Toxic Positivity

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Vedhavalli, May 15, 2021.

  1. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Platinum IL'ite

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    Recent days I'm seeing a lot of people are practcing emotional avoidance and calling it a positive mindset. And keep saying 'positive vibes only'.
    Positive thinking for a trauma is not a cure, recently people are saying be positive it, why negative thinking etc.
    Our society has become obsessed with positivity and neglecting the truth and afraid to speak truthfully.

    Having a positive mindset definitely helps us moving forward, keeps us motivated and hopeful something is good is around the corner.
    But continuing to have that bright shiny look while ignoring the rest of the negative emotions that comes with human life?
    Ignoring own pain , ignoring others pain (mental physical) and over promoting 'positive vibes' it has become a mantra in internet world.

    How our desi people talk
    # it will work out
    # think positive
    # at have money house family
    # look on the bright side..
    # it could be worse
    # good vibrations be happy
    # everything happens for a reason
    # don't give up, giving advices
    # don't lose hope citing examples how they tackled
    # don't make it a big deal
    #cry baby it's not about you always.
    # you guys complain so much, back in my days

    NO NO NO

    Often our intentions are in good place, but these toxic positive messages can be received as dismissive, shaming, and misunderstanding.
    There is better approach to offer our empathy, understanding, acceptance and validation and above all sincere wishes, not insincere advices.

    If someone shares a problem, instead of saying anything from list
    We can say
    > I'm sorry you're going thru this
    > that sounds really difficult
    > I'm here for you no matter what
    > do you want to talk about it
    >what can I do for you now
    > it sucks not fair , it's not your fault
    > I'm all ears, I'm listening
    > your feelings are valid your not alone I'm with you
    > how can I help, how can I support
    > take rest cry over my shoulders
    > that sounds hard, I hear you..
    > all feelings allowed
    > things are difficult it's unfair to compare

    Not every circumstance needs silver lining. Stop spreading toxic positivity.
    Sharing authentic human emotions helps us to face challenges which often leads to growth and deeper insight.
    Let's support all emotions
    We cannot dismiss the reality and our emotions are complex.
    How you feel about the positive vibes trend?
    Do you feel it inspires you or you feel it has become toxic?

  2. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    Aren't you the trouble maker ?!! :roflmao:
    Positivity is a very difficult thing to pull, without evoking all that you had written.
    People on discussion forums might find it useful to avoid it(i.e., positivity); posting any response might get a person caught in the gooeyness of such goodness and become all sticky and uncomfortable.

    I really like this form, we can simply check a few boxes... and totally empathetic.
    Two negatives can make a positive, but two positives is twice as vexing.
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  3. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    I think it all depends on the effect on the person who needs positivity or change in the situation. Level of positive-ness is different for everyone. Things of both lists are not very different. Let’s say, “I am listening” and then give advice, both might work. H and I are big fans of talking to people when we have problems. We don’t look for solutions from them necessarily, but just talking might help even if no one can come up with new ideas. At least it allows a fresh perspective most of the times. But we keep only genuine friends and relatives. Other (toxic) negative people are out of our lives. This one is in line with your thoughts. We try to see through people now when they come up with fake positive vibes and ideas.
    nandinimithun and Anusha2917 like this.
  4. Minion

    Minion Platinum IL'ite

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    Accepting Failure, The First Step To Positivity

  5. Roar

    Roar Gold IL'ite

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    Theres a thin line where you can get our your negative thougts by positive enforcement and when you need external help.

    When the crowd is hiding pain and showing only rosy lives, its hard for people who want to talk too, they feel even more lonely and 'faulty'.

    One should try seeing with positive lens but also should know when to talk it out and seek help. Its very personal and depends upon each individual. Mass positivity therapy is dangerous to some who actually need help.

    My friend who needed help and she read 'The Secret' because it claims it had helped many people and it had adverse effect on her. She was now even more anxious that her negative thoughts will manifest because she thinks about them all the time!. It is true isnt it... the book says if you think hard it will manifest and it comes true. For her it made her fears worse and went deeper into depression. Thankfully she is getting help now and she has been doing well...

    Just because many found it helpful woudnt help you in your state of mind!
    ranju5 and nandinimithun like this.
  6. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Nicely written, Vedhavalli. Because of the two lists and succinct sentences it is actually more readable than articles on this topic on the internet.
    I agree with all that you have written and this in particular: "Not every circumstance needs silver lining."

    It is not a recent trend though the pandemic might have increased how often we come across it. I realized a while ago that expressing our emotions /feelings anything but contentment or acceptance is frowned upon. If we express any emotions that are not positive, cheerful, we have to be sure to accompany that with something upbeat, something that shows we are "positive" about things.

    "That sucks", "that's tough", "not fair" are responses we can offer without the conversation becoming a pity-party. The "at least ...", "look at the bright side..." and examples of how they/others tackled the problem are the fastest way to dismiss someone's feelings.

    I have just learned to avoid the overly positive people or keep interactions with them up-up and light.
    Vedhavalli likes this.
  7. ranju5

    ranju5 Silver IL'ite

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    I agree with what you are saying. The trouble is that every one is now an expert in "The Secret" When this happens they are just being parrots. I have had this so many times that now I just smile and let them babble on with their false positive speech. I know I will probably get lots of comments about this. Sometimes one just needs some one to listen to them not give any advise. Also it takes a lot of guts to really open up and pour out your feelings so perhaps
    listening with understanding is more important. Take an example of some one trying to question what is written in "The secret". If one immediately jumps on them saying oh but you must be positive otherwise your negative thoughts will manifest: how is this going to help. The book raises a lot of questions and people are afraid to ask because they dont want to be judged as being negative. Its good to know that the way we view any circumstances is important, but its also very important to be able to speak freely and understand what being positive actually means. Not advocating that we spread negativity but rather listen if that is required and then decide what to say.
  8. Anisu

    Anisu Platinum IL'ite

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    OP, i was wondering how this would be toxic?
    These days i see a lot of people give up easily. I dont see any harm in giving advices from our experience and citing specific examples isnt it?
    Before citing an example we do listen carefully to the person. Once it is analysed, we would give an example of how did we come out of a similar situation. Atleast in my case i have seen people coming back and telling me that those examples have helped them to tackle the situation. They might not do the excat thing but atleast couple of points to grab from the situation and work towards betterment.
    These are my thoughts.
    Metamorphic likes this.

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