What Is Toxic Positivity, and Why Do Experts Say It’s Harmful?

January 21, 2021 by Jenna Wirth

“Toxic positivity is essentially the denial of negative feelings, a forced positive attitude that attempts to negate any negative sentiment,” Alex Dimitriu, MD, a double board-certified physician in psychiatry and sleep medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine, told POPSUGAR. “It’s telling someone ‘to cheer up’ or that their sadness or worry is not warranted or useful.” This unhealthy denial is harmful, he explained, because any defense that glosses over reality can be a dangerous thing. Not only does it have the potential to hurt people by discrediting their experience or feelings, but it can also hurt yourself by rejecting real information or feelings in favor of a positive facade. “It’s like putting makeup on a wound,” Dr. Dimitriu said.

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