Garfield,Thinking Positive and Toxic Positivity



(Davis, Jim “Garfield” 10/19/21 ArcaMax


First off full disclosure, I actually started this on October 19th of this week but I was running late for school.  My plan was to finish it that night but it has just been a crazy week year and I am kind of drowning.  That being said, when I read this comic that morning, I LOVED it, because I am all about finding the bright side, but sometimes in the moment, there is no bright side.  Garfield, my furry feline friend, when the damn bursts, that’s the time to evacuate!  There are no ifs, ands or buts about that.  You get out and you get out now.

As an educator, I am no stranger to toxic positivity.  It abounds in educational settings, and it is slowly sucking the life out of every teacher I know.  We’re supposed to look on the bright side and push through in untenable circumstances. Toxic positivity is an obsession with positive thinking.  The belief that we should deny or invalidate any negativity or negative thoughts.

Well that is NOT what I, or Think Positive 30 is about.  If you lose your job, that sucks.  You get to be mad, angry afraid and resentful.  You get to have those feeling and own those feelings.  The problem for me is when you continue to let those feelings overtake your life and that is all you can focus on.  That’s when you need to start looking on the bright side.  It will probably be hard, and feel so fake at first, but in my opinion this is where you need to push through and look for good things.  You have skills you learned on the job, etc.

So I caution people to think that there is good in everything. It is important to have an open, healthy and realistic outlook on what is going on in your life.  If crap happens, acknowledge it – take some time to process what is going on, but do not let it consume your every waking thought.  That is just as unhealthy as toxic positivity.  So we can laugh at Garfield because hey, he’s just a cartoon, but if your dam breaks, don’t assume that the onslaught of water is going to clean your kitchen. Gather your loved ones, your important documents and get out of Dodge.