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Too much of anything is good for nothing; optimism is no exception.
More often than not, when we open up to others about our feelings or the things that are bothering us, we usually get the generic response, “Ayos lang yan!” or “Don’t worry. Just think positive.”
However, as much as these words may come from a genuine interest to make us feel better, they may have the complete opposite effect than what’s intended. Because let’s be honest, positivity may provide a silver lining but it does not make the dark clouds go away.
Hearing these generic comments from others or telling them to yourself may be a telltale sign of toxic positivity.
Psychology defines toxic positivity as the idea of refusing to acknowledge one’s negative emotions and concentrating only on the positive.
While studies have linked positive thinking to good health, too much of anything is still good for nothing; optimism is no exception.
Focusing only on the good things in life refuses to acknowledge our frustrations, our fears, and sadness — negative emotions that are perfectly normal and should therefore never be dismissed.
To avoid toxic positivity, one can put in mind the following things, per LA Weekly:
- Don't shy away from negative emotions.
- Avoid being tough on yourself.
- Work on being a better listener.
So next time a friend or family comes to you with an issue, focus on listening to them because sometimes, that's all that matters.