Depressive symptoms, lies about your well-being… Be careful not to fall into “toxic positivity”

Always seeing the glass half full rather than half empty is an indisputable quality. But if you’re the type who never complains, even when you face a tough life test, you risk falling into a dangerous tendency that could harm your mental health: “toxic positivity”.

“Let’s stay positive”! A mantra that we hear more than ever in these gloomy times and in an era that gives pride of place to personal development and positive thinking.

Psychologies that are undeniably good for the mind, but also perceived as an injunction to happiness that ends up becoming counterproductive, at the risk of falling into “toxic positivity”.

Pretend to be happy

According to psychologists who have studied the question, toxic positivity means repressing all negative emotions, to the point of pretending to be happy and always assuring those around you “that all is well in the best of times. worlds”. But in the long run, the fact of repressing what one feels and not confronting one’s psychic malaise can promote the appearance of depressive symptoms.

“Experience your emotions is essential. Suppressing them or avoiding them is not the right solution. In fact, trying to avoid them at all costs will not have the desired effect. On the contrary, they will tend to return more often and in a more intense way”, explains in the media The Conversation, Andrée-Ann Labranche, doctoral student in psychology at the University of Quebec (Montreal).

But at a time when positive thinking is very successful and openly displaying your distress or negative feelings (especially since the pandemic) seems less and less tolerated in society, not always easy to express and exteriorize what we feel.

Lack of honesty

According to a recent survey carried out by the market research start-up Appinio based in Hamburg (Germany), 60% of French people think that the injunction to happiness is more and more significant in society.

According to the survey, 28% of French people tend not to answer honestly when asked how they are, probably for fear of being badly perceived. This is particularly the case during parties (62%) or major “happy” events such as a wedding (61%), but also with family (59%) or at work (57%).

Not to mention social networks: 72% of respondents admit that they feel compelled to display a positive attitude when they visit these media, in particular Facebook (41%) and Instagram (22%).

*Study conducted by Appinio from July 6 to 9, 2022 with 1,000 respondents

Leave a Comment