on observe on the Declutter The Thoughts app, which is free. You may also observe alongside to meditation movies that can assist you management your feelings once they get too chaotic.
4 Methods to deal with poisonous positivity
1. Validate your emotions
Whether or not it’s for your self or in direction of others, it’s worthwhile to study to validate feelings. That doesn’t imply that the best way you reply primarily based in your feelings is legitimate, but it surely merely signifies that all of your emotions are worthy of acknowledgment. Whether or not it’s grief, loss, anger, resentment, anxiousness, and even despair, you’re allowed to really feel all these items. It may be troublesome, however these destructive feelings are what make you human. Settle for your emotions for what they’re, and let it go solely then can you progress ahead.
2. Keep away from repressing your emotions
As an alternative of regularly operating away out of your feelings and repressing them, do your greatest to face feelings head-on. You don’t mechanically want to know your feelings, however it’s worthwhile to cease utilizing distractions to close your emotions off or numb them. You may’t repress your emotions your total life, and doing so will lead to extra harm than good. The extra you repress your emotions, the extra seemingly you’ll burst when the time comes that you may’t deal with your feelings.
3. Speak to somebody
There’s nothing unsuitable with speaking to somebody about your emotions so you’ll be able to course of them higher. This is likely one of the healthiest choices you’ll be able to select from in coping with your feelings moderately than selecting to numb your self out or to drive happiness once you’re not but prepared. Whether or not it’s speaking to a good friend or a counselor, it’s important to speak to somebody that can assist you course of your feelings higher. It’s additionally a reasonably good feeling after speaking to somebody about what you’re going by, even when they’re simply there to hearken to you.
4. Don’t drive happiness
Whether or not it’s you that’s feeling notably down or others, don’t drive happiness. You may’t rush the method as it’s worthwhile to sit by your darkest feelings to get previous a tricky impediment. Ache isn’t one thing you’ll be able to rush, but it surely’s one thing it’s worthwhile to be affected person about. Poisonous positivity occurs as a result of we wish ourselves or others to really feel good immediately, however this by no means works out for the most effective. Forcing happiness once you’re not prepared is detrimental to your psychological well being since you refuse to validate your feelings and study from them.
This text highlighted every little thing you wanted to learn about poisonous positivity and why it’s extremely dangerous to you and others. This isn’t one thing try to be selling to your self or different individuals. Let the darkish feelings come and study what you’ll be able to from them, however don’t rush happiness. Even when sitting together with your ache and struggling is so uncomfortable, it’s all a part of the method. In any other case, for those who skip by the levels and go straight to happiness and pleasure, your troublesome emotions are nonetheless there lurking, and also you received’t have the ability to transfer ahead, which is what you’re after, afterall.