Toxic positivity: how to avoid the positivity trap

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Toxic positivity can be described as rejecting, denying, or displacing “any acknowledgement of stress, negativity, and possible disabling features of trauma. Photo: Pexels


(Tiffany Sauber Millaci/ Positive Psychology) — “Just think happy thoughts!”

“Don’t worry, be happy!”

“Look on the bright side!”

“It could be worse!”

“Good vibes only!”

Although well intentioned, these phrases can be downright harmful. It turns out that the phrase “too much of a good thing can be bad” also applies to positivity.

The overgeneralization and encouragement of happy emotions across all areas is referred to as ‘toxic positivity.’ How can positivity be toxic, you may ask? Positivity has a time and place, and if ill timed or relied on in an inappropriate situation, positivity has the potential to be dangerous. Everything in moderation. (…)

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