You’ve heard the expression “don’t worry, be happy”, seen the “good vibes only” quotes on social media, or told someone to “just get over it”.
But have you ever stopped to think that demanding optimism could backfire?
Watch below to find out why.
“It’s a belief that if you just live life happily every day, all the time, then you’ll be able to overcome every obstacle,” said communications expert Grazina Fechner.
“Toxic positivity says you shouldn’t whinge at your best friend – just sprinkle everyone with glitter and run around and be happy and you’ll live a happier life – but that’s not exactly the case. There’s a time and a place – if your friend wants to whinge with you, let them. Actually, stop and listen to them and let them express their emotions. What we should recognise is when someone doesn’t want to hear the positivity at that moment in time.”
Form of gaslighting
“Gaslighting is a form of manipulation, and it makes you think you’ve done something wrong because of the way people are talking to you,” Fechner said. “So this form of gaslighting is making me feel bad for feeling bad.”
How to respond
If you know someone who’s guilty of toxic positivity, make sure you’re really honest with them.
“Just say to them, I’m just having a crappy day – please listen to me. I don’t want sprinkles and glitter,” Fechner said. “Give examples of when they’re doing it, and explain how it doesn’t allow you to express your emotions. Say what you mean – and worst case scenario, find new friends.”
This article originally appeared on 7news.com.au
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