Toxic positivity: suffering is part of life

positividad toxica

It is impossible to live without unforeseen events or adversities that bring us down. However, from toxic positivism it is intended to silence part of the human condition.

Being and being in the world implies that we are going to suffer. We cannot avoid the adverse situations inherent in life itself. However, part of today’s society does not want to see the other cry, does not want to see him in mourning or does not want to see him express his feelings when he feels bad.

Today the perennial welfare state is promoted, which is not natural. It is intended that we all live immersed in continuous happiness, a state that is impossible to sustain and that, if tried, would only cause greater discomfort.

| Related article: Phrases of life: effects and functions

Toxic positivism

Every day well-being “experts” abound repeating that “everything is a matter of attitude”, that “we must always smile” or that “suffering is optional”, when the truth is that not everything depends on attitude, not everything is solved with a smile and many times we suffer not because we choose it, but because the circumstances are unfavorable.

With this type of sentences, typical of toxic positivism, unpleasant emotions are invalidated. It could be said that not all emotions are negative, since each one fulfills a function and is necessary to survive.

The only thing that is achieved by canceling the discomfort is to make it chronic because we all need to recognize our emotions and attend to them to avoid extremes. For example, it is natural to feel sadness, but what we can do is seek professional help when it is prolonged and thus we will avoid suffering from depression or other conditions.

Many people feel frustrated because they can’t feel good, despite trying to hide or cancel the emotion that surfaces. The truth is that until now there is no magic phrase to feel good from one moment to the next and we must live many processes.

Denying difficult events, far from helping us to be well, can also have negative effects, not only on mental health, but also on the quality of life in general.

Changes are often necessary, but in order to undertake them we must identify what we feel and assume any obstacle or challenge that we face.

An example of it are the economic problems, the high rates of poverty or the high levels of insecurity that exist in some countries. These are circumstances that cannot always be changed. However, a person affected by them could move, for example.

But if instead of making effective decisions to change your environment and live better, you immerse yourself in the thoughts of toxic positivity, in the long run you will end up doing more harm to yourself. This person could even think that everything depends on them and feel bad for not being able to feel happy.

In other cases, a person could also suffer from depression, which requires drug treatment and therapeutic follow-up, but if he only attends positive phrases, his condition could worsen.

Thus, toxic positivism promotes that everything that feels good or pleasant. This is extrapolated to all spheres of life, home, work, the couple, but it is nothing more than an illusion.

At any time in life we can experience breakups, bereavements, loss of employment, family problems, loss of pets or friends, and even illnesses and, given these facts, there is no other choice but to live through the processes for as long as necessary, without pressure to “be well”.

In these situations it is always good to talk with friends or people you trust, express and accommodate what you feel, without trying to drown it out. If you cannot handle it, seek psychological support, but never silence, evade or deny it.'

Isbelia Farías

Isbelia Farías, filósofa, formada en Logoterapia

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