Rihards Steinbergs

Web developer, gamer and fan of everything scifi.

Opinion: Toxic Positivity

This is a post in a planned series of “Strong Opinion, Weakly Held” posts where I state an opinion that I strongly believe in.

However, if challenged and/or shown that my opinion is wrong or incomplete I’m more than willing to change it, hence the weakly held part.

Not every single day needs to be full speed, full of determination, bravery, efficiency, well planned out, etc. In fact, I believe that this is "toxic positivity" and is harmful.

What is toxic positivity and why do I think that this amount of positivity is toxic?

My first encounter with the term was on social media. The endless discussions about how people should be full of determination, motivation, drive, happiness, and so on. And while it’s well meaning, it feels to me that it has spiralled out of control and has become a detriment to being honest with oneself and those around you.

Some days should be slow and can be demotivating

No one’s life is perfect, we all have battles that we are fighting, and I think we should be honest and open about this.

Every single one of us has days that are slow, complicated, difficult, meaningless and that is okay. Some days in fact will be an utter and complete failure, we will feel defeated and devastated, and that is okay too.

Chasing happiness for the sake of being happy is an endless race that will cause more harm than good.

Being honest and open with yourself and those around yourself

I would love to see more people be honest and open about their struggle. It would be great (and beneficial) to see perpetuators of perfect life and #GoodVibesOnly be honest about their crappy days.

Because it is ok to have a crappy day.

We, as a society, should acknowledge this, and I believe that when we do we’ll all be better of.

Social media, the need for constant validation and measuring yourself against others

Just don’t.

You don’t need constant validation, and you don’t want to measure yourself against others, especially on social media.

The image that one puts out online on social media is seldom accurate or the full portrait.

There are more important things in life. Go have a cup of tea, give your parents a hug, play with your kids, do something that brings you joy.

And when you have a crappy day, remember, it’s ok to have a crappy day.