Monday 16 October 2017

Forced Positivity In Blogging & Why It's Okay To Be Sad

Hello, my loves! Today's topic is going to be very different and a little difficult to talk about, but it's something that's been on my mind for a while. I am going to start off with a little confession - personally, I have always struggled with happiness. And I think that a lot of people do, actually. It's not that I'm always sad, but I definitely find it difficult to always think positively, and to achieve that level of unbreakable, carefree happiness that's often promoted on blogs and social media. Sometimes, I let things get to me too easily, and a lot in my life is far from perfect - but that's only natural. I honestly don't believe that it is possible, normal or healthy for anyone to be 'always happy'. Life happens, and we all have our own struggles, insecurities, and battles to fight. All of those things - good or bad - are what makes us human, and we should never deny them.

I'm often told that I always come across as quite bubbly and upbeat online. That is mostly because I only write when I'm happy; so if I'm having a bad day, I tend to avoid my blog and social media altogether. There would be times where I wouldn't post for a while (especially whenever I was going through a rough patch in life), mostly out of fear that I wouldn't be positive or entertaining enough.

I think that there is a level of pressure in the blogosphere to act in a certain way, and to always maintain that positive, happy, squeaky clean image. I come across so many different blog posts on the daily that talk about how you can just 'choose to be happy', and you should always maintain a positive attitude, no matter what happens. This whole 'choose happiness' mindset is completely unreasonable and actually quite dangerous, as it imposes unrealistic goals onto people. You can't always just 'choose' to be happy. Of course, we usually control how we react in certain situations, but happiness is not just an easy choice that can be made in the moment - especially if you suffer from depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. Life can be so overwhelming sometimes, and it is not right to just assume things or judge someone's attitude without having any real insight into their situation.

I think that this message spread by a lot of lifestyle bloggers - to 'always think positive' - is avoidant and almost toxic. We should never suppress and deny those emotions that make us human - every if they are negative. Whilst I do believe in always trying to be the best of yourself and trying to pursue that happiness, I think it's completely irrational to expect yourself to always be positive. No one is always happy! We all know that, so why do we try so hard to constantly enforce that 'happiness is a choice' attitude? Every day, when scrolling down my Twitter feed I see those empty quotes that are supposed to motivate me, such as 'Think positively, it's up to you!' 'Just choose to feel happy!' and I think to myself - is this really going to do anyone good? Surely, anyone who is having a truly bad day - and this happens to us all - isn't going to feel particularly uplifted by the generic positivity quote that's been copied and pasted from Google Images. If anything, imposing this kind of thinking can only make people who genuinely struggle feel all the more alone. We should all embrace those emotions that make us human, be it good or bad - just let people feel what they are feeling!

Perhaps people are just drawn to positive people, and yes, I believe that some people are naturally that way - more bubbly, happy and upbeat. But I can't help but think that a lot of bloggers tend to force it a little, or at least they try hard to make themselves come across as really positive online (and I am guilty of this, as well), even when their heart is not really in it. I think that it's incredibly difficult to be a real, inspiring positivity blogger. I also think that inspiring other people has to come naturally, organically from the things you do and the way you live your life, and not just what you say on your blog or Instagram.

This post is not about spreading negativity, or about calling anyone out in particular. It's just a blogging/social media trend that I have noticed recently that I think is quite unhealthy, and I wanted to talk about it for a while!

What are your thoughts on forced positivity in blogging and on social media? Is this something that you have noticed as well? 

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