We get nervous, tired, often unhappy, grumble and succumb to despondency. At these moments it is very easy to get angry even during a harmless conversation, then, of course, apologize and explain everything to the interlocutor — with whom it does not happen. And there are people who behave in exactly the opposite way: they never complain, do not want to hear about «bad things» and find refuge in the positive, answering all doubts with the classic: «Everything will be fine.» And what if it doesn’t?
When Positive Thinking is Toxic
There are people who always try to be positive, at any cost: those who like to pat you on the shoulder and say, «Don’t worry, everything will be fine.» They often lose patience with those who cry; they do not want to hear about failures, depressions, crises and act with slogans as motivational coaches.
Motivating yourself and others, finding solace and not giving up is the right thing to do, because constructiveness helps to resist the «roller coaster» that our life is like. But the problem arises when a person drowns out heavy emotions with the effort of a positive look.
We have a lot of good things inside. But there is also a lot of sadness, anger, moments of frustration in which everything seems unsolvable; out of uncertainty, anxiety, confusion.
When there is a goal to be achieved, support can make a difference because it increases the level of motivation. Nevertheless, there is a huge space that has nothing to do with goals, successes or failures, benefits and disadvantages: this is the space of our inner Self. It can turn into an arid desert or suddenly blossom like a tropical garden. And here personal achievements have no meaning: successful, rich and influential people are just as disappointed or angry, depressed, as we are.
Come to terms with fear
According to psychologists, the pandemic revealed a sense of fragility inherent in each of us: vulnerability is a part of life itself. We never think about it, but it’s a miracle that we’re here today. The moment of a person’s birth was tamed thanks to the achievements of medicine, but it remains one of the most dangerous and uncertain moments of existence for both mother and child. An invisible virus reminded us that we can get sick, die, suddenly lose our whole life as we know it, and not tomorrow, when we are old and tired, but today.
Illness and death are terrible. It’s scary to cross the street, to start a new job, to face the question, to ask ourselves if we will succeed. That’s why optimism becomes toxic at any cost: to keep a space inside yourself for fear to live and pass through it means to stay in touch with its existence, instead of just recognizing it and moving on.
Toxic positivity — signals
Do you see yourself in any of the following states?
You always have a smile on your face
Repeat life-affirming quotes to yourself and others
Are you trying to curb your anger
You feel «strange» and guilty when you feel sad, annoyed, distrustful.
Repeat to yourself and others: «I’ll manage», «It will pass», «Everything is fine», «Don’t pay attention».
You are irritated by the tears and heavy emotions of others.
Here’s what you can do to learn how to return to your authentic emotions.
Unfortunately, a fake smile in many cases is a phenomenon straight from childhood. This is a heavy legacy that we carry with us and continue to spread when we insist that babies smile or seem beautiful at any cost. Education is one thing, the other is a sign of coercion.
Have you ever thought about immersing yourself in the emotions you are experiencing? For example, if you are sad today, instead of chasing away the feelings that you are experiencing, look for thematic books and films that can serve as an incentive to immerse yourself in what you feel. Explore your sadness, live it, discover a space in which it can express itself. You will find that the sadness that lives in you can talk to you, open up new sides to you, allow you to discover what you didn’t know about yourself.
You don’t know why, but there are times when something is moving inside, but you can’t give a name to this feeling. Immerse yourself in your irritation: in all likelihood, you will find an emotion inside. Anger often hides the sadness of unheard-of pain. Irritation becomes an ally when we take the time and courage to listen to his message.
The Drama of positive thinking
Hiding the dust under the carpet is a great temptation. However, ignoring problems does not help to solve them. A positive attitude at any cost turns against us when the hope for improvement turns into a general expectation. This is true, for example, at work or in a relationship: even before any attempt to improve the situation, you must first realize this situation. When we dare to give free rein to emotions, a tangle of sensations that take us by surprise floats to the surface. But the key that can open the door is the opportunity to connect with our authentic view of things. Focusing is the first step in defining an image: focusing and finally seeing.
Remember that each of us has the right to be sad. You have the right to cry, to be afraid, to worry: this is also a part of life. If the person next to you is worried, avoid patting on the back or what they say in such cases, for example, «hold on.» These are his emotions, respect them. Whether it’s a child, a partner or a colleague, the solution is not to find solace, but simply… to be able to express yourself. We learn to be close to those we love during a storm, like trees that need to be silently embraced.