Ever Heard of Toxic Positivity? It’s a Thing

Well here’s my first official post after being on hiatus for a little over 2 months. While on hiatus, there were some new things that I learned about. One of them is toxic positivity.

Now how could positivity be toxic? That’s what I thought at first, but then I looked more into it. Well it’s something that isn’t catastrophic and horrible, but it can be hurtful even in the long run.

What is Toxic Positivity?

That’s the definition of this topic. I’m sure at some point in our lives we were in a situation where we had to make it appear that we were happy and everything was all right where in reality that wasn’t the case. We had to hold back our tears, keep our frustrations in check, and even forget about our problems and struggles.

This goes back to my post on wearing emotional masks to keep up a positive yet fake appearance. Not expressing and letting out other emotions like anger, sadness, or fear for example, your burying those feelings and not being true to yourself. This may not always cause complications right away, but there can be some problems in the future.

Toxic positivity is a form of avoidance. A person can have those negative emotions and not want to acknowledge them maybe assuming that they’ll go away on their own. Acknowledging emotions shows that their present, but something you may not know is that you don’t have to fully embrace them in that moment. You can recognize it, but you can move past it immediately.

Situational Examples

If you’re dealing with something negative, some environments make it hard to express these emotions. When were at school, it’s hard to show sadness for example because some would say that you would be disrupting the class.

If your at work and working with kids and your angry with someone, you couldn’t yell or swear at the kids for no reason. You would have to bite your tongue or in an extreme case don’t go into work if you can’t control your emotions. Any kind of outbursts toward the kids, boss, or your co-workers wouldn’t be good.

If you were around people who let’s say you believed were doing better than you, it may make you feel uncomfortable to be around or associate with them. Your outward appearance says happiness, but on the inside you feel jealous.

Your not being true to yourself or your emotions.

Phrases

There are some phrases that we may have said to someone who was feeling down and it turns out that those words weren’t helping the person and we’re actually making things worse.

Here is a list of some of those phrases:

  • Just be happy
  • Only good vibes
  • You’ll get over it
  • Think happy thoughts
  • You’ll get through this
  • Stop being negative
  • See the good in everything
  • Never give up

Some of these phrases I have said to someone myself in an effort to try to help them; so your not alone if you have done this. Giving up on something should ONLY be done if it’s causing you any kind of physical, mental, or emotional harm to yourself or to other people.

Below is a chart of positivity and toxic positivity phrases:

Handling Toxic Positivity

So you may be asking yourself, ‘how can I be true to myself?’ or ‘how can I help someone in my life without giving them any kind of toxic positivity?’. Here are some ways in how to handle toxic positivity:

  • Don’t believe that you should ‘be happy’ all the time
  • Talk to someone who will ‘really’ listen to you
  • Your not a bad person if your not happy
  • Possibly look into therapy
  • It’s ok to feel whatever it is your feeling. Welcome all your feelings
  • Lend a listening ear to someone instead of advice
  • Acknowledging that someone feels bad and being around them may be all the support and comfort they need

Here is a chart of how to avoid toxic positivity:

Discussion

As I mentioned before, you’re not alone if you have said any of those phrases or done anything that will be considered toxic positivity. Some of those phrases we learn indirectly from other people or from what we read sometimes. Those phrases or other behaviors that resemble toxic positivity are mostly done with good intentions. Most people aren’t trying to make things worse for the other person. Sometimes those you care about like family members or close friends may just need a hug to start feeling better. They don’t need any tips or a lecture on their problems.

Wrap Up

Looking into this topic was an eye opener for me. Maybe it was an eye opener for you as well. Some of our personalities is about solving and fixing problems that we encounter; that could be our own or other peoples. We sometimes get in our head that we have to do something huge in order to fix something even if it’s simple and that it’s going to require a lot of work. That’s not always the case; sometimes we just have to take a step back and look at the overall problem and deconstruct it bit by bit.

It’s nice to be back and there will be more content coming. Thank you for your support I really appreciate it and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

Get Knocked Down and Getting Up Even When it’s Tough

This video discussion is a bit different and a bit more on the entertainment aspect. It’s a short clip from the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Most of what I want to talk about is symbolism. You’re free to watch the whole clip, but you don’t have to. Just a heads up, this is a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the crossover and still want to see it. What I want to focus on is what is in between 2:11 – 2:47.

The symbolism in that time frame really spoke to me after I watched it a second time. For those who don’t know, the individual in the video is Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow on the TV show Arrow. As you saw, he’s shooting the demons him and the other heroes are fighting in the crossover. After re-watching it, I started to interpret it as an outward appearance of some of the battles we face in our everyday lives.

There are battles that we face on a daily basis, every week, every month, every year. We battle with past pain that we got from other people. We battle various illnesses. Some of us have disabilities that we deal with every single day. We even battle with ourselves. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy and we’re at constant war with unwanted stress and anxiety, lies, toxic and negative thoughts about ourselves. To me, that’s what those first few seconds of that clip symbolize.

When the Green Arrow gets hit by one of the demons and falls down, to me that symbolizes us getting hit with a new problem, a curveball, an unexpected tradgey, or illness our in life. These types of things hit us with or without warning. Sometimes they upset our world and we can be at a loss of what to do. We can begin to question things that we once thought were true about ourselves, the people in our lives, society, life in general, and things that we had under control.

The next part of the clip shows the Green Arrow getting back up and continuing to fight. When we do get knocked down, we have to push and work to not let what knocked us down keep us down. We continue to battle our problems and work through our struggles. Then the Green Arrow gets hit by one of the demons again, but the second time it’s a harder it. For a few seconds, he can’t get back up and stays down. Those unexpected things and curveballs can hit us hard, and again with or without warning.

To me, this symbolizes that when we do get hit by those things, it may take longer for us to get back up on our feet. We don’t always have the energy to make a quick recovery. Sometimes we can become so broken that we may not have as much energy as we did before. The Green Arrow struggled even more to get back up than he did the first time. As you can see with determination and motivation, and remembering what he was fighting for, he was able to get the energy he needed to get back up. The same can be said for you. You could be fighting for someone you love and care about. Let that support system give you the energy to keep fighting and get up. I do understand that it is easier said than done, but it is definitely possible.

After the Green Arrow gets back up, he realizes he has no more arrows left and a swarm of demons is heading right for him. There are times where you feel like you have used up all your energy and have nothing left to fight with and your problems and struggles just get worse or you just got hit with more of them. Unfortunately some people just give up and succumb to the unwanted stress, anxiety, illness, and depression they’re dealing with.

The Green Arrow however looks at the swarm and you can see the fire in his eyes that he is not going to give up no matter what. Even though the odds are against him, he’s fighting for the safety and protection of billions of innocent lives including his friends, family, allies, and loved ones and that’s what gives him the energy to continue to fight.

Remember you have a support system of friends, family, and loved ones as well. They want you to succeed. They care about you and believe you can do anything. They believe that you are strong. The odds may be against you, but you have to keep fighting even though it’s tough. When there’s a will there’s a way and there’s always a way. It may take a little while to find a solution and what works for you, but I know you can. Hope and faith are very powerful; cling on to them and hope for the best.

Lastly the Green Arrow drops his bow and charges the swarm of demons. I won’t spoil what happens next because this clip doesn’t show the aftermath of the battle. The dropping of the bow to me symbolizes that the tools and techniques you were using before may not have worked or are no longer working, so now you have to find another approach in dealing with your problems and struggles.

The Green Arrow charging the swarm of demons to me symbolizes that the gloves are coming off and sometimes you have to tackle your problems head-on no matter how tough they are. By doing this you’re showing that though you may be hurt and weak, but you’re not going let your problems or struggles take control and rule your life. If you have to take baby steps, that’s perfectly fine. In time, those baby steps will build-up and one day will show you that you have made great progress in your battles.

Wrap Up

For 36 seconds there was quite a bit to talk about. I know this post is different than my previous ones, but I hope you understand the symbolism I was trying to explain. Some people understand things better through symbolism and through visual aids. We can get lost in our minds when dealing with various things and we can get nowhere in finding solutions or ways to live and cope with our problems and struggles. Remember you’re not the only person in the world who is struggling and up to their neck with problems. Your friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, boss, fellow students, church members, teachers, etc are fighting battles of their own. Some of them may not wish to not talk about them. I’ve been knocked down and I’ve gotten back up numerous times. There are times where it has taken me a while to gather the energy and get back up. I have done it, so now you know there is one person who can do it. If I can do it, you can do it. That’s the end of another video discussion. Remember you’re not alone and you have worth in this world.

Silence Can Speak, Yep it’s True

So when we hear the words ‘silent’ and ‘silence’, we know it’s time to stop talking and be a quiet. We are taught this by our parents and teachers. However, as we get older, we learn that silence isn’t just about being quiet and not making a sound.

There are is number of ways to talk about what silence is. What I want to talk about is that silence can speak when words aren’t spoken; yep it’s true. If this is news to you, your not alone. There are people in the world who don’t realize that not saying a word to someone can actually be saying a lot to them.

Silence: What We Know and What We Are Taught

Silence is where you remain quiet whether that’s because someone else is talking to you or you just don’t want to be disturbed by any kind of sound. There are times where we just don’t want to talk to anyone and be alone with our thoughts. We want silence because we’re meditating, working on something, or reading a book.

How Silence Speaks

You may not say words to somebody, but body gestures, facial expressions, and our behaviors sometimes do the speaking for us. Putting your hand in front of someones face for example, can be interpreted as ‘don’t talk to me right now’. It can be translated into a harsh way like ‘shut up and get out of my face’.

Body gestures can be subtle and aggressive. The more aggressive they are, it can show that you could be coming off as saying ‘get away from me’. A subtle form could translate to ‘hold that thought’, ‘I’m not listening you’, even ‘I’m ignoring you’.

Facial expressions can say a lot. A small smile could be translated to ‘I’m happy right now’, ‘I like you’, and ‘I like what I’m hearing and seeing’. Someone with their head looking down could mean that the person is feeling sad or depressed. Someone who turns their head on their side with a weird look on her face could mean that the person is confused. A person who looks away from people or is looking down on the floor could indicate that the person is shy.

People’s actions do speak loudly at times. Someone who walks away from a person talking means that they’re done listening to that person. It can be translated as ‘I don’t want to hear anything from you anymore’, or ‘You’re annoying, I’m done’. Someone who waves at you is a sign of kindness and saying hello. A person who is away from a group of people, not interacting with them, or hiding could indicate that the person is shy.

There are many ways in which you can get a message across in silence. What I just described is only a small handful. People who prefer to stay silent may have a whole lot to say. You probably know someone you’ve known for some time that doesn’t say much, but really has a whole lot to say. Words may not be a person’s best way to get their message across. Some get their message across through those actions, facial expressions, gestures, and even through gift giving.

Here is a video that talks about 5 ways how silence is powerful. Some of these ways were new to me.

Discussion

Now being silent isn’t for everyone, but there are times where being silent is better than speaking. Sometimes you may say something and other people may see you as being foolish. Being silent also allows you to be more open to what other people have to say. If someone is telling a story about their life for example, it would be respectful to be quiet so that you hear what they have to say. This way you won’t have to ask them a question about something they had already talked about.

Also being silent can spare you from saying something you may regret later. Your emotions could be running high and you may say some things that you wouldn’t normally say to people even your friends and family. There are things that I have said when my emotions were running high and even though it ‘felt good’ to say them, there was some regret that came afterwards and sometimes immediately. If you recall what I talked about in my post about regrets, they can have an effect on your mind and well being.

Normally I offer up tips or advice on the topic I discuss. There are so many reasons why people remain silent. They’re those people who don’t have a lot to say but when they do talk, it’s worth listening. Some people are just really shy and don’t talk. Then you have those people who don’t say anything because they are scared and afraid too. Then you also have those people who stay silent because they can’t get a word in around other people who are talking and you could say they are dominating the conversation.

You also have those people who remain silent because they are dealing with a lot of problems and struggles. They may not speak up because they believe their problems are stupid and not worth bothering anyone about them. A person can have a lot of friends, but they remain silent about their problems and struggles to most of them. They only speak up to those who they can truly trust and are very comfortable with.

Wrap Up

So all I can say is that one person or people you know who are very quiet and rarely speak to you or other people, might just have a lot to speak about. You just have to pay attention to their facial expressions, gestures, and actions. Also just be nice and kind to them. They may be wanting someone that they can open up to and form a connection with. If you are someone who is silent, again you are not alone. You may have been hurt by someone and have trouble speaking to anyone because your trust was broken. Also you’re not weird for being very quiet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You may just have trouble coming out of your shell. Take care of yourself and remember you’re not alone and you have worth in this world.

Say No to Revenge

Has someone made fun of you? Did someone hurt your friend or family member? Has someone embarrassed you in front of your friends? Has someone stolen something from you? Did someone hurt your feelings? If you answered yes to any of these, you may have wanted to get back at the person, or you know someone who seeked revenge. If you thought about and wanted revenge, well you’re not alone.

In my last post I mentioned that one of the things you shouldn’t do when you get hurt is seek revenge. Revenge has a way of consuming your entire being. Your emotions take the steering wheel and can cause you to do and say things you wouldn’t normally say or do.  Afterwards, you can become so consumed with guilt and remorse because you’re ashamed of yourself for the bad behavior you showed and for what bad things you may have said.  You can quickly regret your actions and that regret can linger for an unknown amount of time.  Getting caught up in wanting revenge can make you no better than the other person and may make you look worse.

Revenge causes you to feel so tense, angry, have tunnel vision, and become bitter to those around you.  Your friends, family, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend can all be affected by you wanting revenge.  You don’t see reality for what it is, you can get stuck in a fantasy world.  You can become blind to the consequences of your actions.  You can refuse to listen to any kind of reasoning from anyone.  All you can think about is how you plan to get back at the person or people who wronged you.  You think of what kind of harm or even injury you want to inflict to the people or person who wronged you.  In your mind, you have come with a conclusion that carrying out your revenge will bring you satisfaction and relief; but that isn’t the case.  Those ‘good feelings’ are not long term and can be false; they last briefly and then your back to feeling how you were before.  You wind up putting all you energy to coming up with some kind of revenge and most of the time you don’t even know your doing it.  Another thing to consider is that you plan and plan the perfect revenge for hours, days, and maybe weeks.  All that time and energy used just for a small moment of gratification.  To me, the benefits of getting revenge is not worth it.

If you are considering getting back or inflicting some kind of harm to someone, I would say don’t do it.  Here are some reasons why seeking revenge is not worth it and what it can do to your well being:

1. Revenge can Backfire on You

You can carefully plan the perfect revenge, but it can backfire on you.  The other person or people can find out and can either get back at you or not care.  When I say not care, I mean that you get your revenge on them, but they are unphased by what you said or did.  You are hoping that this person or people will get upset, cry, get hurt, or get mad as result of all the hard work you put into your revenge plan, but if they are unaffected by it, then all that hard work was for nothing.

2. It can Cause More Problems

Revenge is just messy.  You can wind up with more problems than what you started with.  Other people who are associated with the person or people who wronged you and had nothing to do with the problem can get caught in the line of fire.  Revenge can wind up consuming your time and energy that you wind up neglecting your friends, family and those who care about you.  Even the problems you did have can even get worse.  Ever heard the saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right”?  Just some food for thought for you to remember.

3. A Waste of Time

Revenge can wind up wasting so much of your time.  As I mentioned, you put so much energy and time planning some kind of revenge all for a brief moment of satisfaction.  You neglect time with friends, family, spouse, etc.  There are fun events that happen all the time, you can easily miss out on them.  For example, you plan to get back at someone from school, so you plan and plan until the day comes and you do it.  Well in that time frame, things could have been going on that you love to do and you missed out on them.  You could have missed out on going to see a new movie, hanging out with a friend who was in town for a little while, or miss out on your sisters birthday.

4. You Don’t Feel Good About Yourself Afterwards

You got your revenge on someone, well how do you feel?  You feel good right?  Well that feeling doesn’t last long.  You then probably feel bad about yourself because you know deep down your not a mean person.  You feel bad that you hurt someone else’s feelings now.  You may be consumed with regret and guilt.  No one likes to feel lousy and down, so if that’s the case, then don’t get revenge on anyone.  Revenge won’t make you feel better.

5. You Can Get a Bad Reputation

If your someone who is also getting revenge on people, people will take notice.  Even if you don’t care about what other people think about you, people will not want to be around you.  You may be known to a community, teammates, student body, co-workers, etc that your someone who is always going to seek revenge against someone.  This can make it harder to make new friends or meet someone you want a relationship with.

Want to know what the best kind of revenge is, no revenge.  Forgiveness, though it may be tough to do, is what you should choose instead of revenge.  Getting revenge on someone won’t heal you, you won’t be happy for long, and it can just make things worse.