Toxic positivity means living in denial

ArlenJ.com
May 9, 2020

A scene from the 1989 romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” showed how toxic positivity can be detrimental in relationships.

Harry had just seen his ex-wife with another man and was very distraught. Sally, his female friend and confidant, tried comforting him with her trademark cheekiness that is made more effective because she’s attractive. But Harry was having none of it. He called Sally “Miss Hospital-Corners,” referring to her very particular, picky ways. “Nothing bothers you! You never get upset about anything,” Harry yelled at Sally. The argument ultimately ended in a hug. But it highlighted a personality flaw that exacerbates lack of self-confidence and other issues.

Toxic positivity refers to excessive, ineffective feelings of being happy and optimistic all the time. Sometimes it’s done inadvertently. But most toxic positivity is a deliberate coping mechanism for those who wish to avoid confronting negative feelings, experiences and thoughts. Men are especially vulnerable to toxic positivity. We are supposed to be emotionless, supposed to be tough at all times. Many men hide their feelings as a result, leading to unresolved issues that carry on throughout their lives.

Social media and toxic positivity

A 2017 study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that people who failed at accepting negative emotions made matters worse in their lives. People who accepted their negative emotions and dealt with them constructively had greater psychological and emotional health. A 2018 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Emotion found that chasing happiness leads to more sadness. People obsess over the concept of happiness to the detriment of their overall mental and emotional health. This phenomenon is compounded by social media.

The average American spends about two hours on social media every day. That number increases greatly in people age 21 and under. Browsing social platforms means being inundated with toxic positivity. You see photos of people eating at expensive restaurants, happy moments between couples, the new car your best friend just bought, etc. Those who are unhappy and miserable in life typically have the most toxic positivity on their social media channels. Never do you see them in a bad light, literally (with all those filters) and figuratively.

We are constantly comparing ourselves to to other people as a result. The comparison, however, are fallacious due to this age of envy brought on by social media.

Toxic positivity vs. positive self-talk

The best athletes in the world get to that point not just for their natural abilities. They tell themselves everyday that they are great, that they are winners, that they can accomplish anything in their sport. Muhammad Ali was famous for saying “I’m the greatest” frequently and without modesty.

The ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset™ Gym incorporates positive self-talk. The first steps in the program focus on “leveling the playing field.” We learn to say we are “great” even if we don’t feel it. Men trick their subconscious into playing along. It jump-starts our system on the road to controlling the all-important alpha brainwaves. The ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset™ Gym makes members confront their feelings and emotions, not ignore them. The program teaches you how to create, acknowledge and entertain positivity as a natural habit.

Join the ALPHA by Prodigy Mindset Gym™ today.

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