How to Support Yourself In The Face of Toxic Positivity

“Don’t worry, be happy!” isn't what you need right now.

Rachael Kable
Mind Cafe

--

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

You’ve had a long day at work. You’re tired. You’re stressed. You walk in the front door of your home, place your bag on the floor, sit down on the couch, and take a few deep breaths.

Your feelings must be clear to see because your partner walks past and says, “Cheer up, sunshine. Life’s not that bad!” And you feel a sudden rush of rage, sadness, and shame. Rage because you’re tired and stressed, and the last thing you needed was an inconsiderate remark thrown your way. Sadness because you don’t feel supported. And shame because someone you love has seen your real feelings, judged you for them, and found you lacking.

Toxic positivity might seem harmless, but it can be surprisingly damaging, especially when you’re already feeling vulnerable. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Jaime Zuckerman, “Toxic positivity is the assumption, either by one’s self or others, that despite a person’s emotional pain or difficult situation, they should only have a positive mindset — or my pet peeve term — positive vibes.”

One of the reasons why toxic positivity can be such a tough issue to tackle is because the person behind it often has good intentions. Or, they might not know how to validate…

--

--

Rachael Kable
Mind Cafe

Writer and hopelessly devoted reader - just ask my husband.