282. Toxic Positivity with Whitney Goodman

Toxic positivity is a phenomenon that has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. It is characterized by the constant reinforcement of an overly optimistic attitude, to the point of ignoring, invalidating, or minimizing the hardships or feelings faced by individuals. This can create a sense of disconnect between people. It can also be detrimental to those struggling with mental health issues, as it invalidates their experiences and makes them feel like they are not allowed to have genuine emotions. 

To address the concept and challenges of toxic positivity to individuals and relationships, we consulted Psychotherapist, Whitney Goodman. Walking us through her book aptly titled Toxic Positivity: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy, Whitney helps us understand how to create an atmosphere of open communication, where people can be honest about their feelings without fear of judgment or invalidation.

Listen and Learn: 

  • Toxic positivity: what does it mean?
  • The repercussions of toxic positivity 
  • How toxic positivity can stunt creativity
  • What does healthy non-toxic positivity look like? 
  • Why has the concept of toxic positivity become so controversial? 
  • How to avoid toxic positivity
  • Toxic positivity in the workplace: challenges and solutions
  • How do we let go of toxic positivity?
  • The benefits and drawbacks of complaining


About Whitney Goodman

Whitney Goodman, LMFT, is the radically honest psychotherapist behind the hugely popular Instagram account @sitwithwhit. She is also an author and the owner of The Collaborative Counseling Center, a virtual therapy practice in Florida. Whitney’s debut book TOXIC POSITIVITY: KEEPING IT REAL IN A WORLD OBSESSED WITH BEING HAPPY, shows readers how to shift the goal from being happy to being authentic in order to live fully. A millennial on a quest to make mental health information accessible and easy to understand, Whitney helps people who want to improve their relationships and emotional wellness. She earned her undergraduate degree at Tulane University and a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from The University of Miami. Whitney has a column in Psychology Today and has been featured in several publications, including The New York Times, Teen Vogue, NY Magazine, and Good Morning America. 

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Episode 282