Toxic positivity is our student project in which we are trying to inform our closest people about the problem connected with the toxic positivity and negative effects of this cultural and psychological phenomenon.
What is toxic positivity? It’s a psychological term for people who are extremely positive. People who spread encouraging words even at times, where it is not needed or adequate. People that use Toxic positivity seemingly support you but in reality, they just trivialize your problems and undermine your emotions. Maybe you have experienced this too and just don’t know about it.
When you are feeling down or simply not having a good day, everything you want to do is just talk about it. And what’s the response you hear from your friend? Is it something similar to: ,,C’mon you always have to look on the bright side!”, ,,Don’t be so dramatic!” or ,,Don't be so negative!”?
If your answer is yes, then you have experienced toxic positivity.
We have chosen this theme because we want people to know that not feeling well is okay. That pretending there isn’t any kind of problem is not good for your mental or physical health. When people experience toxic positivity it not only doesn’t help them with their current problems, but it can worsen their mental health. Emotion suppression can lead to problems like depression, comparing yourself with the others or feeling isolated.
Our solution is design cards. On the one side there’s a typical toxic positivity sentence with a web address where you can inform yourself with toxic positivity and on the other side there is a response you should offer to someone instead of words on the first page.
The whole idea is about helping people understand that there is something like toxic positivity and it can affect us. You can choose one of these cards, pin it on the bottle (the best is a wine bottle) and give it to the person who shows certain signs of toxic positivity or who deals with negative emotions.
We gave these bottles to friends and the experience was good. Thanks to this project we spent quite a lot of timeresearching and searching for the best critical visual solution that would talk instead of us about this kind of issue. While talking directly to people while giving them these cards, we wanted to figure out why they don’t want to talk or hear about problems. As a result it seems that people in general tend to like more to pretend that things are not so bad as they look and are afraid of accept the negativity in life.