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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Morran

Toxic gratitude, how so?

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Toxic gratitude can be a form of protection but ultimately it holds you back from healing.

I may have been a victim of toxic gratitude or maybe you can say it helped me survive a time in my life…. But when I was ready to heal that’s when I realized that toxic gratitude was actually holding me back. I see it hold many people back in their process to heal.


There has been a shift to focus on what you’re grateful for, you know that saying gratitude is an attitude… that’s all great, yes let’s be grateful for what we have. But if you are practicing toxic gratitude this looks like ignoring uncomfortable hard emotions and only focusing on being grateful as if this is the key to happiness. But we can’t have light without dark…. Can we fully be grateful if we don’t acknowledge our emotions that may not align with gratitude?


The root word of emotion is motion…. We must feel the emotion to move through it. Toxic gratitude can prevent us from feeling some emotions that may be uncomfortable or that contradict this so-called attitude of gratitude.


We as humans can hold more than one emotion at a time, they can also be contradictory. I think of hot and cold taps, if we just turn one on it can be uncomfortable, think of having a shower with only hot water…. Ya not super enjoyable or even dangerous. Being able to use and access both the hot and cold taps is so important.


You can be grateful that you were able to become pregnant and also not enjoy morning sickness. You can be grateful that you have a job but disappointed in the level of appreciation you receive for your hard work. You can be grateful for the opportunities your parents provided to you but sad that may have missed out on some of your emotional needs.


Feeling another feeling in addition to gratitude does not diminish the fact that you are grateful… it actually shows emotional maturity to be able to hold space for two contradictory emotions. So go ahead and allow those conflicting emotions to be felt and explored.


Turning one tap off can be a survival mechanism, to heal we need to feel all emotions…. This can be hard and scary.


Do you need support in learning how to safely turn on both taps and explore some emotions that may be really uncomfortable for you? Call 403-454-9056 or email me at danielle@morrancounsellingtherapy.com





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