Hello Insider 👋
In this week's podcast episode, we explore the concept of positivity – or rather, toxic positivity…
I talk about toxic positivity, where people often try to focus solely on positivity and optimism, perhaps meaning well but unintentionally invalidating others' experiences. It's important to acknowledge that positivity alone doesn't always make things easier in the present moment.
During the episode, I discussed the idea that when we feel better, we do better. However, I wanted to offer some nuance to this concept. It's not about ignoring or repressing negative emotions; it's about practising self-compassion and allowing ourselves to experience and process our feelings fully. Suppressing emotions can lead to guilt and emotional repression, ultimately making us feel worse. Instead, embracing our emotions, even the negative ones, can contribute to our overall well-being.
Toxic positivity not only affects us internally but also has external implications. It can prevent us from processing our emotions and close our eyes to the injustices and real issues in our surroundings. By solely focusing on positivity, we risk disregarding social and institutional inequities. It's crucial to strike a balance, acknowledging life's negative and positive aspects.
In the episode, I emphasised the importance of allowing ourselves to feel crappy sometimes. Not everything has a silver lining, and that's okay. We shouldn't force ourselves into a constant state of positivity. By allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, we can navigate through them and emerge on the other side stronger.
As Nathaniel Branden said, "You can't leave a place you've never been to."
Remember, there are no good or bad feelings—only valid ones that serve a purpose. Each emotion is a road sign guiding us through life. Painful feelings can push us to take action, stand against injustice, and fuel personal growth. They are an essential part of handling and getting through change.
To safely process our emotions, we must allow them to rise, peak, and fall. Don't judge or evaluate them. Instead, notice and acknowledge them. Try to locate the emotion in your body and give it attention. We can develop better emotional processing skills by being present with our feelings.
Acceptance plays a vital role in combating toxic positivity. It doesn't mean liking or agreeing with a situation but recognising that some things cannot be changed. Denial prevents us from actively participating in creating change. Acceptance allows us to focus our energy on what can be changed.
Let's remember that offering cliches and empty positivity may not be the most helpful approach regarding others' feelings. Instead, let's acknowledge their hardships, validate their emotions, and provide compassionate support.
In a world obsessed with being happy all the time, let's break free from the confines of toxic positivity. Authentic positivity comes from embracing our feelings and experiences, both positive and negative.
As always, thank you for joining me on this journey of personal growth and self-discovery. I hope these insights resonate with you and inspire you to cultivate a genuine and compassionate approach towards positivity.
Until next time, stay curious and stay comfortable,
Hang out with Adam and other thought leaders on the audio platform Wisdom: https://wisdom.app/in/Wt2er
Resources and Music used in the episode:
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