First, let’s get to the meat of it: what IS toxic positivity?
It’s denial masquerading as positivity. Here’s an Illustration:
Just so you know, this is the start of a comic in which the dog’s face eventually melts off in the fire, even though he stays “positive,” aka in denial. Why do I say denial? BECAUSE THE ROOM IS ON FIRE! I need to ask this question: If your emotions are on fire, do you say “this is fine,” or do you acknowledge that your emotions are on fire? Duh, you admit your emotions are on fire. Toxic Positivity does not do that. It only glosses over any emotional turmoil you’re going through.
The best course of action for emotions is to let the emotion run its course. It’s like hiccups. Very few people will admit that hiccups will subside within two hours in almost all cases, so they gauge crackpot cures, like scaring the sufferer. It’s this toxic focus on “positivity” without acknowledging a person needs to acknowledge their emotions that are bogging them down.
So, what do we do when faced with troubles that bring up emotions? Well, we acknowledge our emotions about the situation, and THEN we go about solving the problem, if we can. If not, we just let our emotions subside. Usually, an emotion too shall pass.
Anyway, here’s another way to put it. There are people out there to harm themselves deliberately. I’ve even known a few of them. They explain to me that the reason they harm themselves, is to release all the pent-up frustration and unacceptable emotion. This is a side effect of toxic positivity.
Yet another way to put it: drug addicts tend to be traumatized people. They tend to want to avoid their unacceptable emotions by using drugs, and then they get physically and psychologically dependent on the drugs. An addiction is born. All because of toxic positivity.
Then there’s tha stigma: “No one wants to hear about your depression.”
Well, I’d rather hear about your depression…
….than hear about your self-harm,
….than hear about your drug addiction,
….than hear about your death.
If the room is on fire, This is NOT FINE.