Positivity vs Toxic Positivity
I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person. I make jokes about how I’m Pollyanna and I’ll see the good in any situation. Yes the world we live in is kind of, well, a dumpster fire, but I feel life is to short to stay down in the muck. So, I try to send out positive vibes into the universe as much as I can. One of my favorite shirts says “Spread Positivity” One of my favorite shirts of Ollie’s says “Every Day Gets Better”. My word of the year is joy and we do our best to choose joy every day.
I’ve been reading increasing amounts of information about toxic positivity lately. And I think it’s extremely important to distinguish the difference between positivity and toxic positivity. Unfortunately, those of us that try to spread positive vibes out into the world somehow are getting lumped into the toxic positivity category and that just isn’t the case at all.
I wouldn’t dream of telling someone who is in the thick of something heavy that they need to “just get over it” or to “cheer up” I would tell them, this is hard. I understand. I hear you and I see you. We can do hard things. You take the time you need. It’s ok to not be ok right now.
There’s a huge difference between support and toxic positivity. I do not believe in toxic positivity and living life with “Only positive and good vibes”. Bad days come and I let myself feel those feels when I need to. But overall, I choose to look for the good and the positive in most situations. And I feel like sometimes those who look for the bright side are chastised for doing so – now more than ever. You share the good in your life on social media and it leads to ridicule and judgement. You know what, life is not all sunshine and roses but I don’t really care to put the skeletons in my closet out for the world to see. So yes, I do tend to share the good and happy things.
Again, as I said above, life is too damn short to be miserable all the time. 2020 is a shit show, but I can’t let myself dwell on it too long, it would make me absolutely crazy. So I look for the good wherever I can find it. Distance learning is a challenge but we keep it positive and upbeat for Oliver and we’re making the most of it. I miss restaurants and spending time with friends and thrift shopping and all of those things, but my family is safe, I have ways of keeping in touch with people, we can order take out from almost all of our favorite places and there is online thrift shopping. I guess I am making lemons out of lemonade and I’m not going to apologize for it. But I’m not going to tell someone who is struggling to see the light that they need to suck it up and deal. I understand this is hard. So for me, that’s the difference between positivity and toxic positivity. I will be positive when it works understanding when it doesn’t. And maybe all the doom and gloomers can try to do the same, instead of shaming me for my healthy positivity, you could just smile and say, ok, you do you. Just a little food for thought anyway!