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The 10 Telltale Signs Of ‘Toxic Positivity’

Life is full of “the glass is half empty” people who seem to forever find the worst in every situation – gloomy, dejected individuals whose negativity could be labeled “poisonous.”

But what about the “glass half full” types, who insist on “looking on the bright side” and always tell friends and colleagues to “put on a brave face” and “get through their troubles”? to smile’?

Psychologists have suggested that “toxic positivity” – the belief that no matter how dire a situation, people should maintain a positive attitude – can be just as dangerous.

While intentions can come from the right place, someone in a difficult situation to “stay positive” may minimize or sweep their issues under the carpet – when it took some effort to bring them up in the first place.

Toxic positivity is when – no matter how bad a situation – someone tells you to keep a positive mindset

Samara Quintero, a licensed marriage and family therapist, discussed the impact of toxic positivity on people, saying, “By denying our truth, we begin to live inauthentically with ourselves and with the world.

“We lose connection with ourselves, making it difficult for others to connect and relate to us.

“On the outside we may look unbreakable, but on the inside we’re just scared little teddy bears longing for a hug.”

To help you avoid situations like this, here are 14 telltale signs of toxic positivity in the workplace or home.

Complimenting someone excessively for losing weight

I think we’ve all heard this kind of conversation, “Oh my gosh! You’ve lost so much weight, you look fantastic!’

But have we ever stopped to think if this isn’t actually a compliment?

Congratulating someone on losing weight can make them feel like they only look good if they weigh less and are mostly fat.

It can also make them feel like you’ve always thought of them as fat – even if they may not be.

Telling someone to be thankful for what they have

If someone comes to you with a problem, telling them to ignore their feelings and focus on what they should be thankful for in their life can do a lot more harm than you think.

When discussing your emotions and feelings, it is always best to let that person speak and explain what they are feeling.

To dismiss that outright and tell them to focus on something good in their life may not be the best advice.

It can lead one to bury that bad feeling, which can cause further problems later on.

‘Everything happens with a reason…’

Breaking up with someone? Fired from your job? Don’t worry, everything happens for a reason…

For someone going through a difficult moment, this can be very distressing to hear.

Instead of telling someone this, try to resonate with that person’s feelings and come to a solution that way.

Telling someone to be thankful for what they have and that “everything happens for a reason” can be potentially harmful


Just because someone smiles doesn’t mean they’re necessarily happy.

Telling someone to just “smile” when they’re feeling down can be extremely dismissive and insensitive.

It can also cause someone to bury important feelings that should be discussed and dealt with.

Offer unspecific help

I think we’ve all been guilty of saying those dreaded cliche words after someone’s been through something tough: “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.”

While we may think we’re helping and we may actually want to help, it’s rarely helpful to ask someone what you can do for them.

That person may not want to feel like a burden to seek help.

Instead, if you know there’s something you can do that can help, do it! Don’t ask.

“I’m so busy!”

Constantly telling everyone in your life that you are so busy and that you barely have time for anything can even make you sound important.

Bringing up the fact that you are busy can make someone feel like they may not be working hard enough, when they are.

Or it could mean that someone who needs your help will start avoiding you because they don’t want to burden you further.

‘It could have been worse’

Similar to “everything happens for a reason,” “it could be worse” is another dangerous saying that can keep people from addressing their true feelings.

Negative feelings don’t have to be such a frightening thought and it can help to delve into what makes you unhappy.

Telling someone ‘well at least you’re not dead’ ignores the real issues.

The phrase “it could be worse” may sound innocent, but maybe it’s time to rethink it

Telling someone that their job is so much harder than yours

While you may think that sharing anecdotes about problems in your life will help someone else go through a similar situation, it can be extremely problematic to say that your life is so much more difficult than theirs and that they are essentially making it. should absorb.

Each person is different and they respond differently to challenges at work, at home and in their social lives.

Just because you might be able to handle stress at work or you can work longer doesn’t mean anyone else can and it’s okay if they say they’re struggling.

Complimenting someone in a difficult time

If someone comes to you with a problem, your instinct may tell you to move away from the problem and compliment them something to make them happy.

However, telling someone that their hair will look great when the relationship ends can again lead to a buildup of repressed negative feelings.

Someone who is clearly in a difficult space does not want to hear how shiny their skin looks…

Saying, “Just be positive!”

Keeping a positive outlook on life is, of course, an important thing.

However, there comes a time when staying positive may not really help you solve the problem.

Simply telling someone to stay strong and be positive won’t let them discover their true emotions – happy or sad.