Extreme positivity is toxic for individuals

Our culture has elevated positivity to a toxic level.

There is a movement going on that sets up being happy and joyous all the time as the standard to be achieved for one to seem normal.

But this expectation of constant positivity does not actually encourage people to grow in personal contentment but instead creates a false persona of joy that can be detrimental.

Positivity that is forced upon people who may not be in a circumstance that is actually enjoyable may make them feel pressured to seem happy.

The forced joy that comes from toxic positivity takes away the reality of having to deal with our internal issues and hardships rather than push them aside to seem socially acceptable and happy.

Rather than forcing ourselves to be happy and stay positive despite any trial, we should be honest with ourselves when we are struggling and really seek to work through our problems.

This is not to say that dwelling on our problems is the better option. There is a difference between staying stuck in our issues and acknowledging them in order to handle our problems to move past them.

If we are unable to see a resolution to our problem we should not push them to the side and put on a temporary mask of joy.

Instead we should self-reflect, seeking to find the root of our issues to come to a real positive conclusion, also admitting that not every problem can be solved overnight.

Having issues that are complex and take time and commitment to solving does not make anyone less socially acceptable.

The truth is that we all deal with hardships but the habit of our society has become to hide those struggles and instead  only present an atmosphere of positivity.

By only publicly presenting joy, regardless of whether or not it is real, makes others feel they too must be constantly happy to fit in, thus creating the cycle of toxic positivity.

Breaking this cycle starts with us. It starts with real people dealing with real struggles and being willing to admit when they are going through hardships and having vulnerable and honest communication with those around them.

We need to destroy the expectation of constant joy. Recognizing that everything is not always going to be positive is OK.

Toxic positivity and the societal pressures that come with it need to be abolished and replaced with vulnerability, authenticity and people who are eager to share with each other,  whether it is full of joy or sprinkled with sorrow.

About Tess Schoonhoven

News Editor

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