Toxic positivity sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. It’s a real thing that can be a real problem in the workplace. There are definitely benefits to optimistic thinking, but disregarding negative feelings entirely is unhealthy and can lead to serious issues. Let’s take a closer look at how to recognize toxic positivity and how to avoid it in the workplace.
So, what is toxic positivity? Toxic positivity is the attempt to maintain a positive attitude no matter how difficult or painful a situation is. Unlike healthy positive thinking that acknowledges painful emotions, toxic positivity rejects any difficult feelings. It is a false veneer of positivity and cheer, stuffing down and ignoring any negative emotion.
There is nothing wrong with trying to find the bright side of bad situations. In fact, having a positive outlook on life is good for your mental health. The thing is, life isn’t always fantastic. Bad experiences and painful emotions are going to happen whether or not you want them to. While these circumstances are unpleasant, you have to let yourself feel them and deal with them.
Toxic positivity blows the idea of a positive attitude out of proportion. It minimizes and outright denies the presence of any emotions that aren’t part of a cheery facade. It denies you and others the ability to get the support you need to cope with what you are feeling. People practice toxic positivity not only on themselves, but on other people as well. The attitude leaves people feeling as though their emotions are being ignored and invalidated.
Everyone should know the signs of toxic positivity in others and in themselves. It will help you identify the behavior and put a stop to it before it causes more damage than it already has.
Do you recognize some of the warning signs in yourself or in others? If so, it’s important to know how to cultivate a more healthy attitude in the workplace. Here are some things that will help you avoid toxic positivity.
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