What is Toxic Positivity And How To Avoid It?

Last Update on April 21, 2022 : Published on March 11, 2020
Ways to avoid toxic positivity

The term ‘Positivity’ itself seems very vibrating unless toxicity is introduced in the same section. Let’s look at a scenario here.

During COVID-19, many people have tried to promote ‘Stay Positive’ and ‘Good Vibes Only’ through their stories but issues like job loss, salary cut, breakup, and long-distance relationships became unavoidable stressors. The phenomenon of being positive despite unhappy emotions denotes toxic positivity.

Also Read: Stay Away From These Types of Toxic People

What is Toxic Positivity?

To elaborate, toxic positivity is also about suppressing difficult emotions which are the reason for pain and unsettling situations inside your mind. People in your surroundings may want you to focus only on good things and keep a positive attitude but sadly, this doesn’t always work.

Being a positive person is amazing but dismissing negativity is not. Every emotion is valid for a human being and must be understood mindfully. However, if you are facing toxic positivity in your life and willing to cut it out, we will tell you the things that could be done.

Also Read: How To End A Toxic Friendship & Move On?

Risks Of Toxic Positivity

There are multiple risks of toxic positivity because of which you shall certainly avoid toxic positivity.

  • People who are surrounded by toxic positivity stay in isolation and social stigma which makes them feel ashamed. This stigma can make someone feel worse about mental health.
  • Toxic positivity may destroy communication abilities and create challenges in relationships.
  • It cuts down the self esteem and makes someone feel less powerful.

Signs of Toxic Positivity

Toxic positivity may look very subtle and natural to everyone around you but if not considered right on time can have long-lasting effects. People who fill their bag of emotions with extra happiness may show signs like:

  • Masking of negative emotions leads them towards isolation. However, when someone talks to them, they put a poker face to bluff others.
  • Feeling Guilt for “feeling Negative emotions”.
  • They try to chase happiness by engaging in different activities. But it needs to be understood that happiness cannot be forced.
  • Toxic positivity makes a person compare his situation to another person so that they warrant their situation as a better one.
  • Try to shame others for expressing negative emotions.
  • Trying to “Just get it over” with or Saying “it is what it is” by stuffing an emotion.

These examples of toxic positivity must be checked and kept in mind

How To Avoid Toxic Positivity & Maintain Own Emotional Well-Being?

Avoid toxic positivity by validating statements

1. Be Who You Are

It is definitely scary to face your own feelings and even make you vulnerable but this step is best to improve your relationship with yourself. Being a people pleaser may win you friends for a short period of time but it somewhere makes you more aggressive and results in emotional outbursts.

The best option is to open yourself up to a close friend or an expert. You can share your feelings with a counselor or connect with us by dropping a message at info@calmsage.com.

Also Read: The Art of Kintsugi: Embracing Broken Things and Feelings

2. Feel Multiple Emotions At A Time

Let’s say, face your emotions in a layer. If you are feeling bad, tell yourself you are feeling bad. If it’s a good emotion, tell yourself you are feeling good. Even if emotions are not making any sense, let yourself go through multiple emotions at the same time.

No two emotions are mutually exclusive and often overlap through layers. This is the same as expecting gratitude and pain at the same time. Find an easy way for yourself and ask an expert or a therapist to show you the way.

Also Read: Stuck In An Emotional Rut? Here Are Some Tips To Help You Get Unstuck

3. Use A Gratitude Journal

Time spent in journaling is time well spent with yourself and your own emotions. Many times you navigate yourself to the trickiest feelings that were hidden deep within.

Journaling is indeed one of the best ways to avoid toxic positivity and find out what you need in the moment. This self-therapeutic approach can tell you how you feel, what do you want and gives a chance for self-reflection.

Also Read: 50+ Daily Gratitude Journal Prompts That Will Change Your Life Forever

4. Limit Your Time Online

Social media can pinch toxic positivity even more. No, we are not asking you to leave social media altogether but optimize the content consumption. In fact, if you try to cut down 30 minutes from what you are consuming now, the results would be wonderful.

Also Read: The Digital Detox: Disconnect to Reconnect

You would not be intimidated by what the world is upto and how they are feeling right now and rather focus on your own side. With this, you can even spend a little more time with yourself and feel the genuineness of emotions.

You Can also start reading books and trust me this habit is never going to harm you. Here are sharing some of the best self-improvement books to lead a healthy and positive life.

5. Focus On Speaking & Listening

While someone expresses their emotions, it is important to listen to them closely instead of shutting them down. This is why you should open up to someone who is close to you and doesn’t get intimidated by the outsiders. Your emotions are normal and it is good to explain and speak it out. This is important to respond to toxic positivity.

A Word From The Author

‘Everything in excess is opposite to nature’ and it lands absolutely true to the toxic positivity. Positivity must be there in our lives unless it begins to hinder the natural course of emotional well-being.

We believe that you have found out how to handle toxic positivity through the points above and keep everything in a balance.

Next Read:

Top 7 Colors to Bring Positivity in Your Home

Replace Your Toxic Positivity Phrases With Validation 

10 Self-Improvement Books You Can’t Afford To Miss (For A Positive Life)

Bring A Change In Your Life With Power of Positive Thinking

About The Author

Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.


  1. Forb

    Correct me if I am wrong..There is a very minute line between sympathy and empathy and toxic positivity inclines towards sympathy, isn't it?

  2. Maria

    I like the way you have explained via infographic in this blog to maintain emotional well being.

  3. CHTN

    NO works much better for us than YES. And maybe that is why toxic attracts more than positive vibes.. thank you for breaking the glass for us.

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