Toxic Positivity

Toxic Positivity

It is good to have a positive disposition. Being hopeful is pertinent for your mental health, and even your success. Cynicism and hopelessness can not only lead to self-sabotage but can also pose mental health issues as well.

However, similar to how too much of anything is bad, too much of positivity is also bad for you.

Known as toxic positivity, it refers to an extreme of positivity, that denies any negative or sad emotion. In this state, people only feel cheerful, even if the positivity is fake and a façade.

People then enter the state of denial, and do not deal with the feelings of sadness, that can also be dangerous for them. Since it is also important for us to cry, experience sadness, live through stress, not entertaining them has a dire impact on our mental health, that may then require assistance of a counselor whom you can contact via

Harmful Effects of Toxic Positivity

The use of word ‘toxic’ should already make it apparent how dangerous this problem it. Alongside harming self, it can also harm those around you. The dangers of toxic positivity include:

Lack of Empathy

Since you are not entertaining even the thought of the emotions that make you uncomfortable, like loss, anxiety etc., your empathy starts to be affected.

You do not realize the impact of these emotions on the mental health of those around you experiencing these emotions. This can then make you invalidate their pain, and can also make you unempathetic.


Toxic positivity is also bad for your mental health as well. You start to feel guilty when you are not feeling positive, regardless of the circumstances.


When you refuse to experience any emotion other than the happy or positive ones, you are denying yourself the otherwise perceived negative emotions, that are still vital part of a human experience.

Toxic positivity then helps you avoid any emotions that might make you comfortable. Rather than learning to deal with these problems, you enter denial zone.

Limits Growth

There are many adages that stress upon the good that comes from pain or failure; whether it be resilience, determination, struggle, all these manifest when you acknowledge your fall and the accompanying negative emotions. These then help you up your game, take challenges head on and grow as a result.

When you simply deny the existence of these emotions, you also then deny yourself the chance to grow.

Preventing Toxic Positivity

It is pertinent that once you realize the dangers of toxic positivity, you take steps to remedy it. Here are few ways of avoiding toxic positivity:

Learn to Deal With Negative Emotions

Toxic positivity may be your mechanism of dealing with the negative emotions. Rather than shoving everything under the rug, learn to deal with these negative and uncomfortable emotions. They are doing more damage to you when left unaddressed!

Be Realistic

Life is not meant to be easy, and you need to be honest to yourself about it. There will be moments of despair, stress, worry, and that’s okay, that’s the reality of life. Not every moment is meant to be taken as positively, some you benefit from by acknowledging their negativity.

Toxic Positivity: Don't Always Look on the Bright Side | Psychology Today

Normalize Negative Emotions

Perhaps its cultural conditioning, perhaps we have done it to ourselves, but emotions like pain, sadness, failure are deemed as incredibly bad. However, that’s not the case, always.

Each emotion serves its purpose. The ‘negative’ emotions should be normalized; it is perfectly fine to cry, you are allowed to stress out before an exam, you can feel down when your team loses a match!

Don’t be Toxic Yourself

When you see others experiencing negative emotions, give them support instead of mumbo jumbo about positivity.

Get Help

If you are unable to yourself break the vicious cycle of toxic positivity, you might benefit from visiting  your Psychiatrist in Islamabad.