IWill 2023-09-21 12:46 - 6 minute read

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5 signs of toxic positivity

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Well to answer simply, toxic positivity is trying to make a person feel their sad or painful emotions are invalid, it's a cancel culture of sorts where they are almost forced to feel positive, feel brighter magically without ever understanding or addressing the trauma the person has been through 

Despite the word positivity in it, as the complete name suggests, it has absolute opposite impact of this , it leads to toxicity, invalidation and more hurt and even deep seated pain, loneliness and need to escape.

Here are the 5 signs that reflect toxic positivity 

1. Trying to equate what others are going through with your situation

Don't worry worse has happened to me.

I went through this too. You are taking it far more seriously.

You know how I dealt with this is what you should do.....


If you talk to someone like this, first you are not giving them and their pain a space of independent hearing, second you are trivializing how they are processing it, you don't know what they have been through now and in the past, you don't know what support they have, you don't know what phase they were in right now. Their pain and emotions and situation is their own and this comparison and trying to one up is the worst thing you can do to someone going through painful circumstances.


2. Asking to stay positive and not think negative 

Such a blanket statement to say someone.

Someone has lost a job.

Someone is going through a health crisis

Someone has gone through the worst time ever in relationships 

Someone is missing their family in a strange land.

Someone is feeling lonely away from their family


Whatever it is, the reason they feel pain, and have these thoughts is because they are unable to cope as well with all the hurt. The last thing they need is a blanket statement on how they should be positive... 


They need to be listened to, they need help, they too want to stop those thoughts only if they were doing it on purpose but they are not! These thoughts are intrusive, automatic and painful for them..


3. Someone else is doing worse

Yes it's good to remind someone of how people are even less fortunate at places then them but everyone in their own pain cycle has the same level of pain.

If they lost something, they had it and lost it and it is a big deal for them. Sure practicing gratitude works but there is a way and space for it.

When someone needs emotional support, you can't tell them to feel guilt on feeling the pain. Because they are better off than someone. They are nor better off than what they were few spaces ago, so please be empathic!



4. We could endure so much more. You are all weak

Some people like to tell how much they endured and how it was so strong of them and the person now in front of them is displaying weakness but the reality is everyone is different. To dismiss their pain and worse to make them feel sorry about themselves in comparison to you is the worst thing to do.


5. Random tips on do this and that 

Get up and run now

Talk to people and your depression will be gone

Yes physical exercise and social bonding are must for healing but they need to be healed and heard first, atleast to a degree. It's true that therapists too recommend these suggestions but not to discount the person, after listening, healing, helping them see what all they can do, allowing and encouraging them to share their pain and feel.


If you are going through bad emotional pain and worse, people around you give you messages of toxic positivity, seek therapy now..it will heal you. You need to be heard, seen and healed

Not to be told, how you are the one who is doing it om purpose in some ways.. when you are suffering, you can't be given the burden of guilt and Shane further.

Positivity is when you lift someone up, be there for them, listen, love and help them heal. Toxic is added when you undermine their emotions and this is what is a total NO NO

If you feel you are suffering, start sessions at IWill therapy today. Iwill has country's best therapists who can help you heal, stand up for yourself, make changes to dynamics if it's a couple setting and help you come out of this unending cycle of toxicity, pain on expense of someone else who has probably severe self worth issues.


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