Kilburngaelshurlingclub.org – This time we’re gonna talk about toxic positivity. When you guys hear the word “toxic,” what comes to your mind? Surely, you immediately think about something that ain’t good. You wouldn’t want to befriend toxic peeps, would you? Likewise.
Toxic positivity (noun): the overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state that results in the denial, minimization and validation of the authentic emotional experience.
Usually, those who are labeled as “toxic” are people who won’t support us, feel happy when we’re in deep sh*t. Overall, those who like to give harsh criticism (but it isn’t constructive for sure). Anyway, you could say those who are labeled toxic are people whose behavior is harmful and can direct us to do destructive things as well.
But, let’s just admit that we rarely heard the word “toxic positivity.” Meaning? You’re toxic, but you’re positive. More or less, it is a condition where a person does not accept negative things. That person only takes positive things and does not allow negative thoughts to appear to thyself.
Well, I have to admit it sounds a little tricky. You see, the problem is that when someone feels upset, you don’t need to give a variety of “positive vibeeeesss” like you guys usually do (let’s admit that), i.e., “You’re lucky enough! He (blah blah blah and start to compare your life to another person who has a stroke of bad luck or whatever). Be positive!”
For real? Dude, what the heck? How would you feel if you were in their shoes and your friend whom you confide in said that straight to your face? Upset? Annoyed? Hurt? Yeah, guess so.
These “positive words” may not be encouraging your friend. For all you know, it could be offensive to your friend. Would you like your friend to say, “Hey, A is an orphan, would you just be grateful you have a mother figure growing up! Be strong, be positive!” to you when your mother was in the hospital fighting for her life? Mmhm, yeah, that’s what we call toxic positivity, my friend. You’re not supporting them, you’re spreading toxic positivity.
What you have to do is:
1. Appreciate their feelings
Many of us rarely listen to others. Like… listen. You know, try to understand what it feels like in her / his shoes. You hear people talk about their problems, but do you listen to what they’re telling you?
Learn to listen and appreciate what they’re feeling instead of judging them. Unfortunately, when other people confide in, more often than not, we provide “motivations” that we think are good. But the thing is, it may not do good for your friend. Instead, it discourages your friend. Let them express what they feel. Don’t cut the conversation with toxic positivity, okay?
2. Do not compare
Not everyone has to have the same level of patience, tolerance, and strength. Please note that. Everyone has their own way of dealing with their problems. There are those who face their problems and consider it a challenge that must be overcome. Some find their issues as a frightening specter. Why do you think some people commit suicide?
3. Constructive advice ≠ toxic positivity
You have suggestions? Give a constructive one; try not to offend your friend. The purpose here is that your advice can motivate your friend to change their standpoint. And please try not to make words that allude to it. And remember, do not compare!
Just remember those three points mentioned above. You don’t want to become that person who spreads toxic positivity, my friend. Rather than encouraging others, you tend to give psychological burdens to others. Trust me on that. Be a good listener instead and respect your friends’ feelings. Sometimes, people don’t need to be criticized or given a bit of advice, what they need to do is vent their ass off. So, you better listen cause you don’t know how it feels like.