2020 / 4 / 22
“Good Vibes Only”& Toxic Positivity.. How can positivity be toxic ? Shouldn’t we strive to be more positive? Healthy positivity can help us have a calmer and hopeful outlook on life but when we choose to ignore, suppress and dismiss all other natural emotions it can become toxic.We cross into the realm of toxic behavior when we encourage others´-or-expect ourselves to be nothing but positive all the time. We are meant to experience a vast range of emotions, and all of them are necessary for a full human experience. Some emotions are certainly uncomfortable but let’s the label of “negative emotions” there are no negative emotions! Emotions are just that... e- motion, energy in motion, and they are all natural and normal, it’s vital to allow yourself to experience them,feel them and allow them to pass naturally. Encouraging someone recovering from a trauma´-or-going through a trauma like chronic illness, homelessness, etc... to “just be positive”´-or-“stop thinking so negatively”´-or-“good vibes only” is not as helpful as intended. In fact Its rather unsupportive and dismissive of that persons valid experience. To dismiss, and invalidate is unfair and unrealistic. Instead of saying “good vibes only”, “Just be positive!” “Everything will work out” “stop being sad and just be happy” try “what your feeling is natural and it’s important we accept even the uncomfortable experiences.” “I know this is hard and I’m here with you” “you have gotten through hard times before and I believe in you.” “I know it feels terrible right now but would you like to try something you enjoy?” Switching from supportive, validating and accepting language from dismissive and invalidating makes a world of difference. So feel those feelings it’s safe for you to be mad,sad´-or-angry.