There’s a difference between having a generally optimistic point of view — and suffering from toxic positivity. This recently-trendy term refers to a person who lives by the idea that everyone should be happy, all the time, regardless of how stressed they or someone else may be about a current situation, explains psychologist Dr. Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. In many ways, it’s a ‘fake it until you make it’ approach to life that often prevents you from accepting how you really feel — and honoring the feelings of others.
As Dr. Thomas puts it, toxic positivity rightfully has that name because it blocks you from being in touch with your entire range of emotions. As a result, you begin to operate as a robot — not as a human. Being constantly cheery can cause you to misread, misinterpret, misunderstand, and have difficulty relating and connecting to people who aren’t on your same level.
To cut this out, welcome, honor and accept everything you feel, from sadness and joy to annoyance and fear. “It is unnatural and unhealthy to shut down emotions just because they may be upsetting or uncomfortable,” she continues. “In fact, it is important to learn to accept what feelings are normal to have about unhappy or stressful situations and to allow yourself and others to have reactions and emotions even if they are the unhappy ones.”
Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. is a top rated therapist In Los Angeles. To read the full article “What Is Toxic Positivity? And How Can We Avoid It?” visit edit.sundayriley.com.