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REAL VIBES ONLY: ’Well-meaning positivity platitudes do precious little to lift our mood right now’

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

If there’s one thing we’re not short of today, it’s platitudes of ‘positive vibes only’, ‘it could be worse’ and ‘look on the bright side!’

They’re sentiments that it’s all too easy to wind up the social media flagpole in times like this, but the reality is, these well-meaning messages often do precious little to lift our mood. In fact, they can even make it worse.

After last night’s announcement, much of what we’ve been focusing our minds and energy on, has suddenly taken on a new-found irrelevance. Tier 4 has all but eclipsed the light at the end of the tunnel that Christmas promised to be a small taster of.


Thoughts are largely dominated by ‘what now?’,  and the message that most of us want to hear right now, is not one of feigned positivity, but acknowledgment and understanding.

Even those with a proclivity for positivity, will be hard pushed not to have their PMA shattered by the new restrictions, and to pretend otherwise, would be to delegitimise the real and overwhelming feelings of sadness being felt at this time.

Granted, looking on the bright side can pay dividends in terms of wellbeing, but it is by no means a panacea, especially when it guilts those not able to achieve it, through no fault of their own.


Accepting the misery of this all, instead, might actually help us better defuse the negative emotions over time... which is perhaps better for overall psychological health, than pretending everything is ok.

📸 @lizsclimo

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