Toxic Positivity. It’s a thing. So many things initially seem good, and harmless. “Good vibes only,” “No negativity,” “Be positive, stay positive,” you get the gist.... We see these quotes all day long on T-shirt’s, social media, bumper stickers etc. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these sayings or the intentions behind them, but it’s absolutely, totally 100% ok to not be ok all the time. Anger and negativity are often symptoms of depression which is a serious mental illness and telling someone with depression to “stay positive” just won’t work and can cause more harm than good. The problem I see with this positivity culture is that people who may already have a hard time expressing themselves end up suppressing their feelings even more so if they are made to feel less than for emotions that are a very real part of human existence. Anger, despair, doubt - these are all normal feelings and sometimes they need to be felt and worked through in a healthy way. Accepting our emotions is the first step to not letting them control us and practicing compassion towards ourselves and those who may be struggling is much better than brushing off valued emotions as “bad.” Yes, constant negativity can be draining and damaging but so can brushing aside the feelings that aren’t necessarily chosen by someone.
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