Can Do Attitude

Signs that Your Can-Do Attitude Might Actually Be Toxic Positivity in Disguise

“You can do it” – maybe you’ve heard this overrated phrase a million times already. And perhaps you let out a little sigh whenever you see this kind of can-do attitude on display, which, to you, might be a sign of toxic positivity. It’s the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” mentality taken to an extreme.

Toxic positivity is often used in response to crisis or trauma, in an attempt to downplay or ignore the seriousness of a situation. It can be used as a form of gaslighting, to make someone feel like their negative emotions are invalid. It can also be used to dismiss legitimate concerns, or make people feel like they should just “suck it up” and deal with their problems on their own.

There are many signs that your can-do attitude might actually be toxic positivity in disguise. Here are seven of them:

You’re Constantly Putting on a Brave Face

If you’re putting on a brave face all the time, it might be because you’re afraid to show your true emotions. You might feel like you need to be strong for everyone else, or like you can’t afford to show weakness. This can lead to bottling up your feelings, which can eventually lead to burnout.

Putting on a brave face can also be a form of self-deception. You might be telling yourself that everything is fine when in reality, it’s not. This can-do attitude can prevent you from seeking out the help or support you need to deal with your problems.

You Dismiss Your Own Emotions

If you’re constantly telling yourself to “just suck it up” or “get over it,” it might be because you’re invalidating your own emotions. You might think that your feelings are undeserving of attention, or that they’re not important enough to warrant any action.

This can lead to emotional suppression, which can have a number of negative consequences. Emotional suppression has been linked to poorer physical health, heightened stress levels, and even depression.

You’re Always the “Upbeat” One in Your Group

If you find that you’re always the one trying to lighten the mood or be the voice of positivity in your group, it could be a sign that you’re engaging in toxic positivity. In some cases, people might see you as the “happy” one — but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have bad days, too.

Being the “upbeat” one all the time can be exhausting, and it’s important to allow yourself to have negative emotions. It’s also important to remember that not everyone wants or needs to hear your “positive” perspective all the time.

You’ve Never Been Through a Rough Patch

If you’ve never had to deal with any major problems in your life, it might be because you’ve been lucky. But it could also be because you’re good at avoiding or downplaying any challenges you face.

This can lead to a false sense of security, and it can prevent you from developing the skills you need to deal with difficult situations. It can also make it harder for you to empathize with others who are going through tough times.

You Constantly Put Others’ Needs Ahead of Your Own

While it’s important to be there for others, you also need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too. If you find that you’re constantly putting others’ needs ahead of your own, it could be a sign of toxic positivity. Make sure to schedule in some “me time” every now and then, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

If you never take time for yourself, you might end up feeling resentful or burned out. You might also find it harder to be there for others when they need you.

You Don’t Believe in “Bad” Emotions

If you think that negative emotions are bad, unhealthy, or undeserving of attention, it’s likely that you’re engaging in toxic positivity. It’s important to remember that all emotions are valid, and that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or scared sometimes.

Trying to deny or suppress your negative emotions will only make them worse in the long run. It’s important to allow yourself to feel all of your emotions — good and bad — so that you can deal with them in a healthy way.

You Never Give Yourself a Break

While it’s great to be optimistic, there’s a difference between being optimistic and being unrealistic. If you find that you’re never giving yourself a break, it might be because you’re setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.

It’s important to remember that you’re human, and that it’s okay to make mistakes or have bad days. Trying to be perfect all the time is not only impossible, but it’s also unhealthy.

The Bottom Line

Toxic positivity is often characterized by these seven signs: invalidating your own emotions, dismissing your own needs, being the “upbeat” one in your group, putting others’ needs ahead of your own, never taking time for yourself, setting unrealistic expectations, and always trying to be perfect.

If you find that you’re guilty of any of these, it might be time to take a step back and reassess your attitude. Remember, it’s okay to feel negative emotions — they’re a normal part of life. Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions, and make sure to take care of yourself, too.

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