Toxic positivity: What does it mean and why is it harmful for children?

Toxic positivity is all about dismissing negative feelings and emotions. It is when people are encouraged to maintain a positive mindset, even amidst difficult situations. For instance, if a person has lost something precious in their life and you just go to them and tell them to “just stay positive” or “look on the brighter side,” it is likely to encourage them to shut down or suppress their emotions, rather than talking about how they’re feeling.

Furthermore, if a person is troubled or disappointed with certain aspects in their life and you tell them that happiness is a choice, it’s likely to make them feel guilty about their own sadness.

That said, there can be many ways to trigger toxic positivity, where a person is compelled to push down their real emotions and pretend to be happy.

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