Toxic Positivity Vs Positive Outlook..

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by anika987, Nov 9, 2022.

  1. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    What is the difference? I think @Rihana started a thread on this..

    I feel I was mentally conditioned by toxic positivity..

    My mom taught me..
    1) See ONLY the good in people and don’t find faults.

    2) Don’t be sensitive

    3)control your emotions

    4) Try to get a good name from in-laws
    (I know we need to give respect but why good name or medal??)

    5) Always stay silent in any situation and adjust so that relationships don’t break.


    I feel the above are toxic positivity.I am in my forties and still struggling emotionally due to the above.The inner child in memos not yet healing.

    I mom taught what she knew best.My upbringing is total crap surrounded by toxic relatives. My mom forgot she is a different person and am different..anyways..
    I think the above are toxic positivity.

    So can anyone different and clear what is positivity and what is toxic?
     
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  2. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Being positive can help you to overcome difficult phases in your life, however toxic positivity does the exact opposite. It eventually makes you feel like you deserve less, and it is ok to be treated bad. Toxic positivity is a life skill, that support you to survive in difficult situations. But it never helps you come out of it.

    May be I can share an example from my own life.

    When my brother's little girl was diagnosed with Leukemia, the entire family was down, upset, not knowing what to do and are surrounded by negative thoughts and self pity. The people around us tried to lift us up by giving toxic positivity, saying " your girl is lucky, because you found her illness at an early stage", "your family is lucky, because you have the financial means to beat the illness" and so on.
    They tried to make us happy during such dreadful moments. They believed giving such positivity, no matter how toxic they may be, was the only way to keep us going. But that didn't help.

    Recognizing the problem, and accepting as it is the only solution. No matter how hard it may be, acceptance is the road to solution.

    What helped us towards acceptance, that the child was in danger and the road to recovery was long, with so much hardships and uncertainty was the positivity. The real positivity!!!
    The hope in us, the hope in the hospital, the hope in science and the hope in God.
    We knew it was hard, yet we knew it is doable, because we were positive about it.

    There was no going back after that. We always hoped for the best, we always dreamed of a future with this little girl, and planned things accordingly.
    This helped us forgetting the negativity around us.

    Today, after almost 3 years of battle, the girl is Cancer free for a year now. She is doing perfectly fine like any other 8 year old. Thank God.
    Looking back, the journey seemed normal, and nothing like unbearable as we felt before.

    I still remember, my brother was completely broke down and even said that he would commit suicide if something happens to his child. But positivity helped.

    Apply the same logic in everything!
     
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  3. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you SBGV..well said
     
  4. brahan

    brahan Platinum IL'ite

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    Obey elders.no matter what they say..This was imbibed in to me very deep
    This has caused me many sufferings..
    This actually creeped in to work as well as I used to blindly do all work whatever the seniors dumped on me..NOW I talk back..question..rationale...reject

    Now when my mom was trying to tell the same to my children..I stopped her..I said, just because someone is elder it doesnt mean we need to listen to them blindfoldedly ..my children should learn to question, argue, negotiate and not accept something passed on to them
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Actually, I consider many of your mom's value as invaluable for life's purpose.

    1) See only good in people and don't find faults: The real life intereaction experiences with others in life works like winnowing. You take the best out of everyone to emulate and leave the parts that are undesirable to be fixed by themselves. If they ask guidance, one can suggest how to overcome such faults. This is definitely not toxic.

    2) Don't be sensive and 3) control your emotions: Sensitivty in a way is somewhat related to emotions. When we express our emotions too quickly in a sensitive way, it demonstrates how our mind works to others giving them opportunity to make use of it to make us more vulnerable. We can keep our emotional reactions to ourselves and refine the response we give towards such emotions. Emotions are meant for us to overcome situations such as fear, anxiety, mourning, anger, jealousy, etc. Expressing emotions to others is not helpful at all.

    4) Try to get good name from inlaws: This one requires refinement. One can treat inlaws with respect and help them when they are in need but it doesn't mean to take any amount of abuse surrendering the self-pride. Good name is never given but earned and it should work both ways. There are DILs who say MIL is an outstanding person even in this forum while others sweat the presence of their MILs. MIL also should consciously try to work towards building a good relationship with DIL. A generic direction one should get good name from inlaws is toxic unless it is described as "respect them when they express good attitude and temperment and their words of wisdom is for better living and not criticism of DIL's family or her inability to perform chores at home.

    5) Always stay silent in any situation and adjust so that relationship will not break: This one also requires refinement. It is not about staying silent in any situation. One has the right to defend his/her own self-pride and his/her family values. Staying silent is not a solution for all situations. However, we need to have measured response without using languages that are not palatable to anyone. Staying silent is a good option, if and only if, we suffer from lack of resistance in expressing whatever we feel like expressing in a language that we will regret later on.

    I definitely see 4 and 5 as toxic (and not even as toxic positivity) as described unless it is refined further.
     
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