11 warning signs your “happiness” is actually toxic positivity

Ever heard of the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’? Well, that’s exactly what we’re talking about here.

Being happy all the time might sound awesome, but it can actually be a big problem.

It’s like pretending everything’s perfect, even when it’s not. And let me tell you, ignoring your true feelings isn’t a recipe for a healthy life.

Here are 11 signs that your ‘always happy’ attitude might actually be causing you harm.

If you recognize these signs in yourself, it could mean that your happiness is actually toxic positivity. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. You Dismiss Negative Emotions

We all have bad days, right? It’s perfectly normal.

But if you find yourself constantly brushing off feelings of sadness, anger, or frustration, it might be a sign of toxic positivity.

You might think you’re being ‘strong’ or ‘positive’, but in reality, it’s important to acknowledge these feelings instead of just pushing them away.

Remember, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. We’re human after all!

2. You Feel Guilty for Having Bad Days

Are you ever down in the dumps and then feel guilty for not being your usual cheery self?

This is a classic sign of toxic positivity. Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s completely normal to have off days.

The key is to allow yourself to feel these natural emotions without guilt or shame.

It’s not about being happy all the time, it’s about being real and honest with yourself.

It’s okay to have a bad day. You’re not a robot, you’re allowed to feel!

3. You’re Always Saying “I’m Fine” Even When You’re Not

I remember a time when I used to brush off every concern with a breezy “I’m fine”.

My friends would ask me how I was doing, and even if I was having a terrible day, “I’m fine” was my automatic response.

I thought I was just being strong and optimistic, but I was actually ignoring my real feelings.

This is a big red flag for toxic positivity.

If you’re always pretending everything’s okay, even when it’s not, you’re not giving yourself permission to feel your true emotions.

It’s important to let yourself feel all your feelings, good and bad. After all, we’re humans, not superheroes!

4. You Avoid People Who Are Going Through a Tough Time

Did you know that humans are inherently social creatures? We thrive on connection and empathy.

But if you find yourself actively avoiding friends or family who are going through a hard time because it’s a ‘downer’, this could be a sign of toxic positivity.

Science has shown that showing empathy and providing emotional support to others is not only beneficial for them, but it also contributes to our own sense of well-being.

So, instead of avoiding the negatives, embrace the full spectrum of human emotions. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and that’s perfectly okay. 

5. You Take “Look on the Bright Side” to the Extreme

Sometimes, life throws us curveballs that are tough to handle.

You might have experienced loss, disappointment, or heartbreak. In those moments, the phrase “look on the bright side” can seem like a cruel joke.

While it’s true that finding the silver lining can be helpful, taking it to the extreme can be harmful.

If you’re always forcing a positive spin on things, especially when they’re deeply painful, you’re not giving yourself the kindness and compassion you deserve.

Remember, it’s absolutely okay to feel hurt and grieve without needing to find a positive angle.

Healing takes time and glossing over your pain with a smile won’t speed up the process. It’s okay to feel your pain, and remember, it’s in feeling that we truly heal.

6. You Believe That Positive Thinking Will Solve Everything

I have to admit, I used to be one of those people who thought that if I just thought positively, everything would work out perfectly.

I believed that my positive thoughts were like a magic spell that could fix any problem.

But life taught me a different lesson. When my grandfather fell seriously ill, no amount of positive thinking could change the situation.

It was a hard pill to swallow, but it made me realize that some things are simply out of our control.

While positive thinking can help us navigate through tough situations, it’s not a cure-all solution.

It’s important to face reality and accept that things won’t always go the way we want, no matter how positive our mindset is.

Life isn’t always fair, and that’s okay. What matters is how we respond to it and cope with the challenges it throws our way.

7. You Brush Off Serious Issues with “It Could Be Worse”

Life can get darn tough. And sometimes, the only response we can muster is: “Well, it could be worse.”

But while this phrase might seem like a way to put things into perspective, it can actually be a form of toxic positivity.

Brushing off serious issues with “it could be worse” is like slapping a band-aid on a deep wound. It might cover the issue temporarily, but it doesn’t address the root of the problem.

We all face problems that are big and small, and just because someone else might have it worse, doesn’t make your problems any less significant.

Your feelings and experiences are valid and they matter.

So next time you find yourself thinking “it could be worse”, take a step back and give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. It’s okay not to be okay.

8. You Always Feel the Need to Appear Happy

Always feeling the need to appear happy, even when you’re not, may actually be causing more harm than good.

In a world where social media often portrays a highlight reel of people’s lives, it’s easy to feel the pressure to appear happy all the time.

But remember, it’s okay to have bad days and not feel like smiling.

Authenticity is more important than appearing perfect. So, let’s aim for real over ideal. 

9. You Ignore Your Problems Hoping They’ll Just Go Away

I’ll be honest, I used to be a pro at this. Whenever a problem arose, big or small, I’d just slap on a smile and try to ignore it, hoping it would somehow disappear on its own.

But let me tell you, that strategy never really worked.

Ignoring your problems in the name of positivity is like ignoring a leaky faucet. Sure, you can pretend it’s not there, but it won’t stop the drip from turning into a flood over time.

It’s important to face our problems head-on, no matter how scary or uncomfortable they might seem. Sweeping them under the rug won’t make them go away.

It’s okay to tackle your problems, and it’s okay to admit you need help. We all do sometimes!

10. You Feel the Need to Suppress Your Emotions

Ever had one of those days where you just feel like screaming into a pillow?

But instead, you hold it in, put on your ‘happy face’, and pretend everything is fine while inside, you’re anything but fine. If this sounds familiar, you might be dealing with toxic positivity.

Suppressing your emotions is like shaking a soda can – eventually, the pressure builds up and it’s going to explode.

It’s vital to express how you’re feeling, whether that’s sad, angry, or frustrated. It doesn’t make you weak or negative – it makes you human. So let yourself feel, let yourself heal.

11. You Compare Your Problems to Others

Lastly, if you’ve ever said or thought, “I shouldn’t be upset about my problems because others have it worse”, then my friend, that’s toxic positivity in action.

Comparing your problems to others dismisses your own feelings and experiences. It’s not a competition of who has it worse.

Your struggles are valid and important, regardless of how they stack up to someone else’s.

Remember, everyone has their own battles to fight. It’s okay to focus on your own without feeling guilty or selfish.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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