What is Toxic Positivity at Work and How to Deal

Let’s face it OFWs are abroad not just to play but to work, and sometimes working abroad is not a bed of roses. When Donnalyn Bartolome got bashed for her toxic positivity about work. The questions now raised on mental health and validation about work.

For OFWs, it’s okay to feel not great about work since sometimes it can be challenging. Read on to find out more about toxic positivity at work and how to navigate it for your career.

Toxic positivity at work (1)

What is toxic positivity?

Toxic positivity is the view that one must always look on the bright side of life, no matter how bad things get. While optimism and positive thinking have their merits, poisonous positivity ignores or dismisses negative feelings in favor of an artificially upbeat demeanor.

A healthy mental state begins with a healthy view of life. Unfortunately, life isn’t always rosy. All of us have felt or experienced pain. Though uncomfortable, these feelings must be experienced and processed honestly if acceptance and improved mental health are to result.

Toxic positivity is the practice of thinking positively to an extreme. This perspective not only emphasizes the significance of optimism, but also downplays and even rejects the existence of any human feeling that isn’t wholly upbeat and cheerful.

You may still maintain your optimism even though you’ve been through a lot of tough stuff. However, those who are suffering should not be pushed to keep a good attitude or made to feel bad if they are unable to.

Here are the telltale indicators of a toxic work environment:


1. Hiding your feelings

As opposed to letting others know how you really feel, hiding it just makes things more difficult. Let’s be real here: life is rarely perfect. There’s a reason why it’s called “work.” There will be many instances when you are put to the test and must deal with trying circumstances. Keep smiling and enduring it, and you’ll end up more worried and overwhelmed than before.

Put an end to this kind of poisonous optimism by speaking up. Let everything out, good, terrible, and ugly. Hiding how you actually feel does no one any good, least of all you.

2. Feeling sorry for your negative emotions

Guilt is one form that toxic optimism may take. You could feel that you have no right to be upset about something when everything else is OK. Toxic conduct like that discredits your emotions and adds to the pain you’re currently feeling.

Try to remember that your emotions are reasonable and use that knowledge to fight back. You have every right to feel stressed about a current project or a forthcoming meeting, even if everything else at work is going swimmingly.

3. Swearing by positive vibes at work

Envision yourself leaving a presentation that bombed spectacularly. Everyone there is aware of this fact, including yourself. Your coworker, who was also there at the meeting, approaches you shortly afterward and says, “It wasn’t that horrible.” I’m willing to guess that there have been far worse bombings. Well-meaning though they may be, comments like this prevent the speaker from expressing how they truly feel.

Negative experiences are minimized because doing so forces us to suppress our emotions. When we are unable to voice our thoughts and feelings, it can lead to frustration and, in extreme cases, embarrassment. The feelings of embarrassment are unbearable and debilitating.

It might make you doubt your abilities and make you feel inadequate in your position. Fight back against this poisonous optimism by confronting it head-on. Accept your limitations and mistakes as learning opportunities and move on. There’s no point in wallowing in gloom, but you must face reality.

 How to avoid practicing toxic positivity:

Consider the suggestions made available to you

Leaders should cultivate positive rapport with staff members if they value objective feedback. It is human nature to keep secrets, and people are especially bad at admitting when they are feeling down or sad. A competent manager creates a safe space in which employees can be themselves without fear of repercussions.

Practice compassion

Employees may discuss financial issues or request a pay increase. Owners shouldn’t tell employees to be grateful for any employment at all. As an alternative, they need to be open and honest. Employers should be allowed to raise salaries if they feel it is appropriate. Be open and understanding if they disagree. For OFWs crab mentality can be the worst form of betrayal at work.

Stay away from overbearing optimism

Instead of “let’s put these issues aside and work together to reach our goals,” why not? Change it to: “We all care about the same things, therefore if you have any suggestions on how we may improve and move closer to our values, please let us know. Let’s talk it out and figure out what to do.”

Here are ways to to deal with toxic positivity at work:


Think rationally about your emotions

Feelings of anxiety, concern, and even terror are common responses to challenges. Expecting too much of oneself is a surefire recipe for disappointment. Take care of yourself and focus on fixing the problems you’re facing.

You shouldn’t be hesitant to confront 

Although it may be unsettling to challenge such a reaction, doing so might help the individual develop. Toxic optimism in the workplace is a common problem, and this strategy can help leaders assess the effect of their words and actions.

Realize that you can have conflicting emotions at once

In the face of adversity, it’s normal to have dual emotions: fear of failure and confidence in your own abilities. Your feelings could be just as complicated as the circumstance.

Investigate the significance of your current situation

Some people believe that the cure to a toxically positive attitude is what they call “tragic optimism,” or the attempt to find some good in a bad circumstance.

Take note of your internal state. Keeping up with “positive” social media profiles can provide motivation at times, but it’s important to monitor your own emotional response to the stuff you consume. Toxic positivity may be at blame if you feel bad about yourself after reading so-called “positive” content. If this is the case, cutting back on social media could be a good idea.

Express yourself verbally

If you’re going through a tough time, try to find healthy outlets for expressing your feelings. Do something healthy, like keeping a journal or talking to a friend. Putting one’s sentiments into words has been shown to help alleviate their intensity, according to studies.