I was asked about ‘toxic positivity’ as though it really exists. The questioner wanted to know how to ‘cure’ themselves. I suggested that they could focus on self-awareness and authenticity. One way to do that would be to consider developing their emotional intelligence.

Instead of worrying about this non-problem, learn to accept and appreciate who you are. If you think you something about you could be improved, work at it.

Or, and this is what I would tell a client if they consulted me about this, they could just stop looking for problems that don’t exist! If you have come across ‘toxic positivity’ (as I just have), beware. If you are tempted to label yourself in this way, don’t.

Phony classifications

Clumping some personal characteristics together and calling the cluster ‘toxic positivity’ is not helpful. There is no validated classification in psychology by that name, so don’t get drawn into fake news on the web.

Accept and be happy with who you are.

The so-called symptoms of ‘toxic positivity’ are just a list of human characteristics we can all express, and they all have value at times (for example, denial can be a useful coping mechanism; showing others different perspectives is a recognised therapy intervention called ‘reframing’).

If you are unhappy with yourself, don’t look for some phony ‘diagnosis’, just accept yourself for who you are and work to be the best version of you that you can be.
 
You could also think about what it takes to flourish.

Accept and appreciate

Instead of worrying about this non-problem, learn to accept and appreciate who you are. If you think you something about you could be improved, work at it (that is called personal development).

Here’s my alternative list to get over ‘toxic positivity’ – just for fun.

  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Express them appropriately
  • Stop looking for problems
  • Learn to distinguish fake news from genuine stuff
  • Learn the art of reframing
  • Be grateful for who you are
  • Be kind to yourself and others
  • Celebrate your successes.