Toxic Positivity: when being positive hurts

Ever heard of toxic positivity? Well, I never did either until Lauren told me about it this week. In this Self-Coaching episode, we define toxic positivity as the excessive and ineffective attempt(s) to gloss over someone’s struggle by offering such platitudes as, “chin up,” “things could be worse.” Although well intentioned, these cliches can often cause shame or guilt for a person stuck in their struggles who might be feeling stuck and unable to “chin-it-up.”

And don’t think these gems of optimism are reserved just for others, we often dismiss our own true feelings with Pollyanna, sugary thoughts as, ‘everything happens for a reason.’So why is this important? The reason it’s important to understand toxic positivity is because it often results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of someone’s struggles. Instead of toxic positivity, Lauren and I discuss a better approach to dealing with the here-and-now struggles of those that we care about.

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