How positivity can be negative for you

Did you know that seeking the bright side all the time doesn't always help? You've probably heard much advice coming from people like "You should be optimistic" or "We have to think positive all the time". But, is it really helping you get through in all situations? Does it make you feel better if you constantly seek on the bright side? 

There is a phenomenon called "toxic positivity". There is toxic positivity when we continuously seek positivity at the expense, and we don't let go through or allow feel our negative emotions. It refers to the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy and optimistic state in any situation. 

Toxic positivity usually causes denial, minimization, and invalidation of genuine human emotional experience. Concealing or denying your real unpleasant emotions will make them bigger and harder to carry. Hence, it is not really healthy for the mental well-being of a person. Are you suffering from toxic positivity? Keep reading; I have a few tips for you.

The first step to adopt a healthier approach to our emotions is to be aware of the behaviors that could be accounted for as "toxic positivity" whether in ourselves or when talking to others. There is toxic positivity when we are:

  • Hiding what we feel.
  • Dismissing our emotions.
  • Feeling guilty for the negative emotions we feel.
  • Minimizing other people's experiences by saying "don't think about it", "Don't be sad".
  • Shaming other people for feeling negative emotions.

Now that you are aware of it, I will invite you to reconsider some of your beliefs and messages that you tell to yourself and to others and to replace them for healthier ones that will allow you to experience negative emotions and overcome them without hiding or ignoring them.



·         I have to be happy all the time


·         Always look on the bright side


·         Failure is not an option

·         It’s okay to feel bad sometimes


·         Take responsibility for the dark side, don’t ignore it, change it


·         Failure is part of my growth


I have to be happy all the time

You are human, we are full of emotions. It is not healthy to just feel happy all the time and conceal other feelings. Remember that it is okay to feel bad sometimes. If you are in a very terrible situation and you feel like the whole world is against you, you can cry it all out. You don’t have to suppress your emotions just to please others.


Always look on the bright side

Whenever there is an ill-fated situation, we usually say to ourselves that it happened for a reason or look at the bright side. Next time, consider taking responsibility for what happened and do not ignore it. Instead, take action and focus your will to change your current situation. Sitting on your issues and ignoring them will never help.


Failure is not an option

As much as we hate failing from something, we also need to consider the fact that we might experience failure, and failure will help you grow as an individual. I encourage you to adopt a growth mindset and be aware of your progress and development. You don’t need to fear failure instead you should consider that experience as an opportunity for growth and transformation. Next time something "negative" happens ask yourself: What can I learn from this situation?


Now that you know that too much positivity in your life is not really helpful, be open to experiencing other types of emotions such as sadness, anger, disgust, fear, that are also part of our nature. Don't get stuck on them but go through them and overcome them.

If you are struggling with your emotions you can contact me, I'm here to help you go through this experience in a healthy and enriching way.


Andrea Arcusa

Executive Coach and Psychologist