A Deep Dive Into Toxic Positivity + Why It’s Harmful

If you’re finding yourself exhibiting toxic positivity, Spinelli says the best thing you can do for yourself is to simply accept your feelings without judging them. “You have a right to your emotions,” she emphasizes. And on top of that, she adds, “Be mindful of social media messages that may elicit comparisons and create a version of how you are ‘supposed’ to feel.”Noticing when toxic positivity is creeping in can also require some mindfulness on your part, whether you’re being that way toward yourself or others. When you find yourself avoiding or deflecting tough emotions, as Spinelli says, try to be present for them.And if you’re dealing with a friend or family member pushing toxic positivity when you’re feeling down, it’s the same idea—and it’s important to stand firm in your truth. Only you know exactly how you’re feeling, and someone telling you to “just keep your chin up” isn’t always productive or helpful. Explaining that you want to feel the tough emotions before looking on the bright side, or want to be more OK with processing and feeling them, should get the message across.

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