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"Good Vibes Only" can sometimes do more harm than good

Toxic positivity comes from "a misinterpretation or an exaggeration of a really helpful tactic known as ‘positive reframing.’"

CLEVELAND — We all know that one person in our group of friends that is always a "Debbie Downer."  But did you know that a person always being a "Positive Polly" can also impact you in a negative fashion?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, toxic positivity is a real thing.  

Behavioral therapist Amy Brodsky says toxic positivity comes from "a misinterpretation or an exaggeration of a really helpful tactic known as ‘positive reframing.’"

It is a good thing to reshape our thoughts from a bad feeling to a positive feeling, but Brodsky says it "all becomes toxic when people believe they’re expected to never have negative thoughts or unpleasant emotions."

“It is important to remember, there are no ‘bad emotions’. All emotions are important. They inform us about our needs, safety and our desires,” says Brodsky.

Brodsky says that most of this stems from people not wanting to see someone they care about hurting. It’s in our nature to want to stop the pain right away. So we often resort to showering people with compliments and doing whatever we believe will make them feel better faster.

In the end, we are all human.  We all have good days and bad days. And it is normal to get annoyed quite often by someone is always taking their toxic positivity to the extreme.  

Just remember, “It’s okay to feel upset. If we feel someone is invalidating our feelings we can express that to them. It helps to use a gentle approach. Often, an ‘I feel’ statement opens the communication in a non-threatening way.” 

For much more on this topic, go to https://health.clevelandclinic.org/.