You've probably heard of it before: toxic positivity. It's often a well-meaning but misconstrued belief that people should put a "positive spin on all experiences", even those that are found to be tragic.
It seems like an oxymoron; after all, how is being positive toxic? But mental health is more than just being happy every day, it's accepting and understanding the range of emotions that come with being human.
Here's how you can tell if you or someone around you is enforcing positivity that's more detrimental than helpful.
Feeling invalidated because others are worse off
Remember: just because other people have it worse doesn't mean you aren't allowed to be sad, angry or frustrated over something deemed "less than".
While there's merit in being grateful, it's also unfair to yourself (or to your friend) to invalidate experiences simply because others have it worse. After all, it's impossible to compare what any two people are feeling because only they know their true experience. What may be difficult for someone, may be easier for another. Also, something a little odd about being grateful that other people are having a more difficult time than you are.
When faced with a tough situation, never compare yourself to people who have it worse or better than you do. The best way to respond is to focus on yourself and how you can feel better.