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Why We Should Avoid ‘Toxic Positivity,’ According To A Therapist

Mark Andrew

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  • In an instagram post, psychotherapist Whitney Hawkins Goodman explained the difference between “toxic positivity” with genuine “validation and hope.”
  • Her insights have since gone viral and numerous netizens have thanked her for it.

We’ve all heard about the importance of keeping a positive outlook in life. In fact, so many motivational speakers, self-help gurus, and even our own friends and family members try to encourage us to ‘stay positive’ whenever we go through some of life’s challenges.

One expert, however, tells us that there are instances when such simplistic mantras tend to fall into the category of “toxic positivity.” And they can actually cause more harm than good.

In an Instagram post, Whitney Hawkins Goodman, who describes herself as a “radically honest psychotherapist,” pointed out that there are huge differences when we talk about “validation and hope” compared with “toxic positivity.”

So she took some common Pinterest sayings and then countered them with insights that are way more helpful and practical.

Check out her list below and see if you agree with her insights:

In her caption, Goodman also wrote:

“There are relationships, life goals, plans and situations that is OK to give up on. Not everything needs to result in completion. Sometimes it is safer to give up. We owe each other the space to discuss the options.”

Goodman’s post gained thousands of shares on Instagram and eventually, it even got featured on various websites, which resulted to more discussions among netizens regarding the topic.

For example, one commenter expressed appreciation and said:

“Thank you! I needed this, struggling with depression and deadly tired of all those toxic comments.”

Another wrote:

“This is so incredibly important, and the fact that people were pissed about this shows how far we’ve been driven into this mindset!”

Meanwhile, a Psychology Today article further reminds us that “we as humans cannot program ourselves to only feel happy.”

“Accepting difficult emotions,” the site added, “helps with coping and with decreasing the intensity of those emotions.”

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