Can being positive become toxic?

Trying to stay positive during a horrendous pandemic can become toxic.

‘…toxic positivity means only focusing on positive things while ignoring, suppressing, or avoiding anything that may trigger negative emotions. This invalidation of real feelings of fear, anxiety, and sadness can take a toll on mental health.’

Laura Gallagher

Laura Gallagher’s outstanding article There’s a dark side to looking at the bright side. Here’s a healthier antidote. recommends listening and honesty as the antidote to toxic positivity.

From my experience as a leader, here are a few specific actions to avoid toxic positivity that have worked well.

  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings keeping communications balanced between optimism and realism.
  • Reassure staff that it’s okay to have negative emotions, fears and concerns and that it is safe to express them.
  • Create safe spaces for concerns to be expressed e.g., small team meetings, opportunities for one-on-one meetings.
  • Identify employees who are at higher risk e.g., front-line workers, new parents, single parents.
  • Provide easily accessible support resources e.g., information on employee assistance programmes (EAPs), help lines.



Christ in you, the hope of glory. That’s why glory matters.

Published by Camille Isaacs-Morell

Enabling businesses and people to be successful. This is my mission, my life’s work. It’s always been what I have done wherever I’ve been employed, called to serve or to volunteer. An experienced business leader, my core values are truth, integrity, and respect. I believe that values-based leadership is critical for organizational success that is enabled by an engaged and empowered workforce. Working over the years in several senior marketing, communications, and executive leadership mandates for global, financial, healthcare, and non-profit organizations, it has been through times of transformation and difficult change that I have done my best work. In my blog posts, I share my perspectives on leadership, marketing and strategy that are based on my key learnings and observations over the years, all with the objective of helping others reach for success. In my spare time, I enjoy the beauty of nature which I reproduce in my pastel paintings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: