We’ve all had negative work experiences, but have you ever considered that you might be experiencing toxic positive experiences? It sounds like a strange term, how something can positively be toxic? But actually, toxic positivity can be harmful and upsetting, and can even cause depression. Many people have no idea when they’re experiencing toxic positivity, especially since we live in a time where chronic positivity is a trend. 

What is Toxic Positivity?

Toxic positivity is believing that you should always have a positive mindset, no matter what is happening in your life. Whatsmore, it’s enforcing that belief on others. We’ve all met individuals who have that “just be happy no matter what” mentality, and unfortunately, it’s also become very popular in contemporary life. We see toxic positivity everywhere, and what’s worse, most people don’t know what it is and tend to believe that they, too, need to have an always positive mindset. 

Of course, being generally positive and optimistic isn’t a bad thing, but toxic positivity goes well beyond that. It involves the belief that you need to reject negative emotions and always try to be happy, even if that happiness is a facade.

In fact, not allowing yourself to feel negative emotions, shoving them aside, and pasting a smile on your face even if your life is falling apart is extremely unhealthy and can be detrimental. Moreover, many people who are subjected to toxic positivity begin to feel ashamed of themselves if they aren’t happy all the time.

Are You Experiencing Toxic Positivity At Work?

Coworkers Are Always Telling You To Be Happy

If you express genuine concerns at work and the response is just to try to be positive about it, or look on the bright side, that’s toxic positivity. Maybe you’re worried or stressed about a big project and you tell a coworker, but they respond by dismissing your concerns. In actuality, an appropriate response would be to listen to those concerns and respond with understanding rather than just telling someone to cheer up and not stress about it.

Your Boss Doesn’t Acknowledge Hardships

Maybe you’re going through family problems or things at home aren’t great. If your boss refuses to acknowledge these worries or upsets and just tells you to look on the bright side, that isn’t very fair. All too often, it’s an expectation that we should leave our troubles at the door and be happy at work, but in reality, that isn’t always possible. Having genuine upsets dismissed is extremely frustrating, especially if they’re affecting you and you’re expressing them to a manager. Of course, nobody wants someone in the workplace that’s always negative about everything, but if you’re going through something genuine, it should be met with genuine concern and not dismissal.

Scary Events Aren’t Acknowledged

This will ring true for thousands of individuals, particularly at the moment. Beyond upsetting personal events, it can be concerning when bigger events that are affecting multiple individuals aren’t acknowledged. What if management refuses to pay attention to how devastating COVID-19 was for everyone? Even if your company did ok during the pandemic, it doesn’t negate the loss, devastation, and stress that it caused everyone. Refusing to accept that damage is a form of toxic positivity.

Unemployment is Met Without Concern

If you, like many others, have experienced a layoff or income loss due to the Coronavirus, you’ve likely been stressed and worried about it. Those feelings are completely normal, but if you expressed them to coworkers or colleagues, they may have responded with toxic positivity. If this sounds like a situation you’ve been in, you’re probably;y sick of hearing “everyone went through the same thing, you’ll be fine” or “it could be worse”. The reality is, you will rebound and recover, but that doesn’t make the experience any less scary at the moment.

The Poor Outcome of Your Company is Overlooked

If your business is struggling and not doing well, you might be very understandably wracked with worry about the future. Nobody likes to think that they may not have a job, but all too often in these situations, management isn’t honest about how dire the situation is. It’s understandable that they might not want to cause panic, but not addressing employees’ worries about the future of the company is a form of toxic positivity. Managers can be hopeful about the outcome, but pretending nothing bad is going on isn’t helpful to anyone.

If you’ve been experiencing toxic positivity at work it can wreak havoc on your mental state. Having a bright outlook on life is healthy, but there’s a thin line between being genuinely happy and forcing positivity even in dire circumstances. Always remember, it’s completely normal to feel worried, sad, anxious, or angry in certain situations. Embracing those emotions in the right way and allowing yourself to feel them is healthy and isn’t conducive to you being a negative person in general.


If your goal is to move up in your career, find a new job, or get started down a new path altogether, Stand-By Personnel is here to help. Our experienced Tulsa staffing agency can help you find full-time or part-time employment. Contact Stand-By Personnel today or text ‘weldingjobs’ or ‘skilledjobs’ to 888-111 to see how we can help you accomplish your new year’s resolution.